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Vicki’s Travel Diary

Wednesday, 17 Oct 2012

Location: Lukla, Nepal

MapMy journey to Kathmandu was uneventful, although long. I had nearly 4 hours in Doha, with nothing much to do - I didn't dare go to sleep in case I missed my connection. The arrival at Kathmandu was slightly remeniscent of the USA, without the interrogation. On arrival I had to queue to get a visa, along with most of the plane, I think. It took nearly 2 hours and I was worried that the KE people would go without me, thinking I wasn't turning up. However, it turned out that there was only me and one other person this flight, and he got through about the same time as me. We had an interesting drive through night time Kathnmandu - the roads are very poor - narrow and full of potholes. The traffic is manic and there were many small shops that only had candles to light them. It is the most impoverished capital city I've ever been to.
We met up with the rest of our group in the bar for a much needed beer. There are 7 of us - 3 women and 4 guys. Everyone seems very nice and we've got a very friendly UK guide called Ingrid. I'm sharing a room and tent with an American woman called Kerry.
We had an early start on Monday, to catch the 8.20am flight. We finally took off at 12.10 - this was a short delay apparently! The flight to Lukla was interesting, although a bit cloudy so the views weren't quite a spectacular as I'd hoped. The ride was a bit bumpy, as it was a small plane (12 seater I think - a Twin Otter - the American guy in our group asked why otter? They can't fly!) but it was OK. The landing was very smooth, despite the horror stories I'd read and seen on Youtube. The runway is very short and slopes quite steeply upwards but all was well.
We spent last night in a lodge right next to the airport - Lukla is so small that everything is right next to the airport. Its a quaint village with lots of shops where you can probably buy just about everything. I realised on the plane that I'd left 2 of my spare camera batteries in the hotel. But I found a shop that sold batteries and they actually had the right one. Another guy had bought a universal battery charger, so I'm charging my new battery with his charger.
We set off on our trek after lunch today, then it will be 15 nights camping. We hope to summit on Mera Peak on Saturday 27 October. I'm keen to get started - I've eaten far too much and done no exercise since Sunday!
Nepal is different to anywhere else I've been - but I like it very much and the people are really friendly.
We stay in Lukla when we finish our trek in 2 weeks time - I'll try to do another entrry then.