It’s quarter to six in the morning. I just arrived in a taxi at Kathmandu airport. I have booked a local flight to Lukla from where the Everest Base Camp trail starts.
When the gate of the departure-building finally opens, I’m somewhat surprised by the sight of this space: it’s all so old and decrepit, hopefully the planes are more modern.
After the check-in a van takes us to the small plane. We get in one at the time and soon the plane is airborne.
The flight will take about half hour to complete. Unfortunate there are a lot of clouds, so the imposing Himalayan peaks are pity enough out of sight. After half an hour we are told that the plane is going back to Kathmandu: the weather is too bad to land in Lukla. Everyone is disappointed, but anyway, it will probably be a wise decision. Back at the airport in Kathmandu, we wait. There is a television in the waiting room. We see images of a plane that has crashed near the airport in Kathmandu. Quickly one off the airport staff turnes off the television. A plane with 16 tourists and three crew members had crashed nearby the Kathmandu-airport, there where no survivers. It happened just after our landing. We are all shocked.
In the early afternoon the authorities give the airport free again, the weather is cleared and we leave for a second attempt. The landing at the airport in Lukla is quite thrilling: a very short runway in the mountains, as soon as the wheels touched it the plane went full braking and turned right for the terminal. We had landed safely.
The whole event of today had created a sort of band: we had formed a group spontaneously and with five people we went on our way.
We decided to walk a loop, first to Namche Bazar, then to Gokhyo, via the Cho La Pass to the base camp and then go back to Lukla.
In between we welded some rest days to get used to the altitude. The beginning of the trail was not too difficult, we were mainly in a middle high mountain area, which was surrounded by impressive, towering snow peaks.
To find a sleeping place is no problem: along the trail are numerous guesthouses where you can stay for little money, only the food is pretty expensive, and is getting more expensive when you get higher in the mountains.
The guesthouses are really good places to stay: the rooms are neat and clean and the food is good and varied. In Gohkyo we remain for a few days. We climb the Gokhyo-mountain and enjoyed the incredable view from an altitude of 5400 meters. Unfortunately, the Everest was out of sight because of some annoying clouds.
After our stay in Gokhyo we headed for the promising Cho La Pass. First we had to walk across a glacier before we could cross the pass. After a steep climb we thought we did the pass, but to our surprise, the pass still had to come, it was a very steep snowy mountain and from the place we looked at it, it looked almost imppssible to cross Anyway, many others had been before us, so perhaps it only looked quite hard from here and could be crossed easy.
The only thing that was worried me was the fact I felt quite sick, it was not because of the height, but I had problems with my stomach and a slight fever.
As the snow came down and toiling we pushed our way up, not really a harmless climb. Finally we reached the top and descended slowly. Again we had to cross a snowy glacier, what I normally wouldn’t do. After a long descent, we arrived in the village Dzong La. I went to my bed and fell asleep immediately.
Because I really felt sick the next day I decided to skip the trail to the Everest Base Camp. Together with Alex from America and Tal from Israel, we went back to Lukla. No Everest Base Camp, but anyway this trip was an impressive and memorable experiencense.