Asian hike adventure - May 13 - May 31, 2019
What rating do you give a tour when the guides – literally – saved your life? We arrived in Bhutan and began acclimatizing to the higher altitudes. Part of this process included hiking to Tiger’s nest (which was utterly amazing) and we hiked from Cheila Pass to Kila Goemba (a monastery). In regard to altitude, we were hiking at altitudes as high as 3,988 meters. While I did experience some issues, I got through both hikes, relatively, unscathed. In case one wonders, I was taking medicine to help me acclimatize. On day four we began our trek in earnest.
On this initial hike of our trek, we were scheduled to gain, roughly, 770 meters. About 4 miles into a 13 & ½ mile hike I began to experience difficulties, my legs felt extremely heavy and I was having a hard time catching my breath. I sat down on a rock and promptly passed out, the first of ten times. Two of the guides (after administering oxygen a number of times) put me between their shoulders and took me back down to where we started the hike (lower elevation and that was the first place a helicopter could land). When we reached where we started our hike, the tour company had arranged for us to be met by army personnel, including a medic, who administered an IV drop. I was air lifted out and taken to the hospital in Bhutan.
At the hospital, the medical staff treated me for severe dehydration, my kidneys were not functioning properly. I spent two nights, three days in the hospital and the tour company insured that someone was in the hospital with me the entire time, insuring that I understood what was being asked, checking on the care that I was given (chasing down medical staff when they thought I needed attention), bringing food and blankets.
Amazing group of individuals, whose sole concern was for my safety and comfort – if they hadn’t acted the way that they did, it is NOT hyperbole to say that I may not be here today. I cannot say enough good things about them. If you are planning on hiking in Bhutan, I would strongly recommend using them.