Tuesday 10th July.
10/07/2012 - 10/07/2012 23 °C
After a rested night we met for breakfast, Tommy and Tanka were arranging something for be taken back to Lukla and horses that we could ride. All the horses were in the jungle being fed for high season. We waited and waited and eventually the others left, Tommy and I headed downstairs and arranged to meet Tanka by the steps. We went and basked in the sun still recalling the sights, smells and sounds of our conquest relaxing and wallowing in the memories we had created. Tanka arrived after half an hour which was fine as we had done the hard part and knew we would reach Lukla by the evening. When Tanka arrived he was balancing something on his head, he unwrapped it to reveal a slate square with a carving in it painted with enamel saying -
This is what he'd been planning and arranging, it was such a surprise and so thoughtful as he is with all his gifts. We shared the weight as we carried it down to the viewpoint, when we arrived the clouds parted and Everest exposed itself as a final reminder of our visit. Tommy and Tanka dismantled the wall and started to set our memory into it, I just stood and watched admiring my new gift. The workers were gathering watching the stone get set during their rest before the final climb to Namche. The slate looked amazing and we sat and admired it, Tommy was very quiet as asked for lunch so I pulled out the spam sandwiches made by the hotel. He then asked me to stand up after disregarding his sandwich and he got onto one knee. It was the perfect proposal, Everest poked it's head out, the sun was shining, the stone carving was amazing and then the camera ran out of battery.. but we got enough pictures to capture our special moment. The ring was my birthstone - amerthyst which is mined in Nepal and was made when we arrived in Kathmandu. After the celebrating with kisses and hugs we continued on our trek down, I had hours to talk to Tommy about who knew, how long he had planned it for, had he tried to ask already, it was lovely to have the day together in our joy.
After arriving in Namche, I had to think quickly as I knew that we were 1 days walk from luckla, and I didn't want to propose there. While walking through the clouds above the crashing river below, I began to plan another way of proposing to Fiona. Namche reminded me of a place where everyone was building out of stones, so I thought it would be a good idea to get a stone cut and engraved. This could represent my love for her, and would become a permanent fixture of what I had planned to do the next day. We arrived at Namche and I had planned out in my head what to do. But as I had now realized trying to organize a beer on Everest trek was hard enough, nevermind something of these epic proportions! With my guide in toe, we headed to the building site, my plan was to buy a stone. There was hundreds strewn all over the place and I knew if they saw me the price would triple, so I played stupid and sat on the corner watching as my guide Tanka, argued for about 30 mins on the size, shape and price of our preferred stone. Of course, the cost of the stone although hefty will go with me and Tanka to our graves, but we finally managed to get our elusive stone. Our next job was to find a stone mason who would chisel in our details- Tommy R luv Fiona B Everest 2012. The locals discussed what was happening , arguments broke out about who was the best, what the best price would be, what tools to use, how best to do the job- it was hilarious! We eventually settled on a guy who could get the job done in time, it was now 7pm and needed to be ready for 7am the next day, we were cutting it close. We arranged to meet him at 6 am the next morning to inspect his work and pay the due fees. It would take him around 6 hrs to complete the job. That night after lengthy discussions with Tanka, we agreed that the best place for me to propose to FiFi was on a look out point that split the two valleys on the way up to Namche, it was where the locals always stopped for rest before the final ascent into Namche from the south and allowed for stunning views of Everest on a clear day. This would be my spot. This spot, if successfully would remin part of our lives forever.
That night we had a few drinks, relaxed and discussed our plans for our return to Kathmandu, the whole time in my head I was going over what I would say, how I would do it, I played around with the idea what if she said no? How would I react, what would I do? I then convinced myself she would say yes, I'd tactically dropped tips and hints to gage her reaction, and everything seemed positive so I was on the right plan of attack. That night the ring burned a hole in my pocket like nothing ever before, I had been carrying the ring now for nearly 3 weeks, and needed to know that she would like it, was it the right size? All these thoughts were going through my head relentlessly ,
as I drifted in and out of the conversation, all these thoughts were swirling around my head- If I'm honest, I cant even remember what the conversation was about that night !
The next morning I was awake like a bullet going through my head, I got washed, and went to meet Tanka, he had been up from 5 am trying to source some horses, but had been unsucessful. We managed to get the stone carving, it looked fabulous, we then painted it in the hotel, all the guides were there, I had to make sure sure all the other people including FiFi didn't see the surprise. Everyone wanted to wait on me and FiFi so we
could all together trek, down to Lukla. This was a disaster! Upstairs the stone was drying and I had to get it to the view point without anyone gaging what it was! To make it worse, there was no horses to carry it down the mountain, and I had only just realized that the stone weighed in at about 15 kgs! I arranged for me and Fi to wait behind to let the other groups get far ahead, I made up a rubbish excuse about my boots. I told Fi that the pacakge was for Tanka, he was taking it to a friend.
I arranged to meet Tanka 30 mins down the mountain, and sat waiting for him with FiFi. She constantly asked questions about what he has doing, why we had fallen behind etc etc. I told her a few porkys to stop her sussing out what was going on. Eventually Tanka arrived with the stone on his head, ! It hadn't dried in time so FiFi could see what it said. She loved it-and was over the moon. I wondered and worried if she knew anything of my bigger plans? I concluded not and carried on with the days plan. We walked down tithe viewpoint, it was rammed- porters were everywhere, packages were stacked up, it was like Piccadilly circus! I pondered for a few moments- the porters are taking a breather and should be gone soon enough. We then proceeded to take the wall apart, and build our own stone piece into the north facing part of the wall. We got some lovely photos and sat down to wait until the porters would give the privacy I needed. I had arranged for some
sandwiches to be brought along, and so we had a little picnic, crappy spam. As the porters all left , I planned in my head what I would say. With Tanka standing behind me, I nervously asked FiFi to stand up, I fumbled for a second trying to take the ring out of my pocket, as then remembered to get down on one knee, I forget everything I was going to say, and simply blurted out- Fiona Bayliss will you marry me please! She looked at me, with an overwhelming beautiful smile radiating from her face and said .... Yes! I was ecstatic! We then embraced and shared a passionate kiss that represented all that is fabulous in our relationship, for a moment we shared a truly beautiful moment, just us both (and 2 nepali men who wouldn't piss off) on the side of Everest, it was a truly moving moment that will forever be etched in our memories.
Standing up, I then said, my dearest beautiful Fiona, I have truly fallen for you- but what really came out was- I'm gonna marry you , you bitch.
The day could not have worked out anymore perfect! And of course, she said yes.