Trekking in Nepal – Everest Trek Schedule 18
Saturday 11th November
During the night a call of nature made me get up. It had finally stopped raining. The stars were visible in what was now a cloudless night sky. Someone up there must have been listening! Hopefully it will last so that we can fly back to Kathmandu in the morning.
There was a promising start to the morning when I woke up to clear blue skies. This put me in an optimistic mood. After breakfast I checked in at the Everest Air office. The guy in charge said that no flights would be leaving until 10-11 a.m. due to fog in Kathmandu. All I could do was wait and hope for the fog to clear quickly. Anu was also there to collect provisions to take back to Namche. He was pleased to see me again.
To pass the time, I played cards with Marci, Paul and Windy. At around 10 a.m. two Asian Air helicopters landed. They did not hang around for long. I went outside and waited for the Everest Air flight to come in. A Nepali Air helicopter landed followed by an RNAC aeroplane. The runway must be open now. Watching the plane take-off was quite spectacular because it only left the runway that ended at the edge of the precipice at the last moment. Beyond that point there is just thin air and a deep abyss. The take off is supposed to be a hair-raising but an exhilarating experience.
A long time elapsed before the next aircraft landed. As we waited for our flights ominous looking clouds began to fill the sky. Then at 11:30-11:45 a.m., just as my patience was wearing thin, an Everest Air chopper landed. It was evident that there were not going to be many more flights because the clouds were rapidly closing in. I bade farewell to the others and arranged to rendezvous at Helena’s tomorrow at 4 p.m. for a reunion.
It was a mixture of delight and relief when we took off. The views were not as spectacular as those on the inward flight due to the overcast sky. We landed in Kathmandu about 2 p.m. After collecting my rucksack, a taxi to Kathmandu was shared with two Danish guys. We negotiated the fare with the taxi driver before leaving the airport – 150 rupees split three ways.
Tonight will be spent at the Holy Lodge, which is just round the corner from Kathmandu Guest House. It is only 175 rupees a night and is about ten times cheaper than KGH.
I was famished so went to Pumpernickels Bakery for lunch. An egg salad sandwich, a cinnamon roll and a piece of cake were ordered. It certainly looked very appetising. On turning to find a seat, who should I see but Tania. It was lovely to see her again and we gave each other a big hug. Tania had thought it was me, but wasn’t sure because I was unshaven and without my cap. However, she had no doubts when she saw my tray of food! Tania introduced me to Kath, her friend from Australia.
While we were talking, I learnt that Jill and Tania had been fortunate enough to get a flight out of Lukla within two hours of arriving at the airstrip. Some people have all the luck! Tania told me everyone had a good time at the party on 5th November, and that it was a shame I hadn’t been there. I also discovered why Peter had left Gokyo early without Paul and I. Apparently there had been an argument between Peter and Brent.
The remainder of the afternoon was spent traipsing around Durbar Square in search of a pullover for Sally. Nothing caught my eye. There were many intriguing sights, especially in the crowded maze of streets, courtyards and alleys in the market area north of Durbar Square. Enquiries were made about bus fares to and from Pokhara. The average fare is between 200-225 rupees but Avi’s Tours only charge 150 rupees. While looking at the T-shirts in the shops near KGH I bumped into Windy.
Dinner was vegetable tiramisu and chips at the Rum Doodle Doo restaurant. From there I went to collect my gear that had been stored at KGH during the trek. My clothes were filthy so they were given a much needed wash.