unexpected everest base camp (6): our last day trekking & a flight fiasco

Read part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5!

DAY 11 TREKKING: Namche to Lukla

After spending about 12 hours at the Liquid Bar, we all woke up feeling a little rough.

The boys were full on hungover.

That meant that the “easy” day walking back to Lukla turned into quite a struggle. There’s a bunch of up and down this day, although with the newly acquired oxygen in the air, it’s not so bad!

The trek to Lukla is only about four or five hours.

We immediately got burgers to celebrate. The boys had been eating meat the entire duration of the trek, but I had always read to avoid it. They were absolutely fine, so I had a chicken burger. I got sick. Stay on the safe side guys, and only eat meat if you have time to spare.

DAY 12: Flying to Kathmandu

We woke up at 5:30, paid for our teahouse, and walked to the airport. We were greeted with clouds. Flying didn’t look so promising.

It took an hour for an airline representative to even show up to my check in area, so there was lots of waiting around. When they did finally come, I checked in my bag and started waiting for clear skies so we could fly!

The sky was supposed to clear for a couple hours, but by 10am, it was still hard to see 100 meters in front of us, so we knew we wouldn’t fly.

And to top it off, there was word that a storm was coming in, so if we couldn’t fly out today, we’d most likely be stuck in Lukla for FOUR DAYS.

At this point, the boys and I really just wanted to be down in Kathmandu, so we looked into a helicopter. For 6 people, a helicopter is USD $250 each person.

We found a Nepali guy and a couple from the UK and decided to split a helicopter down to Kathmandu with them.

Getting a helicopter is a struggle, guys. There was lots of waiting around. We were meant to pay in a bank in Lukla for the chopper, but the power went down, so we had to pay in Kathmandu. To ensure we wouldn’t bolt after landing, we handed over our passports to the helicopter organizer, who would give them to the pilot.

After waiting around for about four hours, we learned that the helicopter couldn’t land in Lukla due to the lack of visibility, so we opted to walk downhill for “half an hour.” What the helicopter organizer claimed was a half hour walk, actually was an hour walk, but luckily it was all downhill.

We met our pilot, who was the same guy I had when flying UP to Lukla for EBC round 1!!!

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The helicopter ride was absolutely breathtaking. It was so so so wonderful and fun, and it was definitely worth the $250.

After arriving in Kathmandu, paying for the helicopter ride (and getting our passports back), we checked into the Kathmandu Home Hotel (highly recommend!!!). I went to the tour office where I had bought my ticket to Lukla, and I was able to be refunded the full flight ticket (so the chopper was $100 more than the flight to Lukla would have been).

 

It was a crazy last day of our trek, but honestly, do you expect anything else from me?

This time going up to EBC was so different from the last, but both were filled with the most incredible people, pure elation, and of course, altitude headaches.

I’ll be back for round three sometime in this crazy lifetime.

 

 

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