Day 2 : 09/05/2010
Woke up as early as half past 4 in the morning after the hotel reception gave us a wakeup call and had a hot shower. Maddy and I have shared the room and continued to be the room partners for the entire tour. We rested little more than required until Javed broke the silence and gave us a mouthful. We hurried to downstairs where I could see everyone gave us such a stare as if we committed a sin :) I had the lightest of breakfasts ever had, some corn flakes with milk and a coffee. On board a bus to reach the Tribhuval Domestic terminal, Checked-in our luggage and proceeded to so-called security check-in. No sight of metal detectors, only manual inspection. Security lad asked me few stupid questions, like where are you from? where are you going? why are you going? what's there in this bag? etc...
We proceeded to board our flight, operated by Agni air, which is a small cessna, a 17 seater including a seat reserved for the only air hostess. It was a strange feeeling sitting inside this plane, unique of its kind, just 2 seats in each row with a very little gap in between. I was fortunate enough to get a seat right behind the pilot, so close to the cockpit, never been this much close before. A great feeeling to behold with all the panels so close, my eyes were lit, and tried my best to grasp the every bit written on and understand. There was hardly an announcement needed as the hell lot of noise came out as the pilot ignited the engines.
Cessna eventually took off, the feeling I had in the place was quite different from the normal A-320s and Boeing 737s. The pilot on my left looked like an experienced chap, as I was closely observing them, they were riding this plane as we drive our cars, looking outside the window and figuring out which path to take. Dense cloud cover over Lukla village made the pilots job hard to land, after a troublesome 90 minutes in the air they managed to land at Lukla. It was very scary as there was a hill standing at the end of the runway, cessna took a sharp right turn at the end of the runway and parked the flight in available parking slot. There were four parking slots one adjacent to each other on two sides, pretty much like a car parking slot. Flights take off and land only from one direction at this place.
Reached "Himalaya Expeditions" office which shared the fence with the airport. We met the co-ordinator Thapa ji and he introduced Om Bahadur Ji, Kiran, Mingma and other porters for the first time. Immediately started the hike towards Phakding, as I march forward step by step, a hell number of thoughts crossed my mind. Would I be able to cope up with the next eight days of uphill trek, from 2800m to 5500m? Though I didn't have the answer at that point in time, I convinced myself that I'd give my best shot at it. Nature at its best, lush green trees and valley on one side. After an hour of leisurely walk, we reached "Thoda Koshi" village after going over "Dudh Koshi" river for the first time ever. We waited for the rest of the team to join us for lunch.
Resumed journey after a brief 30 minute break post lunch and trekked uphill to Phakding @ 12:30PM. After a brief walk of an hour or so reached our hotel @ Phakding, tasted some black tea for the first time ever. Trekked uphill to a monastery as Javed and Kanchuki dropped out. Sudhir, Aditya n I have trekked uphill in a group, and reached the monastery at 3PM. Returned to the hotel and munched some Potato Fries and played some UNO cards after learning the game from Paddy and Kanchuki. Play went on till the dinner time, reached out to the streets of Phakding to make a call home. Hit the bed @ 9:30.
An eventful first day @ office comes to an end here.