DAY 1 - Leaving Kathmandu
It was 5am when our Everest Base Camp eye team (EBC team) assembled downstairs in the foyer of our little Kathmandu hotel, eagerly awaiting the journey that was about to begin. Despite flights being cancelled to and from Lukla for the last two weeks due to poor weather, we were optimistic that today was our day. With mixed emotions of excitement and fear, the 10 of us, 5 duffle bags, 10 backpacks and a whole lot of snacks made our way to Kathmandu domestic airport. Navigating our way through the unusual security protocols (or lack thereof), experiencing the not-so-western toilets, and celebrating Dennis’ birthday, a 4 hour delay did not damper our spirits. Although hearing that our plane “had some faults but it is fine now” is not the ideal way to be tackling one of the most dangerous runways in the world.
Landing in Lukla just before the rain came in, luck was certainly on our side. And so our hike officially began. We walked in owe of our surroundings, taking in the majestic mountains, the quaint houses, the peace flags, yaks and their bells, and the beautiful local people.
Our first day was all about conquering fears. A little plane dropping over the Himalayas and landing at the notorious Lukla landing strip made us realize anything is possible. When we pointed to a high peak our head guide said it’s just a little hill. Everything is relative to your own perspective!