Nepal Day 18: Return to Kathmandu

November 30, 2010

Day18

We woke up on the morning of Day 18 to daylight (we would usually wake up way before the sun did on this trek) and the sound of prop planes taking off and landing at the airport down the trail.

TheView2

Theview

Our room had 2 walls of windows – as we peeked out of them we could see the Happiest Town in the Whole World was already awake too. I went to the bathroom and found the most amazing view of the moon just over the mountains and it hurt my heart. And just moments after that as I enjoyed my morning pee my uterus bluntly and unapologetically let me know that I was definitely not pregnant. Just like that Baby Ever, Buddhi or Babu had turned into this fantasy of what if that I had foolishly let myself indulge in – and I was a little disappointed to, just like that, let it go. But at the same time I was a little a lot relieved. I told Jeremy and, just like that, our lives went back to normal. As normal as our lives could be along a trail in The Happiest Town in the Whole World, Nepal. The late factor is in no way normal for me but can be explained with the physical stress, rapid weight loss and high altitude. At that point I was grateful that I didn’t have to deal with it while hiking around at 18,000 feet.

LuklaRunway

ViewfromAirport

AirportWaiting

We had a lazy breakfast, packed our bags and headed to the Lukla Airport aka The Most Dangerous Airport in the World around 9AM. We said a tearful goodbye to a couple of our sherpas, Uttar and Bimboo. And then we waited and waited and waited. We got word that weather was bad in Kathmandu and thought we might have to stay in Lukla another night. No planes were coming in or out of the Lukla airport but a plane finally arrived around 1PM. Hundreds of people rushed to the “gate” hoping one of those 18 seats on that twin otter belonged to them. But those seats belonged to us.

Flight

NepalFromtheSky

Circles

Leaving Lukla was much less stressful than landing there – the skies were clear and we had an amazing view of the Himalayas. As we approached Kathmandu circled the city 4 times while waiting for the president of Nepal to depart from the Kathmandu Airport. At this point I was itching to be out of that plane and safe on the ground. We landed safely, gathered our bags and like that we were back in the craziest city in the world.

We arrived to our hotel, drank Americanos (our first drop of caffeine in 2 weeks) and showered for what felt like ages. We napped, played Plants vs. Zombies on our iPhones and got ready to go to dinner in Kathmandu with our trek mates.

Taxi

Dinner

BestMealEver

Raksi

What followed was one of the best nights of my whole life. We took two taxis through the crazy city that is Kathmandu to Thamel House. We were led up a winding staircase up about 5 flights to the top of the restaurant where we sat by candle light at low tables on pillows. We ordered Everest beers and looked at the menu. There were two options: Meat and Vegetarian. We ordered vegetarian and ate a 10 course meal. We were giddy to be drinking and eating and the magnitude of what we had accomplished just days before was finally sinking in. We were served shot upon shot of Raksi and our conversations and laughs became louder.

That magical moment I was waiting for at base camp was happening here.

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