After getting up at 4:00 am, we met in the lobby and then headed out to the airport at Lukla. The pile of gear as you can see is only about 1/3 of the gear of the expedition as no Sherpa / porter gear, food nor any group gear was included.
The team leader Arnold says that the expedition will move close to 10 000 kg of gear up to base camp.
There are only about 23 climbers on the trip along with a staff of 30 Nepalis helping out with the duties that consist mainly of cooking and helping people up the mountain. The views from the plane and along the trek are absolutely spectacular and include high mountains and glacier fed streams. The countryside is green and the winter vegetables are all out. You can also see blossoms on some of the trees.
The Nepali people are incredibly friendly. They don’t say please or thank you but you feel like an honoured guest in their presence. The people are incredibly hard working and are a tough as nails. They don’t have a word for fun in Nepali yet they are very quick to smile and seem to have an incredibly positive attitude.
The food is simple and hearty, lots of carbohydrates, lentils, bread, potatoes, rice as well as eggs and fired span. The quantities are huge and there is always lots of left-overs which end up going to the Sherpas who eat after us.
The children as you can see are incredibly cute and are happy to play with anything that they find.