Himalayan mountains here we come...

Trip Start Apr 14, 2009
Trip End May 07, 2009

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Where I stayed
Lodge in Phakding

Flag of Nepal  ,
Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Getting up at 5AM is not fun unless it is to fly to the Himalayas and start trekking to reach Kala Pattar and Everest Base Camp. That was the sweetest wake-up call of my life.
Getting on a plane to fly to Lukla (9350 feet = 2850 meters) was not like boarding for a flight to NYC from Atlanta. Planes take off for Lukla in batches of three. Well, first they need to be able to take off. You can sometimes wait a day or two for the weather to clear up. The planes flying to Lukla are twin-engine Otters, not what we're used to.
Our group (Deana the guide, Martha, Roger, Rob and John) got split up. Deana and Martha got on one plane, the boys on another and I was alone, taking off with plane # 3. We got lucky and left with the first batch. I was the only woman on a plane. There were just the two pilots (one being very attractive, I couldn't help but notice), a group of Middle Eastern guys and me.
The views of the mountain range were incredible. I had never seen anything like that, except for maybe once or twice when I flew over the Alps which is pretty amazing as well.
Landing in Lukla was an experience in itself. The runway is small and on the border of the mountain. Deana was waiting for me at the airport and took me to a lodge where the rest of the group was having some tea.
While we all got a drink and ate a little something Deana started hiring a sherpa, a sherpa assistant and four porters. They are all sherpas as in "coming from the sherpa people" but only one had the sherpa title. To become a sherpa (as in the title "sherpa") one has to prove his mountaineering skills and knowledge and be able to speak English well enough to lead a group.
So our sherpa will be Dawa, Pemba will be our sherpa assistant and I haven't remembered the names of the four porters.
We left as soon as the sherpas were hired and started our walk to Phakding. That was a very easy walk on trail. We went through a bunch of sherpa villages, met a lot of yaks and porters. We took a little break for lunch and an hour later were in Phakding, our first stop (8700 feet = 2650 meters). We went down in elevation our first day!
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