24
Feb

Anti-Climax

By: muttler
my bag... not going anywhere

my bag… not going anywhere

 

27/01/2018 – Stranded in Lukla (2830m)

Oh, the disappointment.

After the perfect trip I guess something was bound not to go to plan and alas it was on our last day. Bright and early (i.e. 5am) we were up and getting ourselves ready to wander down to Lukla airport for our early morning flight back to Kathmandu. The wake up call did not come as expected but I was awake as a fe were so we all met in the dining room. Pasang let us know that the clouds had settled in so there was no point heading down to the airport yet as nothing would be happening for a little while. But he was full of optimism that we would be off during the morning. Having had our delay in Kathmandu due to similar circumstances we were happy enough, although that started to fade a bit as we were offered breakfast at the lodge rather than head to the airport.

So we waited. And waited some more. Then yay! It was all systems go so we grabbed our bags and wandered to the airport. We went through security and waited along with a dozen or so other hikers in the freezing cold waiting area. We didn’t have a thermometer, but it was clearly below zero and none of us were that prepared. But oh well, we wouldn’t be here long. Or so we thought.

An hour passed. Then another. Then another. The sound of a helicopter got the whole room excited that a plane was arriving but alas, no. With every minute were were getting sadder or more frustrated. It wasn’t dire… none of us *had* to be in Kathmandu by tonight, but we had all been dreaming of our hot showers that were awaiting.

At about 3pm Pasang called it and decided we were better off waiting at the lodge. He was still hopeful we would be flying back, but he could see we were all cold and thought it best we were somewhere a little warmer. So back we went, but I had the feeling we were done. After an hour or so, it was official… we were spending another night in Lukla.

Everyone was pretty bummed. I mean in the grand scheme of things it wasn’t that much of an issue, but I would be lying if, at the time, it didn’t take some shine off the trip. In hindsight I hardly think of this, but right then all we wanted was a hot shower, a big meal, and to be celebrating success in Kathmandu at our farewell dinner. Instead, our farewell dinner would be in the lodge here in Lukla. Oh well. I made it to Everest Base Camp so things weren’t so bad 🙂

24
Feb

Back to Lukla

By: muttler

IMG_8887

 

26/01/2018 – Chumoa (2750m) to Lukla (2830m)

Done!

Another relatively short day today to get us back to where it all began in the mountains, Lukla. Interesting we would start and end at basically the same altitude. 5 hours of “Nepali Flat” awaited and then we would be back for our final night in the Himalayas.

I was feeling great but there was the sense in the group that we were all keen to be done. Not that we were struggling or had enough, but having reached our goal, and with Kathmandu (and running water!) so close we just wanted to get there. So off we hoofed it.

 

last views of everest

last views of everest

 

During the way back we got to our last view of Everest, back where we saw her first. I’m not sure how everyone else was, but for me it was quite sad to think I may not ever see Mount Everest again with my own eyes. Who knows though hey? I had certainly loved the hiking and could easily see myself back to explore more of the Himalayas.

 

IMG_8879

 

IMG_8883

 

The only real breaks were for some tea in Phakding (the location of our first night in the mountains) and a bit of lunch along the way too. At about 1:45pm we were back in Lukla. Wow. We were back… what a strange feeling. It was hard to imagine we were back from having been to Base Camp. We all celebrated with a drink, most of downing an Everest beer (when in Rome). It was fine, but boy was it gone quick!

I decided to go for a wander during the afternoon, but like Namche, the town was very quiet due to the low season. My highlight was having some fun with some of the local kids, my soccer practice from the night before coming in very handy.

It was our last night with the porters, so we all had dinner together and made our appreciation known. Pasang gave a lovely speech, as tomorrow we would all be in Kathmandu and beginning to go our own ways. Our 3 porters were amazing… the hard workers behind the scenes getting our bags where they needed to be. If this trip contributed to their livelihoods a little then I was very happy to do my small part.