Last night dinner at Rum Doodle
Almost everyone was feeling a bit worse for wear when alarm clocks went off at 5:30 AM. Packed up and walked across town to the airport for check-in for our flight back to Kathmandu
. Skies were clear and winds were light so thankfully no delays or cancellations or airport closures to deal with. As is written everywhere, the check-in process at Lukla
is crazy, with people milling about everywhere, no one really sure which flights are coming or going or which ones they are on. But eventually we made it to the waiting area and our flight was the second one to depart after the incoming flights from Kathmandu arrived shortly after 7:00 AM.
Final group photo at Rum Doodle
On board the plane we left the stand and turned to the end of the runway. Looking out the front cockpit window, I could see down to the far end of the runway. It was far, far too close for comfort. The plane started rolling down the runway, and for a while you think we're never going to get airborne but then at the last second with maybe 30 meters to spare the wheels lift off the tarmac and you are flying out over the valley that drops off at the end of the runway. All the passengers let out a collective cheer as we leave the ground, it really is both a scary and amazing experience. We were back in Kathmandu by 8 AM and at Kathmandu Guest House by 9 AM. After settling into our rooms most of us grabbed the full buffet breakfast at the restaurant and enjoyed eggs, potatoes, sausage, pancakes, toast, fruit, juice, coffee, and all the trimmings.
Kathmandu skyline shots
From there the plan was to laze the day away. The only other activity for the day involved most of the guys getting a straight razor shave (and a hair cut for some of us) from the barber at the KGH. Most of us had not shaved the entire trek so we were getting a bit scraggly. Felt great to remove all that hair and came with a facial massage to boot. Sweet!!! We ran into Scott who was still in country after coming down early. He was feeling better, had no recurrences of his fainting spell, and had been exploring Kathmandu and environs. Also meant that he could accompany us to the groups final dinner in the evening. Back to Rum Doodle again so we could fill out our foot and hang it on the wall. It was a great time for a final celebration with a great group of trekkers and new friends.