And here I am!

grey And here I am!

Lukla runway

Again, the twin otter pilots wait on the runway revving the engines hard before hurtling towards a sheer cliff face…for me it was a bumpy, nervous flight but Mal assured us all that he has had worse. I gave Mal my video camera so he could record the takeoff. Mal also managed to record Dave’s brilliant reaction to the short take off (and Dave’s trust in his lucky penguin)

We landed in Kathmandu soon afterwards having survived the rigours of Khumbu Valley trekking. Trekking in the Khumbu Valley is a very different experience to the type of trekking I am used to. In Tasmania (where I grew up) it is possible, and common, to go on overnight, or longer, trekking trips without seeing a single human; trail etiquitte, robbery and over crowding are hardly considered. Not so the Khumbu, as I said in a previous post this trail is teeming with every sort of person imaginable: the weary climber heading home, the excited, chatty first timer, twitchy guides trying to monitor their charges, tired porters and of course myriad people trying to get up to see Everest Base Camp.

I truly do not understand the Everest Base Camp (EBC) thing. I have it on good authority that EBC is just the world’s highest rubbish bin, getting cleaner, but still it is just some rocks, a big mountain and holes where old toilets were dug. Why not trek to a similar height along a remote trail, enjoy some differtent mountain views and be original? Says the guy heading home from trying to climb one of the most visited mountains in Nepal.

So my ranting may be backfiring here but, oh, one more thing, only wear aviators if you are a 1960’s fighter pilot.

Okay to stay somewhat on track, Everest Base camp is around 5500 meters high. A few years ago I trekked part of the Peruvian Huayhuash Circuit which is at similar altitudes as the Everest Base Camp trek (more about this in my book *hint*). I enjoyed 6 days in the stunning Cordiella Huayhuash, was the only Westerner for miles, had the track to myself and the scenery was astounding. I made friends with two local farmers who caught trout and let me stay with them for two nights. The whole experience cost me nothing but food and a bit of altitdue sickness. There are so many, much more beautiful places to visit than shit ridden Mt Everest Base Camp, just ask me if you are ever stuck for ideas. icon smile And here I am!

Back at our original Hotel in Thamel the guard recognised me and saluted, I saluted back, grabbed my bags and ran to the shower.

Oh dear God. How good that first proper shower was.

Six weeks without a proper shower! The amount of hair that came out of my head was concerning, but shoulder length hair probably needs proper-washing more than six weekly. I will not detail the dead skin that came off my legs (as I wear merino tights on mountains -grr right?!), nor the colour of the water going into the drain. Suffice to say when I emerged I felt like a new man.

Now all I needed now was a flight home…

grey And here I am!

Yakdonalds – Lukla


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