If you ask me how was I feeling when I left India to travel the flight to Kathmandu, my answer would be “completely composed”.
What do you mean? You are going to Mount Everest and you are calm and composed?
Yes! My state of mind was exactly that.
I left on 28th morning in a relaxed manner from my home. My husband Ankur and my doggies Hazel and Cleo came to leave me at the airport. My 3 huge duffel bags were a sight as I pushed with a purpose towards the counter of Indigo Airlines. After having checked-in already, I made a beeline to the online check-in counter and was handed a boarding card along with a huge sum to pay for excess baggage.
“Mam? Only one person travelling??” – The look on the counter lady said more than what she said.
After being escorted through customs and answering the “I am going to Everest”, I was given a go-ahead and within half an hour I was sitting on the plane to go to Kathmandu.
It is only in the flight that I was transported back to almost a year back when I attempted Everest in 2017. I was a bag of nerves inside then, hoping that I had packed everything but this time around, I was organized and no last minute jitters.
Flight landed and I was so well received by the Sherpa team, all polite and hospitable. As the car moved towards the hotel, it almost felt like home as I knew the streets and winding traffic all part of dusty Kathmandu. I knew I was more prepared to tackle what lies ahead.
The next day was a blur and was spent in shopping for last-minute stuff and before I knew it, I was boarding for Lukla .
The landing to lukla from Kathmandu was far from smooth and for the first time I felt uneasy in the 18-seater small plane. The air pockets hit big time and my mascot from Vodafone shook as well.
After a quick few photos, I headed for the trail to Phakding and it was the same familiar terrain, feeling energised as soon as I got on. The smell of trees and those suspension bridges brought back memories so alive that I felt I was flying in the air and I had a spring in my step.
After a peaceful night in the sunrise lodge Phakding, I was excited to head to Namache bazaar, my favourite place on the Everest base camp trail.
Have been here for the last two nights at namache bazaar 3450 mts with two acclimatising trips up to the Everest view hotel at 3880 mts.
Have felt stronger now that I am acclimatising well. What is best about this trip is the people you meet on the way. Even a stranger will pass you with a smile. Best is the small community of seasoned climbers who tread this path during the Everest season. Have met veteran mountaineers and people I have climbed with, and no matter how many years pass, the time that you spend with people in the mountains does not in any way fade your association with them.
I know for sure, I am so looking forward to going ahead and taking each day as it comes with looking after myself and concentrating on staying well. I have a renewed sense of vigour, hope and energy…
Off to a new trail on 3rd April enroute EBC…
Sharing some pics from my journey so far.. stay tuned for more to come!