(day 1 - London to Abu Dhabi;
day 2 - to Kathmandu;
day 3 to Lukla and beyond)
Our cheery group fills up the back 3 rows of the aeroplane, causing a stir in our blue Marie Curie tee shirts. Just audible is the mumbled captain's welcome speech overhead... "welcome to a group... Mary Curry... base camp of... Everest in nipple..." we had a little cheer!
Rosie and I hid in a forgotten corner of Abu Dhabi airport to try and catch some zeds, but the airport workers are slowly filling up the room where we are camping on the floor, with wheelchairs.
When they needlessly begin to play chinese checkers with them, arranging and rearranging, we go and find the others in the huge hall filled with a colourful tiled ceiling. Dan is using his packet of Tayto crisps (amazing sponsor for the group) as a pillow.
We excitedly bustled through Kathmandu domestic airport super early, before realising that fog had grounded our planes for the time being. Poor Laila was so wound up about the flight she was barely concious. Pocari Sweat helped Lisa.
The tiny aeroplane held a lovely but hastled stewardess, half of our group and a Nepali couple. The wife had her face screwed up and her fingers in her ears the entire 30 minute trip. The trip was stunning, and the landing hair-raising. This view of the cockpit dash is amazing - "terrain advisory" it flashes, as the plane is heading stright for the mountain.
The light at Lukla was a revalation. Clear, bright, thin. We walked for about 4 hours to Monju through beautiful hilly sunshiny scenary and started to get to know each other.
extra marvellous pic: