It’s Fiona here, coming to you from Kathmandu.
Trekking Down from Base Camp
Since we last wrote, we’ve had a great trek out from base camp – with the only hitch being that we were separated from the gear that we wanted for the trek and hence couldn’t update the website (or change into fresh clothes either!). It was pretty funny really because we’d painstakingly separated the things we did want into one bag with everything else (mostly Paul’s climbing equipment) packed into 3 bags.
Every night the 3 expedition bags showed up but the trekking bag was nowhere to be seen. Not to worry, it made it to Lukla in the end.
The trek was a lot nicer than last year’s mainly because we had great weather the whole time – last year we had drizzle and rain almost all the way. The days were still quite long but we started early and managed to fit in some good breaks along the way. A highlight was the potato pancake stop that Paul mentioned in his audio update yesterday (accompanied by yak cheese and chilli).
Party Time in Lukla
On arriving in Lukla, we soon realised that many of the people we had gotten to know at base camp were staying in the same lodge as us. Everyone was in a great mood having finished the last of the trek, so pretty soon, the Everest Beer started flowing. We also enjoyed the “yak sizzler” dish that was quite different from the endless combinations of potatoes and rice we’d been having throughout the trek.
Great Flying Weather
Waking this morning at 5:30am, we were very pleased to see that the skies were clear – despite the lightening and thunder last night. This meant that we had a good chance of flying out today. In the Himalayas, planes don’t use radar and won’t fly in cloudy weather. Last year we had to wait a day in Lukla before flying to Kathmandu, but sometimes it can be as long as a week once the monsoon arrives.
After a quick breakfast, we were told to get to the airport – a very short walk away. We ended up waiting around here for a while but eventually it was our turn to board and we found ourselves sitting nervously on Lukla’s famous runway. Fortunately, the take-off (as well as the rest of the flight), was uneventful and pretty soon we were back in the bustle of Kathmandu.
Organising, but no Flights Onwards Yet
Attila, Reni, Paul and I enjoyed lunch today at a great Indian restaurant that Paul had found on his way in. We spent the afternoon organising various things – sharing photograph and video files, collecting some of our luggage which arrived on a separate flight from Lukla, and attempting to arrange our flights. Unfortunately by the time we arrived at the airline office the queue was so long that they turned us away saying that they would not be serving everyone in line today. So we’re still not too sure what our movements are from here but we’ll get to the airline office early tomorrow and figure it out from there.
Tonight we were planning on spending the evening at Rumdoodle, but Asian Trekking have just said that they’ve organised some sort of party – so we’ll go to Rumdoodle for a drink so that Paul and Attila can sign the famous wall, and then head to Asian Trekking for who knows what. As well as our group, there were several other Asian Trekking teams climbing Everest – over the course of the climb, we got to know most of them pretty well too.
Paul and I also spent a chunk of today catching up on reading all of your messages from the past few days. There’s too many to mention but we got a real buzz from thinking of everyone out there and hearing your kind words.
All the best,