So after a lot of sitting down in airports, on trains and planes we have arrived at our first destination, the wonderfully chaotic city of Kathmandu. Arrived at Heathrow early having avoided the extinction rebellion that was taking place in central London (the pollution from the increasingly static and frustrated traffic was way above usual levels). Met up with the group, a couple of whom I have met previously but typically it seems like a good mix of people and ages (I'm not the youngest unfortunately!). Flying with Emirates, got to fly on the large Airbus A380 and have really been spoilt by the large amounts of legroom. A standard jet took us from Abu Dhabi to Kathmandu and it felt as if we had our knees under our chins.
Quite a flight for the atheists as the flight started off with a prayer from the Koran before going directly into the safety announcement. Very much a case of well, if you trust in prayer then you're taken care of, but just in case it doesn't work then here's what you need to do.
We were scheduled to take an afternoon flight to Paro, but that has been brought forward as the Chinese President is in town and everyone has been given a two day holiday to celebrate. The result is that despite little sleep last night we have a 5.15 wake-up call for a 6am departure to the airport to avoid the traffic. The hotel we are in tonight, the Manaslu is even plusher with lots of intricate oak woodwork in real life than the website made it look - a few of us, myself included feel a little out of place!