The day began the same as the previous one. Another calm, bright, and sunny day dawned and our hike would take another 5 hours. I have a small blister on my left foot by the heel, a pain I feel whenever my foot turns over, which happens all the time while hiking on the rocky trial with my shoe scraping against it. The day was going to be a long one!
Paiju is a small oasis located about an hour before the start of the Baltoro glacier. It is fed by a spring and there are trees and shrubs that provide many shaded areas. This is also a place where we will take a rest day – a chance to wash some clothes and charge batteries. The porters would also kill a yak and make a big meat dinner.
The hike was similar to yesterday’s walk with lots of rocky and sandy terrain. Even though I had taped it up, my foot was bugging me, so I took it easier today and spent time talking with different members of the team – certainly a varied group in both age and profession.
Sitting around camp we figured out that in our total group (clients, Sherpa’s and Balti porters) we have 52 Everest ascents and 131 ascents of 8,000m peaks – pretty impressive.
In the distance we could see the trees of Paiju and my pace quickened, the sun was beating down on us, and the temperature was in the 100’s. The trees gave us some shade and there was an entrepreneurial young man selling chocolates and big bottles of Coke for $8…most people bought one. We set up tents and made camp as comfortable as possible.
Everyone eagerly awaited the rest day tomorrow – a chance to get organized!