Everest Trek – Lukla, Phakding, Monjo – 5/3 – 9500 feet

Traveling while sick is anything but fun.  Travel that includes a 4am wake-up call and a 27 minute prop  plane ride over the mountains while sick is definitely not fun.

Flying into Lukla is an adventure, it’s basically an uphill runway into the side of a mountain, and conditions have to be perfect or the plane doesnt fly.  We were supposed to leave at 6am, but faced delay after delay due to rain and weather.  After 6.5 hours of sleeping on the airport floor, (I can only imagine what I was breathing off of that floor – luckily or unluckily, I was too sick to care), we finally took off for Lukla.  We had about a 30 minute window to get on the plane, take off, and land, due to incoming weather.  I remember being woken up and having to quickly run out to a bus to get on a plane….complete whirlwind…

The flight was beautiful?  Terrifying?  Probably all of the above.  Beautiful views of the mountains, and then the shortest runway ever….you can see the end of the runway when you land, and the whole thing slants upward.  Google it – it’s crazy.  Typically, I’d be terrified, but once again – too sick to care.

Because we got in so late, and not all of our bags made the flight (of course mine was one of them), we spent the night at a lodge in Lukla.  There werent any lights, but there was a bed, a pillow, and a bathroom in the room.  Perfect place to curl up and sleep for fourteen hours…or at least try to.  I feel like I spent more time waking up and rolling over than I did sleeping, but I dont have a clock, so I’m not really sure.  The two rounds of Nyquil given to me by a fellow traveler (thanks Heather!) were definitely a big help.  After visiting the health center behind the sketchy blue curtain at the Kathmandu airport in search of a cold pill, I was wishing I had gone on an adventure before we left.  Although, who says the health center at the domestic terminal in the Kathmandu airport isnt an adventure…..

This morning, we were woken up with hot tea and began packing our bags.  Breakfast was a mix of porridge, hardboiled eggs, and a tortilla looking thing.  Most of which I dont typically eat for breakfast, but did enjoy.

Then, the trek began.  And, other than being sick and sliding down a flight of stairs, it was amazing.  The beautiful architecture of prayer wheels and stupas and prayer flags pop up around every turn.  The local children couldnt wait to give us high fives and call out Namaste as we passed.  Or, they would just follow us down the path until our guide shooed them home.  We were treated to beautiful views of the mountains and steel rope bridges over an amazing glacier river.

I started to feel a little better, thanks to some dayquil from another fellow trekker (thanks Larry!).  But, I was still ready for a rest when we got to Monjo.  We’re camping outside of a lodge, but we’re allowed to sit inside and use the lighting until we head to the tents.  Tomorrow we have a short hike to Namche, but a huge gain in elevation.  It will be interesting to see how I fare, both with the altitude and the sick.

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