On my first night in Namche Bazar I went to sleep with a sore throat which over the next few days had developed into a chest cold however I wasn’t too fazed as it didn’t seem to affect me much.
After a few days in Namche taking advantage of the shops and stocking up on any extra equipment we packed up our gear and headed off to our next destination.
After around 7 hours of trekking we finally arrived to Tengboche, a monastery with a little tea house where we would stay for the next few days. Upon entry in the tea house I realised that my core temp had dropped significantly, I got up to our room, changed out of the freezing clothes and put on every layer I could find, wrapped myself up in my -20c sleeping bag and tried to defrost. It was futile.
The next day was a rest day where most people went for a small trek to see the surrounding area. I did not leave my sleeping bag for 48 hours. My cold had mutated into pneumonia and was experiencing waves of extreme heat and then freezing to the bone. The only time I would get out of the bag was to come down to eat. The eating room was heated by a stove in the middle of the room. In these parts they do not burn wood but dried Yak dung instead which produced a very particular smell which when I breathed in, stuck to the mucus in my lungs so whenever I coughed I tasted roasted yak dung which made me gag every time. At this point I was starting to think I would never recover and questioning if I would even make it to Base Camp!
On Dr Paul’s advice I started antibiotics and hoped for the best.