October 24, 2006:
Lukla to Kathmandu
Stayed in bed until almost 8 am. Packed my stuff and had breakfast. Oatmeal porridge...hmmmmm.
Our flight is now postponed. While having breakfast, we watched the planes take off land from the
lodge's dining room.
Around 10:15 am we got the
ok to go to the airport (2
minutes walk). Security
check was a joke and then
we were sitting around in the
"Departure Lounge" waiting
for our Yeti Airlines flight to
return from Kathmandu. We
finally left Lukla at 12:15
pm. It is just great when the
plane races down the runway
and takes off shortly before
the edge of the abyss. Had
some nice mountain views on
the 30 minute flight. I was
sitting again in the last row
next to the flight attendant.
Again, same procedure as
with the first flight to Lukla.
The girl told me I should sit
next to her in the last row.
Hmmm...these Nepali flight
attendants sure like me as
they always want me to sit
next to them...or is it
because I am so tall and they
just want me to be
comfortable? Nah...they like
me!
After getting our bags from "Domestic
Baggage Claim", Bharat and I took a
cab back to the L'Annapurna Hotel. I
took a long long shower and cleaned up.
Bharat and I then met up again at 5 pm
in Thamel. We went shopping. I bought
a couple of pictures and then we bought
new hiking shoes for Bharat. His old
ones sucked as evidenced on his slips on
Cho La, after which I told him that I
would buy him some new boots. Then
we went to the Pilgrim Book Store.
Gosh, I loved this store!!!! I could buy
many, many books in there.
After the bookstore, we had dinner at La Dolce Vita in
Thamel. I had some good pizza there. During dinner,
Bharat invited me to visit his house and family. His
home is about 10 minutes walking distance from the
restaurant. The house was built by the family. Bharat
has a nice big room on the ground level. I met his
sister, his brother and his wife and his niece and
nephew. I had a very pleasant time meeting his family.
His brother invited me for dinner for October 30, the
day we were supposed to be back from our Poon Hill
trip, but I told him that I already had a dinner that
night. So I had to decline as politely as possible. I really
would have loved to, but then I had no way of reaching
Papa before that day. Later, Bharat's brother drove me
back to the hotel. I went to the room and fell asleep
immediately. I woke up in the middle of the night with
blood all over my mouth. That damn blister on my
mouth had opened up. Drives me nuts! Otherwise I
slept like a baby.
The landing at the Kathmandu airport was classic. I saw the runway from afar. We flew at it at a
right angle and then, almost on top rof the runway made a fast steep turn to the right and landed
using only a fraction of the runway.