A slightly rude awakening by the alarm at 5am local time followed by what might well have been the last shower for just over 2 weeks.
No time for breakfast as our bags were weighed in the hotel reception before we headed off to the airport for a domestic flight to Lukla which is inaccessible by road to start our trek!
We had been provided with a breakfast including various pastries in a paper. The moist pastry took ownership of the tissue paper wrapping, such that two become one! Not wanting to waste these precious items, the cake and tissue paper were consumed – with no obvious I’ll effect to date!
We now know Katmandu airport intimately having having spent more that 8 hours there seeing every part from every angle. We know the cleaners and their routines, we can advise on the coolest areas to sit in to avoid the heat of the day. We know the repeating programs on the TV and I have now seen Bear Grylls remove his clothes to bathe in a thermal Icelandic stream more times than I care to remember!
Small opportunities arose to snooze whilst lying on the cool floor under a wobbling ceiling fan in the heat of the day, although these were interrupted all to frequently by the bark of the tannoy announcing every departure apart from those to Lukla which were delayed due to bad weather.
Food was a welcome escape from the delay with the local cuisine being tried in the form of an egg chow mien, with a high garlic content. A further distraction was to be found in the not so nail biting one day international between Hong Kong and Nepal which saw our host nation collapse all to soon enabling “Bare” Grylls to return to the screen once more!
By late afternoon our positive approach to waiting for the weather to clear had turned to the need to accept we would be returning to the airport again tomorrow to await better weather.
Back at The Royal Singi we showered and changed, made the most of happy hour in the bar and agreed to try to hire a helicopter the following day to take us the short distance to Lukla – if the fixed wing flights continued to allude us.
A good evening followed as Phil and I made our way to Thamel to enjoy the hustle and bustle of the streets and shops having meandered by the Royal Palace. I showed my lack of skill at bargaining as Phil saved me from talking the price up – much to the bewilderment of the shop owner, before enjoying watching the world go by as we ate a delicious curry from a roof top restaurant.