Our day began at 4:15am when the phones in our rooms rang to life with our courtesy wake-up calls. "This is your automated robotic wake-up call. Get up," the Nepalese-accented robotic lady yelled at us. By 4:45am the hotel lobby was buzzing. Bags were being weighed, items were being left in storage, keys were being returned, and rope was being gathered to tether our worldly possessions to the roof of the van. Anticipation was mounting and the energy was contagious!
We jammed to some tunes on the iPod en route and the chaos continued once we arrived. More weighing, random innocuous metal detectors beeping, boxed breakfasts being devoured, and tired eyes attempting to keep open. By 5:30am we were watching the brilliant Nepalese sunrise over a distant mountain range beyond the airstrip. It was go time!
Tashi, our brilliant local head guide (or T-Pain, as we call him) warned us that flights to Lukla are often delayed due to wind so we should be prepared to wait. And wait. And wait. Waiting is exactly what we did. Our 6:15am departure time came and went. 8am, 9am, 10am, and 11am came and went.
Most of the team killed the time reading books, playing games, or taking pictures of me napping in strange situations (above). Emma bought some things. Correction. Emma bought everything. Jarrod and the other Kyle, however, killed time by inventing a ridiculous game with only one rule. Every time one of them says anyone's first name, they must do 10 push-ups. This is fine at sea level but at 5000 meters, it becomes downright exhausting (especially for the other Kyle, who is absolutely terrible at this game).
After a quick early lunch of local Momo dumplings it was back to waiting. 12pm. Still waiting. 1pm. Still waiting. 2pm. The waiting was over. The rest of that day's flights were canceled and it was back to the hotel for us. We retrieved our luggage, tied it back onto the van, and hurtled once more throw the streets of Kathmandu. The afternoon and evening brought more preparations, more shopping (especially for Emma), a Nepalese dinner, and a very big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to our teammate, trekking extraordinaire, and downright lovely guy Paul. We had pretended all day not to have remembered then surprised him with a big cake. It was great!
Now off to bed, and we begin the waiting game once more tomorrow morning. Fingers crossed we get off the ground!