So, Wednesday's destination was Lobuche, 500m higher. The first few hundred yards are always the hardest, and the climb out of Dingboche was a breathless stretch eased only by the early morning sun on the mountains down the valley.
We were accompanied by 3 dogs who trotted along effortlessly and later spent their time showing up our breathlessness by rolling round play fighting and having a whale of a time. We ambled over more forgiving paths for a couple of hours, following the contours rather than crossing them, taking a rest at a yak herder's hut and admiring the views.
After a huge lunch we had a big climb up to Thokla Pass, a windy and chilly but beautiful pass where dozens of memorials commemorate those lost to the mountains.
The final push was more gently undulating to Lobuche, with stunning views and yaks and calves wandering round the village - here we finally broke out the down jackets, brrrrrrrr!
It got really real that evening as we were given our electronic tag wristbands for Monday - eek!
Yesterday we would break the 5000m barrier! The whole of the day's walk was along the Khumbu Glacier with absolutely incredible mountain views all round. All the big Himalayan peaks were in view, and for a short time, the summit of Everest peeked out above Nuptse's ridge. The route again was undulating (there's no such thing as flat here...) with some steep climbs and steep downhills, but the views from the high points made it worthwhile. From one of the high points you could even see the tiny little orange dots that form Everest Base Camp!
We frequently had to move to one side of the path for trains of yaks carrying their colourful cargo, or porters with impossibly large loads hurrying past to their destination.
A free afternoon and sun shining, we took the opportunity to walk over to the edge of the moraine where we could take in the stunning views, take a few photos and sit quietly contemplating the huge challenge ahead of us and all those we're doing this for.