Sunday, November 23, 2008

Day 2 - We're on the Trail

Friday 10 October

Here I sit in my orange tent (my home for the next 22 days) and I have already had to give myself the silly award for the day. The Sherpa's came around with our bowl of hot water (for our evening wash) and I succeeded in knocking the bowl over!! I couldn't believe it. A mad panic, luckily we pulled everything outside, the corner of my mattress being the only casualty.

This morning was a very early start, up at 3.30am, dressed, bags down to reception, quick breakfast and onto the bus to the airport. Now this was and experience. Hopeful trekkers lined up from the airport out into the car park, lots of pushing and shoving. We got our first taste of some of the bad manners that some groups of trekkers can display!! We eventually got through the pretend bag checking station. (Our bags are loaded onto the conveyor belt and slide through the Xray machine, funny bit is the two men who are watching the baggage are in deep conversation with one of their mates and not even looking at the luggage!) Finally after more pushing and shoving and a body frisk we were into the terminal. We were advised, because of the backlog of trekkers wanting to fly through to Lukla World Expeditions had made special arrangements for us, and that we would definitely be getting a flight out that morning.

Next surprise! we were loaded onto a small bus with another group, and whisked across the tarmac to a small hanger with army planes in the front. Yes, our special flight was an army parachute plane complete with a very attractive, smiling soldier in battle fatigues as our hostess. We sat on bench seats, with our luggage piled up in the middle. What a buzz!!!

After a 30 minute flight and the "have to see to believe" landing in the little airport of Lukla, we met out head Sherpa for the trip Mani, and made our way through the crowds of villagers watching the planes land around to our starting point where all the Sherpas, cooks and porters were preparing for our trek. Soon it was on with our backpacks, and off we go. Ringi was the leading sherpa today, keeping a steady pace with a few stops, to help us acclimatise.(2,800m).

Today's was an easy 4 hour trek, through beautiful, lush farmland, crossing a couple of quite large suspension bridges and following the boiling milky blue-green waters of the Dudh Kose (Milk) River. When we arrived at our camping ground our bright orange tents were already set up, and afternoon tea of hot tea and biscuits followed quickly.

There were a couple of other groups camped in the same ground. One group was returning from the same trek that we are doing. Dinner was served in our Mess tent, three courses of pretty delicious camp food. Good thing I am doing a lot of walking, to burn all those carbs off!!

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