For the last few days I’ve been mostly lazily walking around the Thamel and slowly picking up the items I still needed to buy.
In the evenings we have gathered together for dinner and then some of us have continued to have a beer or two (or four – and the beers are 650ml here) at a place called Sam’s Bar. During the days I have just walked around as I mentioned, buying a thing or two, but today I really have to do every last bit of shopping I have left, because tomorrow we are off to Lukla early in the morning. Yesterday evening we also got a surprise guest when the Finnish mountaineer Samuli Mansikka popped into our hotel lobby and came with us for dinner too. We had a nice Finnish corner there and continued in that company till early morning. Awfully nice chap he is and gave the rest of us plenty of good tips and info about all sorts of things.
This morning we had the briefing for our expedition and all the details we needed for every aspect of it. And now I have to straighten one thing that has been worrying my folks back home after I busted my ankle. We do not have to carry our gear while on the trek. I should have just read a bit more carefully what it says on the webpage, whics states as follows:
Our western leader, together with friendly and helpful sherpas, cooks and local people leading yak caravans carry all of your personal equipment, group equipment, and set up camp each day, prepare and serve delicious meals, so you can relax and enjoy the trek. You do not need to carry a heavy rucksack during the trek.
So… reading things more carefully would have saved me and my family from a lot of worrying, but you could say that as I had mentally prepared to carry all my stuff it feels pretty nice now to find out that I do not have to. Otherwise the briefing didn’t bring out big surprises, but gave a lot of good information about how the trek and climb will go and such. One thing is that we will be mainly camping, at least if that is possible as it should be for most of the time; in many places it is the only option too. One thing we were told to do is to bring a lot of snacks as people have been saying that they have not had enough snacks with them. I just did that and bought a few kilos of chocolate and nuts and raisins. That should keep me going for a few days.
I’ve had momos now twice and I have to say they are the best food. My wife is so jealous that I get to eat them so much, but she’ll get them when we meet in Kolkata after a month. The rest of the food has been pretty nice too, though the places we have been for the evening dinners have been somewhat upmarket places. It is still not much compared to the Finnish rates, but you could easily eat for a week for the price of one dinner we have had if you wanted to.
Tomorrow we will have to be ready to leave at 5am and the plan is to leave for the airport at 5:30. Our flight has been scheduled for 7:30, but we were told that it might be anything from 15 minutes to a few hours after we get to the airport that the plane will actually leave. Usually the airline might also be changed and all. Anyway we should get all of us and our gear there tomorrow, but most probably on multiple different flights. For that reason we are told to mark our bags very well so that everything will come to the right place. It could be that the bags might come even a day or two later, for which we have to have some necessary items in our hand baggage, like a water bottle and a sleeping bag.
This could be my last longer message I write for a few weeks, but my wife will copy the dispatches from the SummitClimb news page that has been set up for this trip. I is not there yet, but will be in a day or two. You can check that page yourself too if, you like. It will not be in real time and the news might end up there a day or two later and there could (or will) be days when no news are sent at all. Don’t worry, this just means that nothing has happened and we are just having a rest day or the battery has gone from the devices they are using to send those dispatches. On the way there are some places where there is mobile connection and I might be able to send a message if I’m lucky. The Spot Messenger should work there, I think, and you can see my progress from the My location page.
That is all for now and see you in a few weeks 😀