Location: Kathmandu, Nepal
Local Time: 9:00pm
Weather: Hazy, 24C
Hi everyone – its Paul here coming in live over the Satellite Phone for the first time this trip.
I’m very pleased to say that we’ve finally arrived in Nepal and now it really feels like we are on our way.
As anticipated, we did have some problems with our luggage. Fortunately our extra allowance was extended to Chris and Bridget (who were on the same flight and are trekking into basecamp with us). However, that still meant that we were about 30kgs over limit – which was going to cost around $600. But by reshuffling even more gear into our hand luggage, and removing our camp beds (a luxury we had brought in for basecamp), we squeaked in within the limit. And in the end, we decided to try to board with the camp beds as hand luggage as well as our already well loaded day-packs. We weren’t stopped so we’ve ended up with all of our gear here.
The flight itself was fine and we managed to catch a bit of sleep on the leg to Bangkok. Once in Kathmandu, we were met by IMG representatives and introduced to some of the other climbers and trekkers in our expedition. We were then taken to our hotel and given a short briefing about organising our luggage so that the majority of it can be shipped (by helicopter and yak) straight into basecamp. The trip from the airport to the hotel bought back memories from the last time we were here 10 years ago – beeping horns and cars everywhere, lots of roadworks, buildings built right up to the narrow streets, the bright colors of people’s clothing, the street vendors, rickshaws and tuk tuks.
Meet and greet
There are all combinations of people on our expedition. Some are just trekking into basecamp, others are climbing Island Peak, others are climbing through the Khumbu Icefall, and then there are those climbing Everest – some of which have private, western guides, and others (like us) have hired their own Sherpas. Everyone we’ve met so far seems great – but we’re still really just getting to know who’s who and trying to remember everyone’s names. There are 20 people in total, of which 16 are climbing and 4 are trekking.
We had a great dinner of Pizza at restaurant recommended by a friend of Bridget and then looked at a few of the gear shops in the nearby Thamel district. We need to get a couple of things before we depart on Thursday morning for the mountains. Tomorrow will be a hectic day and the plan is to leave the next morning at 5am.