Trek commenced. Update tonight.
So what happens when some of our kit bags are over the 10kg limit? One must lighten the load..!! Pictured are a number of the team helping the situation by eating several of the lollies that were planned to go on the trek!!! What a great sacrifice. Well done team...!!
We've had a good couple of days in Kat. We have visited Pashupatinath (Hindu cremation site) as well as Durbar Square (one of the primary attractions in Kat). We've walked several kilometers around Kathmandu, had some very funny evenings around the dinner tables.
We finalised our clothes and equipment today and are ready for a early night and our flight to Lukla early (very early) in the morning.
James loves his time on his own! Loves to get out early and not come home til late. Doesn't tell us where he goes. He's definitely our mystery man..!!
Kiwis. Hev bin heving a good time. A bet cold et night. They like walking around Ket.
Brendan. We lost him on the way to Durbar Square yesterday. He got sidetracked looking in a shop that sells very big knives!!!
Brian. Breakfast starts at 6, yet Brian is knocking on the doors at 5!! Once a tradie, always a tradie..!
Des. Thus far happy and no grumpy snaps to date!! (True Paulene). He has however been grumpy the last hour battling to get his kit bag under 10kg. (Refer lollies above)
Hoping for a good morning.
We have arrived in Kathmandu.
The flight yesterday from Melbourne to Bangkok was 1/3 full, providing all of us empty seats to lay out on, watch a few movies and get some good sleep. Great way to travel.
We had a pleasant drink up on the rooftop of our Bangkok hotel, although a small group of "rebels" within the group headed out on the streets, and yes, one of them didn't get home until the sun was up!!! No names, no questions...!! (This a little dejavu...??)
We've arrived in Kat and have already completed a walk around just to get the group accustomed to the streets. They're keen to start their shopping for trek gear.
We have some touristy stuff planned tomorrow and will then complete our shopping on Sunday, ready for our planned flight into Lukla on Monday.
Annapurna Base Camp & Namche Bazaar Teams. Farewell Kathmandu (David 25/1 - 1pm)
Pictured. The entire group about to depart the Guest House to the airport. Guest House Manager Nabin is amongst us.
It's been a great trip. We have all read the successes of the Annapurna Team, and the Namche trek finished a week ago with smiles all round.
On the treks, we dealt with an infected tooth (requiring emergency extraction), twisted ankles, upset tummies, injured achilles, sprained knees, sore hips but LOTS & LOTS of fun and the most incredible Himalayan scenery. January and the Nepalese winter has been exceptionally good to us.
The Kathmandu Guest House has looked after us as usual and several within the group have enjoyed the shopping around Thamel.
A few are aiming to spend additional days around Thailand, Vietnam and Myanmar on the way home. The rest are travelling the full leg home to Melbourne (nearly 20hrs)
I have a very keen group ready to head back to here on the 19th Feb and there is already some interest for another Annapurna trek in 2016.
Thanks to all for following us and sending your comments. As usual they have been well received.
My 6th trip to Nepal and it keeps getting better. It's the group that makes these trips successful. And for that I thank each and every one of you. Sammy, Courtney, Bill, Chris, Elias, Liz and Annie, I thank you for making my job as team leader successful.
Today again, was not an easy day. We set off at 8am and we were told today would be relatively flat!!!! Maybe a little bit of truth, but still around 21klm of ups and downs before the long stretch of mostly downhill to bring us back to our starting point of Nayapul. Back to civilization. Cars, motorbikes, trucks. It wasn't long before I longed for the peacefulness of the mountain. I never enjoy the last day of the trek. In fact, I could turn around and head straight back up again (ok, after a hot shower and clean change of clothes).. Back to the simple life where your only worry is what to have for lunch......will I have the rice or the noodles.
Our van was waiting for us to take us back to Pokhara. Bags were tied on top and we set off for the 1.5 hour trip. Once in pokhara and checked into our motel, we arranged with our guide and porters to meet in an hours time to have a few drinks and say our farewells.
The relationship you form with the guide and his group of porters never ceases to amaze me. Come the time to say goodbye, there wasn't a dry eye in the room. They are truly special people that become a part of your life in such a short time. To see our guide wiping tears from his eyes makes me realize that we are not just another group he takes into the mountain, that he too has formed a relationship with us that is hard end.
Tomorrow will be our first relaxing day in 11 days. Liz, Elias, Courtney and maybe Sammy are planning to go Paragliding. Chris and Annie are just going to relax and do some last minute shopping. Meanwhile, Bill will be recovering from a hangover!!!!
This team has worked so well together. So many laughs have been had.
Here's a question for you......
If you are on a 10 day trek and have packed two pairs of jocks, on what day would it seem logical to change your jocks???
A quick calculation tells me day 5 would be the most logical day to put clean jocks on. I don't know how Elias got Day 8, and what gave his 2nd pair of jocks the privilege of only being warn for 2 days.
We have two days here in Pokhara before our 40 minute flight back to Kathmandu on Saturday.
Again, thanks for all your comments and well wishes. I hope you have all enjoyed reading them as much as I've enjoyed sharing our days with you.
Wow, our last hard day of steps. After setting off this morning we were straight into steps, more ups. Our 1000 steps training certainly paid off. Not long after, we dropped down about 2000 steps, crossed a swing bridge at the bottom before climbing 2387 steps.....Courtney counted them.
Lunch was at Chhomrong, before we dropped down the steep steps to Jhinu. This is the place we have been waiting for. Hot springs!!! The first time some had seen hot water, besides in their coffee for 9 days. We had a choice of 3 pools, and they were hot.
Elias stated this morning it was the first time he has changed his jocks in 8 days. Viv, if I were you I'd put Napisan on the shopping list. They're coming home full of blood, sweat and tears....hopefully that's all they're full of!!!
While everyone else is so proud of their own personal achievements, Bill however, is proud for other reasons..... drinking beer EVERY night whilst on the trek. Even at Annapurna Base Camp in minus 20. He has declared he is hanging up his boots and going somewhere warmer next holiday. Harden up Bill.
Liz has powered through today, despite her archillies, Nurofen has done the trick. To see the smile on her face every day as she absorbs her surroundings is truly satisfying.
Sammy had a slow start this morning with little sleep. He couldn't keep his meal down last night, so little energy this morning. He found more energy as the day went on, and was charging.
For those who don't know, Chris and Annie are cousins and I'm sure they will share some really memorable moments for many years to come. Annie is no stranger the the Himalayas having been here on the Everest trek 2 years ago. This type if adventure is new to Chris and he has taken to it like an experienced trekker.
There's no stopping Elias and Courtney. Theyboth have an abundance of energy as they disappear into the distance.
Quote of the day goes to Sammy...."I can feel my ribs now". Sammy, you are Ripped!!!!
Our last day tomorrow on what has been a truly exhilarating experience to share with an amazing bunch of adventure seekers. We are told it will be mostly flat!!!! Is this possible?
We have all loved your comments and everyone looks forward to hearing your well wishes each night around the dining room table.
We are safely back in Lukla. It's been a great trek. Nepal has a way of bringing out some raw emotions in people. I've witnessed tears during our takeoff from Kathmandu to Lukla 5 days ago, climbing up to Everest View Hotel 2 days ago, and upon our arrival back into Lukla this afternoon. My group has loved their Nepal experience, and in particularly the care and friendship provided by our guide and porters. The Nepalese are truly wonderful.
We had a tough start down from Namche yesterday morning with an emergency visit to the Namche hospital for Grace. She chose a bad time for a tooth to blow out, resulting in a seriously swollen face. Some pain killers and antibiotics allowed her to soldier on and complete her trek. Great effort Grace.
We have had a fantastic end to our trek today. A normal visit and lunch at Mingma's house (our guide) capped off our trek. His wife Neema served up a magnificent lunch for us. Many within the group stated this was one of the highlights of the trip. We then booked into Paradise Lodge and had a thourally enjoyable evening reflecting on the last 5 days. Good food and a few "reflective" drinks made it a great night. We read out aloud the latest ABC blog entry with much amusement. Can't wait to catch up with them. We are about to climb into our sleeping bags with I'm sure great thoughts of the trek.
The weather has been just superb, so we are hopeful it can hold out one more day for our flight back to Kathmandu in the morning. (Sue reports in her blog that it's currently snowing heavily at ABC..!!!)
So, my 8th visit to Nepal and the Everest region. In all my previous visits, I have never flown in and out of Lukla on my booked dates. Weather has always delayed me on at least one or both of the legs! But not this trip!! We flew into Lukla on time 6 days ago, and flew out the same today. No weather, no fog, no delays, just perfect. And then throw in 5 days of brilliant weather for our trek with excellent scenery and I'm suddenly thinking of returning my treks to January and the Nepalese winter...!!! Although still minus25 at Base Camp!!
We were farewelled by our guide and porters at Lukla airport this morning, and yes there were more tears. Our news to Mingma that we are planning to look into sponsoring his daughter for higher education in Kathmandu had him turning away wiping tears, which in turn had the rest of us blubbering...!! A truly special moment.
I am right now sitting in the Kathmandu Guest House front garden cafe having a well earned cafe latte. I've had my shower and am awaiting the rest of the team to do the same and join me. (We weren't "on the nose" but there is still nothing like a hot shower after a trek in zero temps).
Given we have flown in and out of Lukla on time, we are now faced with having 6 days spare up our sleve. Some of the group have already hinted they may bring their return flights forward (not sure why anyone would be in a rush to leave Kat!), while the others may chose to head down to Pokhara for a few days. We may even run into that Annapurna mob (who after 10 days trekking WILL be on the nose!!)
Thanks again for your comments and support. There is nothing better than being in the middle of the Himalayas, huddled around a lodge heater and reading your comments aloud.