4/5/2004: We arrived healthy in Nyalam.
It is not a joke; we arrived healthy in Nyalam (3750
meter) on fool’s day (April 1st). We experience the altitude difference with
Zangmu or Kathmandu, but we still feel fine.
Tomorrow we should have a better indication for our
health. We measured our blood-oxygen level and it was reasonable for this
altitude. At sea level it is 98%, here it is in between 73% (Ron) and 88%
(Rex). It helps to measure the blood-oxygen level and hart rate on a regular
base. The Czechs have a special device for this. It is large and heavy but
useful. We also eat nutrition supplements from Optipharma for better
acclimatization. And we drink a lot and eat a lot of extra garlic. The Chinese
food doesn’t vary much during the day. It is basically a lot of rice, with
vegetables and meat. We might get bored of it after a couple of days, but we
will eat it anyway.
Wilco remembered from 2002 that the journey from
Zangmu to Nyalam took over five hours. But the road has been improved
significantly, so it took us two hours this time. It could have been even
shorter if the engine had no overheating problems. The bus driver solved it by
switching the heater on maximum and by throwing water on the engine. It
This morning we had the worsted in Zangmu. After
waiting a very long time we had to report at the customs again. We had to line
up in the same order as the names on our permit. Than we were inspected by
Chinese soldiers like we were cattle. Our passport pictures were compared to
our faces and also our names had to be identical on all documents. Luckily we
had changed Rex’s first name on the permit for his Christian names Hendricus
Johannes Egbert Marie from his passport.
The journey to Zangmu on March 31st took more time.
After we left Kathmandu, were we received a flower necklace, the road was to
curved and uncomfortable for Rex. A part of his just eaten breakfast ended on
the side of the road. Today it went much better, also because it was shorter
Drinking Whisky for acclimatization?
Ron, Rex and Wilco travel together with three Czech
climbers. Wilco: ”I share a room with them and they act like their reputation:
Czech climbers are strange people. They are tough and they have their own
rules. You should never underestimate them! An example: they drink Chinese
Whiskey (which is very cheap) and they are convinced it helps them to
They brought the blood oxygen level measurer. Our
(Rex, Ron and Wilco) average level is 77%; their level is almost 90%. After an
acclimatization trip to 4500 meter their level increased to almost 100% and
Wilco’s level to 81%. Could we conclude that drinking Whiskey helps to
Greetings, Wilco, Ron and Rex
Pictures copyright the Dutch Mt Everest expedition