Everest Base Camp Trek begins...or does it.

Kathmandu Travel Blog

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Early morning arrival at the domestic terminal of Tribuhvan Airport

4/15/2009

Orientation day and introduction to my new group of fellow trekkers for Everest Base Camp Trek.  The group this time consists of the following members:

  • Al (US)
  • Rachel P (NZ)
  • Rachel B (UK)
  • Mark (Aus)
  • David (Aus)
  • Nick (UK)
  • Dominic (Aus)
  • Mike (Can)
  • Chris (UK)
  • Scott (NZ)
  • Me (US)
  • Prem (our lead guide)

Other than some preparartion (getting some snacks, restocking toilet paper, exchanging books) and repacking it was a slow day for me in Kathmandu, prior to our departure tomorrow (4/16). 

An interesting tidbit of Thamel in Kathmandu is the sheer number of used book stores that can be found in the area.

1st trip out to board the plane to Lukla
  Since one of the main things to do in the evening on a trek is to read, books are at a premium.  And the Nepalis cater to the tourists with no fewer than a half dozen book shops in the area selling used books.  In most cases if you return the book back to the store you will receive 50% credit to another book purchase at the store.  In addition these stores stock all kinds of maps for all the popular trekking routes in Nepal.

4/16/2009

10:15 AM Update

Up at 4:30 AM for a 5:00 AM departure for the airport.  Cleared all formalities at the airport and went out to our Yeti Airlines' Twin Otter plane for the flight to Lukla.  After boarding and sitting on the plane for about 10 minutes we hear that Lukla airport is closed due to visibility.

Waiting for a departure...that never happened
  Shortly after they ask us to deboard and take us back by bus to the domestic terminal.

So we are back in the terminal at about 7:00 AM in the morning.  Not much to do here.  It is just one large hall with a few stalls and shops selling some snacks and drinks.  We wait for a good portion of the morning but at 9:45 we are informed that Lukla Airport is open again.  Mass chaos ensues as several airlines try to get out some flights to the airport during this opportunity.  As for us - no luck.  Yeti Airlines sent our plane on to its next flight (after dropping us off in Lukla it was bound back to Kathmandu and then on to other operations throughout the day).  Wait some more and pray that the airport remains open.  Will be really ticked off if most people make it out and we don't.

Noon Update

Finally went out to plane at 11:15 AM.

Waiting for a bus to take us back to Kathmandu Guest House after our flight doesn't leave this day.
  This time Yeti Airlines had a Dornier-228 for us to head out to Lukla.  Both the Dornier and the Twin Otter are STOL planes (short takeoff and landing planes) that can handle the runway at Lukla (more on that in a bit).  We waited for a while to board, finally boarded, and then before we could take off were informed that Lukla was once again closed.  Returned to the terminal again to wait some more!!!

8:00 PM Update

Made one more attempt at 2:30 PM, took the bus out to the plane but this time we never even boarded before they ultimately turned us around after some discussions amongst the crew.  This time we grabbed our luggage and went to get a bus that Prem arranged for us and headed back to KGH.  10+ hours after arriving at the airport and about 12 hours from getting up at KGH we were right back where we started in the morning.

Chilled for a bit in the late afternoon, then led most of the group for dinner over at Four Seasons on my recommendation from a dinner earlier in the week.  Back to KGH and bed because we get to get up at 4:30 AM tomorrow morning and try this all over again.

Kramerdude says:
Indeed!!!
Posted on: Nov 27, 2010
skippyed says:
God that must of been boring day, I found 2 hrs at that airport long enough!
Posted on: Nov 24, 2010
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Early morning arrival at the dome…
1st trip out to board the plane to…
1st trip out to board the plane t…
Waiting for a departure...that nev…
Waiting for a departure...that ne…
Waiting for a bus to take us back …
Waiting for a bus to take us back…
Yeti Airlines counter
Yeti Airlines counter
2nd trip out to board the plane fo…
2nd trip out to board the plane f…
Dornier 228
Dornier 228
Never even got on the plane before…
Never even got on the plane befor…
Waiting to see if theres a chance…
Waiting to see if there's a chanc…
Kathmandu
photo by: sharonburgher