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Still in Lukla…

“He began to dance and his laughter became a bloodthirsty snarling.” –Lord of the Flies

Yeah, I know we’re not a group of schoolboys shot down over a deserted island or Ernest Shackleton’s crew trapped in Antarctica. But there’s an amazing ability of this town to tease you incessantly into feeling stranded. We keep getting glimpses of implied certainty that we’re about to leave. We tried to keep expectations low, knowing the fickle landing conditions, but I think the town gets a kick out of trying to convince the skeptics that today is the day.

It’s cold and expensive, and my body is still beat from pushing hard three days to get here. My gastrointestinal system is in a moderate state of civil conflict. It’s only our second full day in this town but it feels like much longer, due to our encouraged expectations, which keep getting juggled. We might be leaving in a few hours or it could be a week before we get out. And each day, more hikers will come back down to fill up the town and the pubs. And our open tickets put us at the end of the queue each day.

So, so it goes, we’re here another day, but again hopeful for tomorrow. There’s no huge rush; neither of us are flying out of Kathmandu anytime soon, but we have had to prep multiple times yesterday and today for flying out, only to be told yet again, “Sorry, no more flights,” or just getting an awkward cold shoulder when asking the status of our flight. Or seeing people who arrived later than us with open tickets leave before us.

The bulk of the problem is nobody’s fault. There could be 30 flights in a day or there could be none, all dependent on a weather system that is even worse at commitment than I am. Anyway, we’ll live. And play more gin for hours on end. And kick around another night in Lukla.

Tonight we opted for a quiet, dark, relatively smokeless bar (i.e. empty) with great 90s rock and creepy lighting. But as long as MJ is watching over us from above, we know that everything will be all right.

Things look good for tomorrow; we’re scheduled for one of the first flights out. So if the morning weather is good, which it usually is, we should be okay. Still, until we’re in Kathmandu, we’re at the mercy of a convoluted system operating in Mother Nature’s crackhouse.

maggie dealing cards
Maggie deals the cards, her head hung in shame at the financial losses she's suffering at gin

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