We departed our hotel at 9am. The day vibrated with positivity. My cough was gone (I had arrived in Kathmandu with a residual cough that I had before we left home.), there were blue skies, and the sun shone brightly in the sky. Back to the airport we went, with hopes of safely arriving at the most dangerous airport in the world within just a few hours.
Upon arrival at the airport, we were all thankful to see the “delayed due to weather” sign was nowhere in sight. This, in addition to our guide having informed us that the early morning flights had already departed for the day, had us optimistic that we too would be in the air that day.
We checked in, had our bags weighed, and were through security before 9:45am. Anxiously anticipating the call for “Tara Airlines Flight 133 to Lukla”, we waited. Ten thirty came and went, and we still waited. Around 11am we were finally boarding the shuttle to our plane. There we waited again.
Close to 11:10am we were told we may have to wait 30 minutes before we could board the plane. There was currently too much air traffic in the area. By noon we were taking off.
Once the signal was given, Bill bolted off the shuttle. He had been hoping to be in the very front seat so he could look out through the cockpit window. In his gentlemanly way, he did allow me to have the seat on the left side of the plane – Hari had told us to sit on the left side to see “the mountain”. Bill was like a kid in a candy store the whole flight.
The flight was beautiful. The Nepali countryside is awe inspiring. Going over the valleys literally had their ups and downs. As we’d just pass a ridge, the plane would drop a bit. One time, there were even a few not so helpful screams from toward the back of the plane.
As we approached the runway, my excitement began to build. I couldn’t believe we were finally doing it! I have to say, it was the most exhilarating flight I have been on to this day.
Upon landing in Lukla, it was off to baggage claim (a small chaotic room). After fetching our bags, we set them outside for the porters to pick up and went to lunch at The Nest. Much to our surprise, the portions were huge!
A quick payment of NPR 200 ($2 give or take) for WiFi to check in back home and let everyone know we had arrived safely, a bathroom break (my first experience with an “Asian style” toilet) – thank goodness for my pStyle – and we were on the trail. Off to Phakding for the evening.