Yep, this is a picture of the infamous Everest Base Camp. To get here, we had to hike 3 hours from a place called Lobuche to Gorak Shep, and then a further 3hrs after that, to an altitude of 5,300m. That's pretty damn high, and across pretty shitty terrain. Shitty as in a great big glacier that is strewn with huge boulders, just to make it even more of a challenge. I don't think I have ever been as exhausted as I was that day. One hour after Gorak Shep, I knew that my legs literally had nothing left in them. They were walking on pure habit, and a bit of mind over matter. We had been hiking for 8days at this stage, and climbed around 5,000m total. (The trail has a lot of ups and downs). That's pretty tiring. The worst of it was that every step that went closer to Base Camp was another step I would have to come back at the end of the day. And all to get to an empty camp of lots of tents. Totally worth the pain.
There were two highlights to walking to Base Camp. Not the views, because you are getting too close to the mountains to really get a sense of perspective beyond huge. However, the Khumbu Ice Field is just amazing. It is this incredible ice glacier that looks like a frozen sea mid-storm. Huge peaks and troughs in the ice as it moves. The second highlight was a couple of pretty big avalanches. They just tore down the side of the mountain and sounded like thunder. Anyone caught in them wouldn't have stood a chance. Such power.