Upon arrival in Kathmandu I was greeted by some local IMG staff who placed a necklace of chrysanthemums over my head packed my bags into their truck and drove me from the airport, through the dry, dusty and noisy streets of Kathmandu to our hotel.
I have been to places before which have questionable driving but Kathmandu is something else! There are cars, buses, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians everywhere going in every direction. The line in the middle of the road means nothing. Even small children come walking down the middle of the road. Each driver then beeps their horn to notify the rest of their presence which leads to a constant buzz of car horns. Absolute chaos!
We eventually arrived at Hotel Tibet which has a traditional wooden decorative interior, checked into my room and slept a few hours after being awake for 24 hours.
That evening more team members arrived including my tent mate and friend from Mt Aconcagua, Paul.
We reviewed our gear with the guides, ate some local cuisine and let the jet-lag send us into slumber. Luckily the hotel was away from the screaming chaos of the main road so we slept in peace.
The next day was when we met the rest of the team. Great bunch of people good team dynamic and lots of laughs, exactly what you want on an expedition team.
We went to sleep early that night as the next morning was a 4am wakeup when we would check out of the Hotel Tibet race to the Domestic airport to join the queues of climbers, trekkers and sightseers flying towards Lukla and the mountain region.
We got to the airport in darkness, walked along a muddy path into what seemed like an abandoned terminal building. I was not sure if it was in the process of being demolished or once being built and now forgotten. We hopped over puddles and jumped over conduits towards a small door which was the security screening for access to the first part of the terminal. We checked in our bags, got our tickets, passed through another poor excuse for security (they said no water or metal in our pockets yet let us through alarms beeping all the way).
I didn’t have a huge problem with this as it meant another night in a hotel with a bed and shower and in the grand scheme of things, one more day was nothing on an expedition so long. The second hotel was nice.
Most of the people walked down the road to see a very famous and important Buddhist temple however I did not join them as I did not want to face those streets again.
Paul got some amazing shots of this temple which can be seen here.
Well, the weather in the mountains is notoriously fickle, and today was no exception. Rainstorms over Kathmandu last…pottinger.net
Early night that night and the next morning we were up at 6am where we went back to the airport to do it all again.