All my fingers and all my toes
I’ve been back home for just over a week now and it still doesn’t feel like it really happened. Less than 2wks ago I was on top of the world!
After reaching the top and getting back to base camp everything happened really quickly. Trust me, as amazing as the mountain and base camp is at the end of the trip you just want to get out of there and get back home as quickly as possible. There was talk that I might wait at base camp for a week or so and attempt another summit in order to try and fly but other people suggested that, not me! Climbing Everest once had taken everything I had; physically, mentally and emotionally, I was utterly exhausted. To do it again would have been a huge risk and very dangerous. It’s so rare that someone will summit twice in one season. Those who do are often climbing Sherpa’s or just simply exceptional. Me, I was out of there…
We returned to base camp, within minutes I was in the camp shower (it was the most incredible shower of my life!) And within two days we were packed and leaving. We trekked to Lukla in three days. It was a tough trek. My body was screaming to stop and rest, yet there was 36miles to go. I was doing that walk you do when you‘re on auto pilot, in a daze, stumbling along and probably looking like a zombie. I was amazed though at how quickly I was healing; as we got lower I could taste the oxygen! I was sleeping really deeply and recovering quickly. My swollen and slightly frost bitten face was looking more normal by the hour, my toes were getting feeling back and I was putting on weight.
Reaching Lukla you always worry that you may get stuck there for days. The flights only go if there is no cloud and there are usually lots of people needing to fly out. We were very lucky. The first small plane landed in the morning at 7am, we were on it and better still so were our bags!
By 8am on Thursday 19th May I was back in Kathmandu… and would soon be on a flight back to the UK.
It’s very weird getting home after a big trip. It feels almost surreal. I felt like I had been away forever, but standing at Heathrow it seemed only days since I was there and leaving for the trip. I was a bit of a wreck, physically worn out and emotionally exhausted but so happy to be home. I keep seeing people and things and thinking, ‘I wasn’t sure I was going to see you again’ – it makes you realise how special everyone and everything in your life is.
And here I am…. at home, typing this…. with all my fingers, and looking down…. at all my toes!