Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Everest Base Camp & Kala Patthar 07-23.05.2011 (2)

8May2011 - Lukla(2800M) > Phakding(2600M)
Lukla airport dubbed as 1 of the most dangerous airport in the world for its 460M mountain cliff side runway. When comes bad weather, cloud will cover the surrounding mountains, making it impossible for Twin Otter pilots to see n navigate the flight safely. Often, the passengers have to wait for a clear sky.

The landing at Lukhla was eerie. I still can recall the bumpy ride. KMeng greeted us at the airport exit. At last, we met! This trip was OX's ultimate goal since 6yr ago but it was abruptly cancelled due to the political turmoil in Nepal.

We then heading to Phakding after a breakfast n that, we started our climb to EBC in this vast Khumbu region, homeland of Sherpas. We immediately felt the thick culture of Sherpa. Symbols of Buddhism are crafted to stone along the trail. Hses that r built with stone n woods. Donkey, horses, cows, yaks were everywhere. A 4hr leisure walk, we checked in Mt resort, a serenity n tranquil lodge.

Twin Otter plane.
Inside the plane.
That landing moment at Lukla airport.
460M runway with gradient. At the end of the runway, there's a valley. VALLEY!!! Yeah, you only have 1 chance to take off & to land.
The team is excited to kick start the journey.
Hard earn $ by the potters. 30Kg at least person.
Buddhism mantra is all over the trail. That says enough abt sherpas culture & life influence.
Hmm... looking back this pic, who know 'that virus' is already inside him.
My same apparel until Dingboche. I felt the cold at my skin layer, but at core, somehow, Im alright. you just need to keep walking!

Our 1st day 'resort'. Very cosy & quiet lodge to rest.
Dining area. Filled with our laughter at the end of the dinner.
A tranquil valley view right in front of the resort.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Everest Base Camp & Kala Patthar 07-23.05.2011 (1)

When my project officially pronounced 'delay' 2 mth b4 the trip, the dream of joining the team resurrected. Furthermore, the project freeze windows was just nice for me to squeeze in the EBC trip! It was all rush rush rush at work and doing the last min flight ticket arrangement n shopping for hiking gears. Surprisingly, ticket price remains the same as RM1700 for return. More surprisingly, my wife approved my leave without too much grudge. Love her for that! Some outdoor friends were kind enough to lend me all the essentials which later prove to be practical n perhaps, life saving indeed. Thank her so much for that. I merely bought a pair of 50% disc Salomon Elios Mid GTX shoes at SGD139 n a buff from NatGeo. Oh, and a Suunto Core yellow black watch too. Canon G12 is a miss for me.

Suunto Core yellow black- accurate. but suspect having outdated software which bloody local support center still yet to come back to me!#$^$%^&%&%$^

Salomon Elios Mid GTX-Very good buy. Tough with Gore-Tex.

Video conf with Captain a week before our departure.

7May2011 - KL > Kathmandu
The trip started with a very good omen. All of us except GWah (who was late) were upgraded to biz class! Ecstatic! But the only different of biz class is only a wider seat. Still, grateful for the upgrade. Nepali almost filled up the economy class. It is a human labor cargo to me.

A 5hr flight. RQinging managed to get her visa done on the spot at USD40 n she even passed the custom faster than we all did. Lucky her, it was a no crowd day. We paid RM155 and burnt a day off to pick up my visa back in Msia. we met Barbu, the MD of the travel agent that we engaged. Van picked us up and headed straight to Heritage hotel at Thamel. Met up RWen n CLeong at last. Had our 1st Nepali lunch filled with curiosity n excitement. Taste not bad at all. After that, it was all abt last min shopping for the team! Down jacket, backpack, sleeping bag... All ain't cheap to me.