I did this trip in late November four years ago. You can buy a hot bowl of water in any lodge for 50nr, take it to your room and wash things. We did ours on arrival at a lodge prior to our rest days to make sure clothes dried. I didn't care to shower because of the extreme cold so I would get a bowl of boiling water, take it to our room, quickly strip off and wash, starting at the head and working down, then shave with what was left. Surprisingly efficient but not so good for my wife with long hair!
It is very cold when you are going and you will need lots of warm things. If you are hiring sleeping bags from Exodus and they have a seperate liner make sure you use it. We left ours ar Kathmandu because we didn't want the extra stuff bag and used our own sheet liners - they weren't warm enough. We discovered, after many cold nights, that all lodges have blankets which they will provide if you are cold, you only have to ask.
If you haven't already done it you still have time to visit your doctor and get Dukoral, you may need to pay for the prescription. It's an oral vaccination (tastes nice) against Cholera which also has the happy side effect of preventing travellers trots and kills all Ecoli type bacteria. It's a godsend to trekkers and alsts about 3 months after taking it.
It's a fabulous trek and you'll love it. I did a journal which is on the link below. I've just popped to the forum to ask a question about Laos and saw your query, if there is anything else
I don't know how I sent two replies, they just sort of appeared!
Re-reading my message I see I managed to miss uploading the end of my post - not very good with these emails!
So... as I was saying if there is anything I can help you with just ask or email me. I have been to Nepal twice with Exodus, Annapurna Circuit and the Gokyo Trek, and I found their organisation on the ground brilliant. Their leaders and porters are first rate and you feel very secure. I uploaded my journals and some photos for both treks and they are here , I have tried to describe it exactly as it was:
Carry a tube of hand wash in your bag and use it without fail before eating and after touching toilet doors, take with you a general antibiotic such as Cipro and Diamox tablets for altitude, just in case (buy both in Kathmandu) and a jar of Nescafe (essential!) and you should have a great time! I didn't need Diamox on the Annapurna Circuit but did in Gokyo; if you have difficulty sleeping or eating at altitude then talk to your leader and take the Diamox, they help enormousl.
Have a great trek, it's a wonderful experience.
When we did the Annapurna Circuit I was really sick. Another of our group got Giardia and was ill the whole trek, losing about 2 stones., he was practically carried round and can't have enjoyed his trek at all. A couple of years later we did the Markha Valley Trek in Ladakh and I tried taking Dukoral. I still had a day or two of feeling unwell but not the Screaming Ab-Dabs which I had in Nepal. We took it again for Gokyo and I was still sicky for a day or so but I think it was altitude and the fact I hadn't slept for two nights, coupled with the hard climb to Namche. It wasn't the dreaded Ab-Dabs! Nepal is a Third World country and we are an easy target for all the bugs, but so is Tanzania and you were ok there? If you take Dukoral you might still get sick but you won't get Giardia or any of the Ecoli food poisoning type of bugs and that's a big bonus. Our doctor gave us a prescripton free but our friends had to pay for theirs, luck of the draw. If you look at the Nepal forum, www.trekinfo.com, and search on Dukoral you'll see it is popular with trekkers. Of course, some people go to Nepal and eat what they like and never get sick, you might be one of those lucky ones.
Sorry to gatecrash your exchange with Andrea but I have a question if you don't mind? I am trying to decide whether to do the original Everest Camp Trek or the Everest and Gokyo Lakes Trek. Do you think the extra time for the lakes too is worth it? It is categorised as a harder trek than just Everest Base Camp - did you find this to be the case i.e. was Gokyo Ri and the pass harder than base camp and Kala Pattar? I am up for a challenge but at the same time, want to enjoy my holiday!
PS - Loved your journals - really helps me get a grasp of what the trek entails.
I haven't done the Base Camp Trek but I think they are about the same in difficulty. The general consensus amongst those who have done both (Yakshaver and co. on Trekinfo) is that Gokyo is the better trek. The scenery is better and the trails are quieter, we noticed a big drop in other trekkers as soon as we turned off the Base Camp trail after Kyanjuma. That means the lodges are quieter and the whole thing gets more exciting. It is quite tough - not so much the trekking as the cold and lack of creature comforts in the evening. Even so I wouldn't have missed it for the world and next year we hope to return for the Manaslu Trek.
If you cut and paste this link I've done a search on Trekinfo for Gokyo threads - lots of them to browse through and some real experts read the forum and would answer any query a lot better than me!
Thank you for your reply - the link to the trekinfo website was great and it answered a lot of my questions. Do you think the Gokyo trip is a good choice for a first trip to Nepal? Your journal about Annapurna Circuit made it sound really tempting....! Unfortunately too little time off work and too many choices!
Thanks for your kind words about my journals. We did the Annapurna Circuit in 2002 with Exodus and the four of us still reckon that it was the 'holiday of a lifetime!' Maybe because it was our first time in Nepal? The AC is the perfect trek, it starts at low altitude and warm, gradually ascends to Thorung La then a long descent. It's a nice balance between gentle and hard trekking and passes through several cultures, whereas the Gokyo trek 'only' sees the Sherpa culture. We preferred the AC but Gokyo is more of a challenge and has incredible views which you are right in the middle of. Gokyo is harder physically and if you only have a couple of weeks then it would be much more exciting than, say, the Annapurna Sanctuary.
So yes, Gokyo is a fine choice for a first trip but overall we preferred the AC, although when we did it the new road through the Kali Gandaki hadn't been built - don't know how that has affected the experience.
Hope this helps a bit but whatever you choose, if it's in Nepal you will love it.
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