After getting up at 4:00am on Thursday, we drove out to the airport for our flight to Lukla.
We’d been assured, that we would be on the first flight and got excited as it was called for departure. Only to find out that we somehow got bumped to the fourth flight that day. We then saw the big, organised groups board the plane … while the independent trekkers (like us) had to wait for the later flights. As you can imagine, the frustration mounted and the only thing that gave us hope was that our guide called his buddies in Lukla and they told him that the weather seemed to be holding.
At 10:30 we finally boarded the small plane (about 12 seats) and Finn managed to snag the seat right behind the pilot. As he was waiting to start the engines, Finn pointed out to the pilot where the thrust levers, the flaps and the gear controls are. He turned around shocked and asked “how do you know this?”. Finn told him he flys his flight simulator on the iPad almost every day … which got a puzzled look from the pilot.
We had a last minute scare as there was some sort of engine trouble on the way out to the runway … which seemed to have gotten fixed after a few minutes.
The last few seconds before the landing are as terrifying as I remember them, as the mountain side fills the front window and the pilot plunges towards the runway.
After walking all day on Friday and today, we are now up in the Sherpa capital, Namche Bazaar at an altitude of 3400m. So far all has gone well, the kids have hiked without much complaining (even on the very steep final ascent up here) and none of us is feeling any signs of the altitude.
Unfortunately, I only found out today that the SD-card adapter from Apple does not work with the iPhone (yeah, I should have tested it beforehand) and therefore won’t be able to post any pictures that I took with my camera. The only thing I can share in the next three weeks are crappy snaps, taken with my iPhone 😦