In October 2013 I celebrated my 70th birthday (actually in September) and realised a life-long ambition to walk to Base Camp Everest. I wanted to take the opportunity to make my experience a positive one by raising money and I chose to fundraise for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research, as unfortunately I lost a very dear friend, with who I had shared the dream with of doing Everest together, to lymphoma last year.
It was a truly amazing time and knowing where to start is near impossible but the flight into Lukla was the first of many highlights. We flew in a 12-seater aircraft and the view on the approach to landing was staggering – a small uphill strip of tarmac perched on the side of a mountain, and a mighty cheer when we landed safely. Apparently it is the number one landing viewed in the world on the social network sites.
The 20 days of trekking, in what must be some of the very best and exciting scenery in the world with beautiful blue skies and white top mountains was only surmounted by reaching Everest Base Camp itself. Achieving the goal of a lifetime made it difficult to hold back tears of sheer excitement and personal achievement, memories and feelings that will, I am sure, last a lifetime.
The trek was led by a “Sherpa Tensing” (not related to the famous one) but a highly skilled, experienced, informative and confident trekker who made it not just interesting, but exciting, highly informative and safe for all of us. I guess, being as I was 70 years at the time, I had more than my share of admiration and respect than can be expected. The memories will, I am sure, be with me for ever and somewhere I can escape to when life is not all it should be.
The final overwhelming experience was the generous contributions and very kind comments posted on the “Just Giving Charity website” - totally unexpected and humbling.