Friday, March 25, 2011

Everest Panorama Trek ~ Day 9. Flying back from Lukla to Kathmandu


Day 9: Back to the yellow waters and congested air of the city...

Whatever was the case, a great trek must come to an end. As we all sat down for a very early breakfast in Namaste Lodge, in several of our hearts, the seeds for a repeat trip were sowed. Perhaps some would describe this trek as a love-hate relationship, and others would see it as simply exhilarating a break from the monotony of city-living. But what I saw that morning sitting on my breakfast table was a unique specimen of expanded dough called Tibetan bread. Hmmm... Sherpa-ian Tibetan bread, I told myself.

Mmm... it tasted crispier and sharper than the rock-hard Tibetan bread (Clickable link)we all had in our earlier adventure in Jiuzhaigou.

The Namaste Lodge was located in a strategic position. We didn't have to worry about making it in time or being late for the plane. It was only about 5-7 minutes walk from the Lukla Airport. All we had to do was to sit and relax in the dining hall and sip hot coffee, or hot tea....
When the plane finally arrived, everybody could hear its engine roar. And that was a signal for us to pick up our luggage and start walking to the airport. We bid a (almost) teary farewell to our porters and we left Binot in the lodge (he was going up with another team to EBC right after this), and walked up the slope and down the wall to go through another confusing maze of security check (or lack of it). Here was a record shot, merely a record shot of the airport runway from the building itself.

What I actually wanted to show was the picture of the plane with the nose being covered in black, on the right side of the photo. Yupe, that was the one. Saw it? Yes, this plane was apparently the one that managed to 'crash'-land on that day when our Team 1 failed to land from Kathmandu to Lukla. And this plane suffered a bruised nose in the process of landing. Wah... so scary hor, in thinking back...?

The flight back was boringly uneventful. And we found ourselves back in the warmth and comfort of Hotel Vaishali, Kathmandu where we were about three and a half hours too early for check-in. But it was fine, for many of us went jalan-jalan around to buy last minute trekking shirts, trek-pants and to visit Steve Wong's trekking accessory shop, opened by none other than our good Steve Wong.... . Here's a candid shot of our organisers...

Day 9: Ending it with a sumptuous dinner...

What surprises awaited us. True to their words, SgTrekker organised a splendid feast for all of us that very evening. A leisurely stroll several minutes from our hotel brought us to this out of the world restaurant called Garden of Dreams.

A converted summer palace from the empire of the now-overthrown King, the sprawling compound now held for the trekkers, a spectacular spread of Nepali and Continental buffet delights. Melvin was so enthralled by the grandiose of the old imperial palace that he kept muttering to himself as he walked in front of me...

We all welcomed with open arms and open mouths the gastronomic extravagance. And we ate to our hearts' content. As we filled our gastric spaces, we cheered congratulatory toasts to Mahesh, Adrian and Melvin. And of course, we cheered ourselves for completing a memorable trip.

Day 10: Bye Bye Nepal