Giant on the move
Nick (& Dave & Mark), the torch and Everest- Day 10
The foreign media contingent was moved from the huts to rooms inside the media centre late on Saturday evening, due to to the extreme weather. It was welcome, and much warmer. It seems it was by way of compensation for not taking us back to a hotel for a shower and a night in a proper bed, as we had requested. After the recent snow, the roads were apparently too dangerous.
One man who did get away was Joerg Brase of German television. Joerg had been suffering with high blood pressure ever since our arrival at the foot of Everest.
The altitude effects nearly all of us. A slow walk up stairs will have all but the Tibetans puffing and wheezing like 20-a-day smokers.
Headaches are commonplace and sleep, even in the relative warmth of the inside of the media centre, is troubled.
Several of our contingent have had upset stomachs, not a pleasant experience at night when the latrine is a 100-metre walk (or dash) in the freezing cold.
I have felt sluggish and lethargic since we arrived here and, when writing, struggle to recall sometimes very simple words or constructions.
We do have the wonderful Dr Li, who roams around the camp telling us to drink plenty of water and to pace ourselves when working.
He also tolerates our frequent demands to use the machine he wears around his neck to test our heart beat and blood oxygen levels.
Today my heartbeat was 103, my oxygen a rather disappointing 81 percent. Dave was 97 and 86 (after hyperventilating before the test, the cheat), while Mark was an impressive 75 and 86.
Pix from top: Chinese border policemen take photographs of each other near their guard posts in front of Everest. And Buddhist monks and nuns feed yaks after a snowfall outside the nearby Rongbo Monastery. Photos by David Gray