Annapurna Sanctuary & Mt. Everest Base Camp Treks travel blog

Me & our airplane at Lukla airport.

Lukla runway - yup, that's all there is at 9300' elevation.

What? A Starbucks in Lukla?

The official start of our trek.

Pack animals on the trail.

Mani stones, they're everywhere.

Home sweet home.

Today is our flight to Lukla. Our scheduled flight time is 7:30 a.m. The airport was a zoo. There were so many people there. Turns out that all flights to Lukla were cancelled after 3 p.m. yesterday, and all those people were trying to get to Lukla and they were taking the flights in order.

Long story short, we took off at 10:30 a.m. for our 7:30 a.m. flight. We were in a twin engine plane that seated 18 people, basically our group, leader, and assistant leader. The air was really hazy so the visibility was not good. We did get to see some of the mountains. The best part was the landing in Lukla. The airport is built on a bluff, the runway is very short, and the runway is 60 meters higher on one end. Since I was sitting up front just behind the pilot & copilot, I saw our approach & landing. It's was wild. I actually filmed it on my digital camera.

(I'll finish this later, the lights went out)

Back again. I gave up trying to use the internet while trekking. It's available but the conditions are unpredictable (lights going off), and it's expensive.

We hiked from Lukla(2800 m) to Phakding (2650 m). This was my introduction to hiking the Everest route, and it's different from Annapurna. There are soooooo many trekkers here. The villages have many teahouses that are much bigger than Annapurna, and people are not as friendly (probably because they are over run with Westerners doing the trek). The trek does not have as many stone steps, there are lots of pack animals, it's very dusty, the forest is completely different than Annapurna (pine instead of rhododendron), and it's more expensive for everything. Anyway, the hike was pleasant and we got to our teahouse. We watched "Into Thin Air" and "Touching the Void". Some of the people on this trek have no idea what it's like to hike at altitude. Should be interesting.

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