Or, in this case, Lukla.
No flights at all today, weather is supposed to be crap for the next several days. We’ve decided to take fate into our own hands. Tomorrow could be the day or it could be another week. Screw it, we’re going to hire a porter tomorrow morning and hike four days to the nearest road and catch a 12-hour bus to Kathmandu.
We talked with some Canberra boys who did the hike on the way in. It’s significant ups and downs, in the neighborhood of 1,000 feet of both each day, as it hops over the humped hills. But at least we’ll be able to do something with our days other than stand in lines, rush around, play cards, wait, and eavesdrop to the same conversations in different accents.
I feel like this all sounds impatient, and I’m surprised at how anxious I am to get out. It’s all the shifting expectations and increasing repetitive chatter of people who are absolutely fed up and the accusations of incompetence and just a general bad vibe that’s increasing in intensity every hour. If someone asked me how my brain feels right now, I think the photo at the top neatly sums it up (taken on another evening stroll around Lukla tonight).
Many people are hiring helicopters to take them to Kathmandu. It started around $250/head and has gone up to about $600 for a half hour flight. I suppose if you’ve got a $2,000 flight out of KTM in a day or so, it might be worth it. After long discussion and consideration, we conceded to pay $400 each to get out. The option was still tentative for several hours after we committed to it, and then the cost went up $200 and we’d have to wait another day or longer and there might not actually be space as it turns out.
So, off we go. It feels good to have a plan. I’m hopeful that after we hit the trail, we’ll have the enthusiasm of hiking in the woods again.