We slowly worked our way out of Namche on the well maintained, spectacular trail heading further towards Everest. Bobby had his first uninterrupted view of Everest, Lhotse, Nuptse and Ama Dablam along the way and was in awe of the sheer scale of the mountains.
We stopped in Kangjuma for a hot drink, and Bobby met Tashi, the owner of the lodge, who was in wonderment of his progress through life. Tashi interviewed Bobby on her camera, and could not believe that he had previously been blind and bound to a wheelchair. She told Bobby he has good karma, and then introduced him to her family.
Bobby certainly gains attention along the way, and shares his journey with travelers from around the world. He is a great spokesperson for the objective he has undertaken, and is passionate about improving the lives of people living with disabilities.
Taking on the steep descent to the river, Bobby found it extremely difficult to navigate the terrain. We set up around him, ensuring we softened or caught any falls. The steepness was a phenomenal challenge, as he constantly lost his footing or fell, with someone taking his fall.
Once we reached the river, I knew it was going to be a difficult ascent for Bobby into Tengboche. The trail is steep, dusty and unrelenting, and Bobby would need to dig deep to reach the top. Moving a little better uphill, we stopped for regular breaks, allowing Bobby to rest, but it was clear he was getting tired. He could not believe that we were not breathing heavy, and he quickly gained a new respect and appreciation of the mountains. No training can ever fully prepare you for the challenge of functioning at altitude, you simply have to experience it yourself.
After a solid seven hours of walking, we arrived in Tengboche. The lodge was full, and Bobby quickly made friends, which was a good distraction after the difficult day. He has great will power and resilience, but despite these qualities, we are taking things one day at a time.