Everest Base Camp Trek Part 4/11 - Day 1 on the trek

I was gently woken up at about 5:30 in the morning by two German guys who stayed in the same room as was I. They were getting ready to go to the airport so I introduced myself to them and we even agreed that we can share the same taxi to the airport.

It was their first time in Nepal and not only that - they wanted to go to Everest ase Camp even though they have not done such a long trek before. One even had an artificial leg. Kudos to them!

On the way to the airport, we have encountered long queues mostly of Indian people queuing to get to big temple as today was one of the biggest if not the biggest religious day in Nepal. Some of them started to queue at 3’o’clock in the morning! I was able to snap a couple of pictures from the moving taxi for this event.

The domestic Airport was total chaos. The airline staff would not check me in before 7:30 am and at exactly that moment they have announced that the Kathmandu airport was closed due to adverse weather conditions. Yesterday my flight was canceled as they closed Lukla airport down and today it looked bleak already. As my return flights were booked and fully paid already, I could not afford any more delays as I really wanted to make it to the Everest Base Camp and back.

After about an hour and a half, I was able to check-in and go through the security. Little have I know how long the wait might be. I remember looking at my watch at 12:08 when the pilot turned the engines on.

We have arrived just before 1 pm at Lukla. I was able to capture landing on my mobile - as to how often do you land on the most dangerous airport in the world?

After collecting my bag, I met up with an Ozzie guy - Tom. We decided to grab something to eat before the start of the trek. I have ordered as usual Dal Baht while Tom had a bowl of noodle soup. We had a good chat and get to know each other a little bit better. What a coincidence - to meet an Australian guy after landing in Lukla!

The last task before the trek was to purchase a treking permit from the office below the restaurant. It cost me 2000 NPR as I was trekking on my own and not as a part of a group. Only like 100m further we had to stop yet again at the police checkpoint, where the policeman took our details and wrote them by hand into a big book. There is no need for technology there! Just a simple pen a paper will suffice :-)

And this was the beginning of my solo trek to the Everest Base Camp. We can contemplate on the solo bit a little as today I walked together with Tom, who was in Nepal before and already did the Annapurna circuit on his own. He was sharing his stories and experiences with me while we were walking towards our first destination - Monjo.

I do have to admit that even though I really enjoyed this first part of the trek, I still felt very sad. My sweetheart should have been here with me! I’m sure she would love it as this is something she thrives on. I miss her very much and I did shed a few tears on the way. We have planned to come to Nepal together and now all I have are the tears in my eyes. I know I am not a perfect man, but I really would do everything for her.

Anyway, the first part of the trek was quite interesting, we had to walk through many small villages. Most of the buildings we passed were set up as shops, lodges and restaurants.

As it was not a prime season yet, quite a few were closed or in a state of repair. Just barely 4 years ago the Nepalese people experienced a strong earthquake and subsequent damage arrised from it.

Most of the hikers (trekkers) stopped in a small village just 7mk from Lukla (about 3 hours walk), called Phakding. I and Tom have decided to push towards Monjo as we felt we had time to make it there.

We also saw quite a few yaks, prayer wheels and people repairing and building their houses. Unfortunatelly the weather wasn’t great so I could not really take good photographs. It was very cloudy and dark at places as we were surrounded by high hills / mountains, walking in the deeper valley.

It actually took us just 3 hours and 49 minutes to reach our first teahouse - Mount Kailash Lodge. A lady showed us a couple of rooms to choose from and we both picked a separate room with 2 single beds in them for 200 rupees for the night.

I had to change clothes as I was very sweaty as did Tom and we met up for yet another Dal Baht. I even asked for a top-up. The price was 500 NPR, a bit more than in Kathmandu but that was as expected. Tom even paid for the Internet so I used that opportunity to text my mum.

I was told that it’s like -6 degrees outside which forced me to unpack my sleeping bag. I even put a hat od my head so I am writing these words in comfort in my bed.