Saturday (16th November) – yesterday I blogged that it was Thursday when, of course, it was FRIDAY! Such is the real sense of disengagement when you spend 15 days away from normal life and normal levels of oxygen… Today proved to be yet another ‘big’ day in as much as we trekked 11 miles from Periche (4340m) to Namche Bazaar (3440m). On paper this might look like a simple hike downhill. In reality it was yet another ‘roller-coaster’ of a route comprising long downhill stretches of loose rock-filled tracks and, just when we thought climbing was no longer a necessary evil long uphill sections suddenly appeared before our eyes – a living nightmare! Trekking in Nepal is NEVER straightforward. It is as challenging a physical activity as anyone could ask for (as the team will undoubtedly testify with ample photographs and anecdotes when we finallyreturn to family and friends). Dave is to be congratulated. He came on this trek knowing his knees were not strong and liable to involuntary movement on occasions. Today was painful for him – the constant downhill strain on his legs was unbearable, particularly towards the end of what turned out to be a 9 hour ordeal. On a brighter note, was a visit to the famous Tengboche monastery – this was on our route and provided us with a lunch venue. Buddhism dominates the high regions of Nepal. Hinduism prevails in the south of the country (a kind of invisible import from India which lies beyond the border). In Kathmandu (which is located in the middle of the country) the two great world religions meet and intertwine – quite peacefully. Tomorrow we head for Lukla airport (another very long trek). We hope to be Kathmandu-bound on the 18th. There is a Governmental Election on 19th with the promise of political mayhem and wild threats of civil disobedience (there has been a General Strike in Nepal since 9th). Hey ho!