Lukla to Phakding
What an exciting start to our much anticipated expedition to Everest Base Camp! Landing safely on a STOL runway of an incline gradient of a 12 storey building and length of 70m, we arrive in Lukla, a town 2800m high. This is an airport which is rated as one of the world's most dangerous airports to fly in/out of.
We start off our journey disinfecting and prepare our water supplies, with the new knowledge and skills gained during our informative lecture sessions. We also meet our fantastic team who make all this possible for us: Phula Sherpa, or more affectionately known as 'Super Phula!', our team guide and leader, and his team of other guides and porters. We start our walk through beautiful landscapes of plummeting canyons, milky blue streams, looming mountains, along trails dotted with new spring wild flowers. The air is refreshing and clean (with a hint of yak/donkey of course), and the pace is gentle, a perfect first walk.
After we arrive at Phakding and unpacked at Sunrise Lodge, we continued drawing on the expertise of our wilderness medicine experts in the team, learning about Acute Mountain Sickness, and Pre/Post travel Preparation, Evacuation considerations.
Here is a short haiku which sums up the first perfect day:
Trekking up the hill,
Breath grows short, and I stumble.
Oh, the pack does weigh!