OK, so after a daily menu of tea and biscuits at the Kathmandu airport and after having seen every pin and needle there (and a bit of Kathmandu as well) because of flight-cancelations to Lukla 3 days in a row we decided not to wait any longer and a helicopter was arranged which we shared with 2 other guys that had been waiting for 3 days as well. Driving from the airport ‘lounge’ to the heli pad cramped in the back of a pickup, passing some old heli wrecks did not really assure me this was a regular procedure, however once we reached the helipad it turned out to be a fine and shining ‘Magnum PI’ chopper. The helicopter took us to Lukla through some foggy mountains in just about 45 minutes. Now having seen the Lukla landing strip, entrapped by the mountains I understand why a bit of weather can already is an issue here. I would rather land there with a chopper than with a fixed wing but that will be an experience for the return flight back to Kathmandu.
After arrival we were offered some lunch at a local guesthouse and met our porter Babu who’s carrying our bag up the mountain as if it were completely empty. The 2 hour walk that took us to our first stop in Pakhding was very nice going up and down through some little villages above the Dhudkosi River “milkriver”, and received the necessary blessings from the monks.
We thought this walk was pretty heavy to start with but Ang Dawa , our guide, says this was the easy part. If we keep up this pace we’ll reach base camp no sweat and even have time for an attempt of the summit…….;-). Now we’re waiting for a nice diner and will probable sleep very well after that.
Pieter- Bas en Kristel