Debbie, Brendoncare’s Queen of the Mountains!
We at Brendoncare are in awe of Debbie Boothroyd, our Office Manager and PA to the Chief Executive, who successfully completed her 11 day trek through the Himalayas. Her challenge also raised more than £1500 towards Brendoncare’s vital work helping older people during these winter months through its community clubs and online support services.
As Debbie explains, her challenge was not for the faint-hearted.
“Now that I’m back at sea level, and have had a bit of time to reflect on my epic journey in the Himalayas, I’ve come to the conclusion that it was the experience of a lifetime never to be repeated!!
“There were many highs and lows (pun intended!). I was pushed to my limit physically, mentally and emotionally. I’ve learned lots about myself, that I’m capable of more than I thought and able to find a little bit of extra grit when I need it most.
“I met some truly amazing people, from the guides and porters who looked after us all from start to finish, the most supportive and inspirational group of trekking buddies, and the wonderfully welcoming and constantly smiling Nepalese people.
“Watching the Nepalese people carry back-breaking weights up the mountains as if they were feathers, while I struggled to walk more than a couple of steps at a time some days, really made me appreciate how lucky I am.
“I was aware that everything about the trip would be basic, but it’s only when you get to your first toilet stop that you realise what that really means! Put it this way, squats are no longer hard work!! The food was plentiful but plain, and there were days where I just couldn’t eat any more noodles or rice. The tea houses varied in comfort and cleanliness; they have a communal dining area where trekkers gather round yak dung-fired heaters and spend their evenings playing cards.
“The bedrooms are plywood boxes with a raised platform and piece of foam for a bed, but all provided blankets and pillows and some even had en-suite toilets!! Showers consisted of wet wipes for 10 days – it wasn’t long before you really didn’t care!!
“And then there was the actual walking! Out of our group of 12, only five of us completed the whole trek, which shows you how hard it truly is. The higher up we got, the harder everything became, where even bending over to tie up a shoelace made you out of breath.
“The hardest day for me was getting up at 4.30am to hike up Kala Patthar, which is 5,644m (18,519ft). Following a line of head torches up the hill, you reach a false summit, only to be subjected to a scramble on hands and knees over boulders to take you to the top, which is festooned with prayer flags and offers spectacular views of Everest bathed in glorious early-morning sunlight.
“I had the absolute best time of my life in the Great Himalayas, but it was also one of the hardest things I have ever done. I’m sure I will look back with pride at what I accomplished, but for now I’m happy with a comfy bed and a hot bath!”
Find out more about how you can get involved with fundraising activities for Brendoncare.