March 19, I landed in Kathmandu after a “short” flight of 4 hours and 30 minutes from Singapore. It was a direct flight on a small 737-800 plane packed with passengers. I sat next to a nice lady who works for the Red-Cross organization and was on a mission in Kathmandu. It was her first time in Kathmandu, and so was mine, so we started chatting a bit. I told her about my Everest Base Camp (EBC) adventure, and she seemed fascinated by the idea. We part ways once we landed, and my EBC experience has begun.
Landing in Kathmandu was a bit, hmm, how should I put it, surreal. I had to obtain my entry visa at the airport and the process itself was a bit confusing and not at all self-explanatory, as I needed to go from one station to another until I finally managed to get my Visa. It took me about 35 minutes before I managed to get the process right, and in all this time I was thinking about my backpack. 35 minutes is a long time, and I was sure someone has already snatched my backpack and walked away with it. Immediately after I (finally) had my passport stamped I ran to baggage claim area to pick up my backpack, only to find out a jammed-packed area with hundreds of people waiting. There were no visible signs to direct me to the right conveyor, so I simply tried to find people I recognized from the flight. It took more than 60 minutes for my bag to come out, but I was happy it did.
The original plan was to start the EBC Trek on March 22, but when I reached the hotel I was informed by the trekking company that we will be leaving on March 20, which basically was in 12 or so hours! It was exciting and scary at the same time because I thought I will have two days to prepare myself mentally; I didn’t, and it was ok. I was ready to go. Our flight was scheduled to leave at 6am, and we needed to leave the hotel at 5am in order to get to the airport. I was up by 3:00am that morning. I wanted to make sure I get myself prepared mentally for what’s to come only to realize that nothing could have prepared me for the next 24 hours….
To be continued….