Monday - 07 April 2014
Knock, knock, knock Good Morning!!! The call came very early this morning. All bags down and separated into different piles for trekking, base camp and to stay in KTM for our return. Looks like all made the weight limit.
Driving to the airport at 5AM the streets are much less crowded than midday. The only really big group of people were those lined up outside the passport office. It is amazing the long line of folks applying for a passport in KTM. They will stand all night to get a chance to apply for a passport. I am sure the line will get longer and longer as the day progresses.
It will be a great relief to be out of the KTM valley with the pollution and the dust. Even in the early morning the headlights have a yellow glow from all the dust in the air. It is hard to imagine how you would stay fit living in KTM. Running would certainly be out of the question. I have managed to do very little activity while in KTM. Things will change.
After a slight delay at the airport due to fog we were off for Lukla. We were on the 1st flight in a few days that made it "on time" a truly odd concept in Nepal. As I learned many years ago you are "on time" if you are within the hour promised and on flights that often extends to being on time if you fly the day your ticket is booked. We were lucky as we made it in the early morning of the day we were scheduled to fly.
After a bumpy flight, a good solid landing at Lukla, we hired porters for our bags. We are off to Phakding for lunch. Many years ago we would spend the night at Phakding as it is the lowest point between Lukla and Namche Bazaar. Today since we arrive by 8:30AM we will plan to walk to Monjo which is located just below the Sagarmatha National Park entrance gate.
Today's walk was my very first real test of my repaired ankle. As my surgeon had given me permission to walk on uneven ground I put it to the test by walking almost 6 hours over rocks and along a dirt track, uphill and down, across swinging bridges and small logs. It was a real challenge. I am certain there will be more challenges to come.
Written by: JMW
Individual Expedition Blogs:
Shane Jones: http://hearthealthyeverestclimb2014.blogspot.com/
Steve Slaughter: http://wetumpka2everest.blogspot.com
Jeff Witt: http://www.highpeakadventures.com/High_Peak_Adventures/Web_Log/Web_Log.html
Ready and waiting at the airport in KTM!!!!