Day 4 – 22nd March 2010

After Fajr I went back to sleep for a little while then went for breakfast. We brought our bags down as the coach needed to be ready for 7am for the airport. Oops I was the last one to get on coach, no one seemed to mind!

Domestic Airport

When we got to the domestic terminal, it was chaotic, people, bags and goods everywhere on the floor. We went through security, checked our bags in putting them all in a pile near the scales. It was a charter flight and they were all going to be weighed as a group (Phew I think I was over!)

Waiting to fly out!

Our leader Prakash got the boarding cards we then headed for the departure area through security. This was full of tourists, guides and colourful locals flying to their villages.

Our flight to Lukla had been delayed, so we sat down on the floor to relax. Yasser gave us a detailed account of his experience in the airport toilet, not worth repeating! He then went through his purchases in Thamel, he had bought an outdoor jacket, a very good rip off!

Going through airport security!

Prakash came over frequently to update us, the planes were delayed due to bad weather between the mountains making it difficult to fly through to the airstrip.

It was a waiting game at the airport and by about 11.30am Scott had found out flights were being cancelled. This was confirmed by Prakash as one of the flights had gone up and turned back due to poor visibility, we were later introduced to the guide on that flight!

An old Nepalese woman was standing near us coughing continuously; Yasser offered her some water which was nice gesture. She later came and squatted next to Yasser, he even made some space so she could lean against the wall!

I got to know the guys a little more, Both Scott and Jonas had done Kilimanjaro, Scott had also done marathons in London, New York and the Sahara desert.

After flights to Lukla are cancelled!

The domestic airport was like a cattle market, a lot of the local women travelling had tribal tattoos on their arms and faces. As nothing was happening with the flights we went to the restaurant to get something to eat. Prakash came up to confirm all flights to Lukla had been cancelled, once we’d finished eating to collect our bags and wait outside for our coach. I noticed the car park full of old Nissan and Toyota cars, classics! They were all taxis, I couldn’t believe it!

My dad use to have this model!

After a briefing at the hotel, I decided to go with Ebrahim to Baskin Robbins not far from the hotel to have ice cream (rs120) and masala tea (rs150). When I saw Jamie go pass the window I gave him a shout and asked if he wanted to join us.

Turned out Jamie was on his way to the pub after walking around checking out a few barbers, they couldn’t cut his hair due to power cuts.
We were listening to his experience trying to explain to them what number haircut he wanted and them not having the right instruments.

We went back to the hotel and headed for the rooftop where James had also joined us for a very chilled out afternoon with plenty of conversation flowing!

Ebrahim was tired; he went back to the room to get some sleep. I stayed up with James and Jamie, a little while later Jonas joined us after getting back from replacing his camera lens, damaged when we were waiting at the airport; he took the opportunity to upgrade the lens and was happy with his purchase.

We exchanged a number of stories, I ended up doing a lot of the talking about my experience in India and Jonas about his brief travels in India. We ordered drinks; I should have seen that coming, I was charged rs190 for a pot of tea!

It was getting close to Magrib prayers so I decided to go down to the room and meet up with everyone later for 6.30pm when we’d planned to go Anatolia restaurant with all the guys.

We set off in the dark, it was an experience navigating through the roads to get to Thamel, trying not to get run over in mid conversation crossing busy roads without any lights and only relying on headlights!

When we got to the restaurant, it was funny watching everyone’s faces reading the menu and looking confused at what to order. Some were confident, others were asking what was good, in the end I took charge and decided to order for everyone, I wasn’t sure this was a good idea!

Jonas was funny, making sure I had included nan in the order by repeating his request many times! It was a little stressful, I ordered enough and of different variety to wet everyone’s appetite. I also noticed the waiter getting a little stressed!

Everyone enjoyed the evening, conversations were colourful, interesting and we’d tasted most of the food. The mutton was not boneless and I wasn’t impressed with the rubbery meat!

As no alcohol was served in the restaurant, the bill only came to rs7000, bargain (between 11 guys)!

On our way back to the hotel I stopped with James and Kris looking to buy a map of the Everest walk when we lost the others, it was dark and too many alleyways! We made our own way back to the hotel, getting there before the others, some of them had also stopped to buy stuff for the walk.

I rushed to my room having problems with my stomach, something had not agreed with me I needed to go! I went back down and waited for the rest of the guys in the lobby. It wasn’t long before they turned up; I went upstairs with Ebrahim to pray Isha and to get some sleep for the next day!

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