Note: Havi trouble uploading photos, so doing my best!
After waking up at 4:15am for the third morning in a row and once again waiting countless hours in the Domestic Airport Terminal we shucked the airplanes and opted for a less weather-dependent form of transport: HELICOPTERS!
Broken into a group of 8 and a group of 4, we hopped aboard the Lukla Express and careened toward Lukla, soaring over farms, deep ravines, and schools full of young kids waving as we zoomed over head. We landed amidst mild fanfare as weary travelers, who had been stuck in Lukla for day, wrestled for a seat on the chopper heading back to Kathmandu.
From there we met our crew, scarfed down a quick lunch, and started on our way to Base Camp 12 hours after we had first woken up. Our first stop was at a massive prayer wheel to bless our climb and wish good luck on our journey.
Three hours later, we reached our first stop of Phakding by torchlight in the darkness of a cloudy moonless night. We had crossed our first massive suspension bridge and were treated to a brilliant view of our first mega-peak, called Khumbila. From here we will check in to our lodge, roll out our sleeping bags, enjoy a cup of tea by the communal fire, nosh on some delicious food, and head straight to bed. We have 8 hours of uphill trekking tomorrow!