Wednesday, 30 April 2014
After a refreshing stay at the Panorama Lodge, complete with much-needed showers, we caught a helicopter from Namche to Lukla. For weeks, we walked by foot and everything moved slowly around us. Now, we soared above trails, bridges and valleys on which we once meandered. Our short 15-minute flight dropped us at the tiny Lukla airport where we promptly ... waited. Fixed wing flights in and out of Lukla are pretty fickle. They are often delayed by fog or slight winds. An 8 knot wind up the 500-meter runway shuts all flights down.
All of us have seen this drill before.. Five years ago, I spent 2-1/2 days in Lukla, waiting for flights to resume. Today, I gave up my Zen demeanor for a moment and agreed to pay for a helicopter to Kathmandu for Jim, Jetha, and our gear. It arrived a few hours later (they have fewer condition restrictions than fixed-wing aircraft), and we were in Kathmandu in 50 minutes. (This turned out to be a good decision because the Lukla airport was still closed as I write this on May 2.)
Kathmandu was its usual bustling, dusty self. We managed to catch the evening rush hour, a strange concept after being in the mountains so long. Finally, we reached the Malla Hotel and recovered bags we had left there a month ago. Shane, Barbara and Jeff were still there, awaiting their flights out of the country. Jim went to a Ministry meeting at the very posh Yak and Yeti hotel. Shane, Barbara and I snuck out to the Roadhouse restaurant for cold beer and great pizza. Tomorrow, they start their journey home.
Lots of love to our family and friends.
Posted by: Scott Williams
Please consider providing support for dead and injured Sherpa: TheJuniperFund.org
Blogs by other members of the expedition
Shane - http://HeartHealthyEverestClimb2014.blogspot.com
Steve - http://Wetumpka2Everest.blogspot.com
Jeff - http://www.highpeakadventures.com/high_peak_adventures/web_log/web_log.html