I’m writing this as I sit here in the airport in Kathmandu, we’ve been through security at least 6 times. Been patted down in a small cupboard they call ‘security’ many times and the conversation noise is very loud. A man is washing the floor with a huge mop that looks less than hygienic. At least the floor is wet. There are hundreds of people milling around and we three ladies are sure in the minority.
I slept fitfully during the night. It was warm enough to sleep without covering and a relief not to have the air conditioner on which plays havoc with my asthma.
I was aware that I needed to be up at 4.15 so of course at 2.00 am I woke to hear Hilary and Donald chiding each other on CNN. I had fallen asleep with the TV on and the sound reverberated around the room breaking the silence with Hilary’s laughter and Donald creating a ‘c’ in the air with his right hand. Why does he do that?
Our early morning start was for a 6.30 am flight around Mt Everest, what a way to spend your 70th birthday.!!!! Well it will be in a few days.
After that flight we were catching another flight to a small city at the base of Everest called Pokhara and it meant a 5.15 am start to the airport in a taxi no bigger than a golf cart. He had to go slow or else our small cases would have decapitated us at a sudden stop. There were few people out on the streets but a few hardy souls, were walking with purpose to an unknown destination joined by a few dogs and the lone cow.
We had to leave our main luggage at the hotel and we will collect it in 4 days on our return. That meant a major re-shuffle of luggage, 4 pairs of shorts and t’s. Don’t forget your vitamins, clean undies and of course the cameras and computers.
The entrance to the airport was a bit of a bun fight…. No such thing as an orderly line, just a gathering of humanity. We three stuck together like sheep and we made it through security. It’s a bit like a country airport, and it gives me a little concern that I have to catch an international flight from here in 6 days time.
We Checked in for our Everest flight and was shuttled on a bus to our plane. At least the weather is cooler than in India so it was a pleasant ride of sorts. On to the plane and there were just 20 single seats either side of the plane. I was really lucky and got a seat over the wing…. Gees Louise all I could see was a darn big propeller and a blue fuselage. There was no room for a camera bag and a back pack so I was scrunched, lucky I’m short. I used 3 cameras, this was to be the shots of a life time. I mean I don’t think any other Grandma from Aldgate was flying around Mt Everest today.
Suddenly we saw the mountains and one by one we were invited up to the pilots cabin to view it out of the front window… Magic, just magic and for about 30 minutes we circled so that everyone could get a good view. It was difficult to see but really worth the effort.
The flight took an hour or so and then we landed back in Pokhara with a thump.
The scenery below was breathtaking but I only managed to get images of the houses that look forever like Lego blocks on a green mat as we landed.
It was almost 8.00 am and the tummy was rumbling, but we had to go through the same process as before… Line up with the masses, go through security, stand in the wardrobe and be patted down and then we could look for breakfast.
We were ushered upstairs to a small bare room that was called a restaurant, there were a few other hardy souls there too and we ordered eggs and coffee. My eggs were boiled, the toast was like cardboard but it filled a small space and the milky coffee was boiling hot and worth a second cup.
Then we had yet another flight to Pokhara and that is another story.
I have to write this out by the pool because it’s the only place I can get internet. Its pitch dark and the bugs are attacking me. This is the scene during the day time.