The real trek begins.

This morning we are leaving Namche Bazaar (3440m) after a two night stay and taking a mostly leisurely stroll to Deboche (3820m). We have all day to gain this elevation, so it should manageable. We already reached this elevation yesterday during a half day walk on what was meant to be our 'rest day'. So much for resting. We gained about 300m by zigzagging straight up a hillside. The steps would have been exhausting at sea level, let alone up here in the low air pressure. We stopped at Everest View Hotel and drank hot chocolate while gazing at the mountains, trying to figure out which one was Everest (the big one, I think?) and asking ourselves how the hell we were going to walk there.

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On the way down, shortly after leaving a perfectly good toilet behind, Paul experienced an unexpected bout of sudden onset explosive diarrhea and was forced to sprint into the bushes on the side of the mountain. Fortunately, the clouds provided sufficient privacy from the passing helicopters. His review of the whole experience: "You haven't lived until you have felt a fresh Himalayan breeze on your butt."

He's still not 100% but will hopefully come good today.

We got our daily pep talk from our guide last night, to prepare us for the next day. He wore his serious face for the first time and we got the sense that this is when the real trek begins. We have six more nights before reaching Everest Base Camp. We might not have the internets from here on, so if you don't hear from us again, assume the worst.