Tag Archives: nepal

Lukla, the Gateway to the Everest

22 October 2013

The domestic airport of Kathmandu is the lifeline of Lukla. The airport has a crowd with an interesting mix of locals and foreign trekkers.

The tourists are a bit marvelled by the modesty of the airport. It almost feels like being in a time capsule in this airport… like being in the Sixties. The TV screens on the wall betrays this thought.

My flight which is with Tara Air does not have a departure time. Out here we are at the mercy of the weather. Much so than in other airports. We are told that it is not uncommon to have your flight delayed for days. The planes are 14 seaters and are propeller based. The runway in Lukla is about 500 meters long and it is reputed to be one of the most dangerous runways in the World.

Why do people fly to Lukla? Well it is either that short trip of a long 7-day trek! (…)

We’ve reached Lukla! Flying on an airplane it is strange to see mountain ranges left,right and straight ahead especially when the ranges are almost at the same level as the plane. The weather condition was fine but the plane was a bit shaky. I don’t want to know how it would have been if the weather suddenly turned out bad.

(…)

We did a trek of 3 to 4 hours to Phakding. The paths were wide and easy to walk on to. But very stony though! The stones come are embedded on the soil and are of very much of uneven sizes.

We passed by a suspension bridge which was damaged by a landslide this summer. I was a bit uncomfortable crossing it, owing to my fear of heights. I was able to do it by looking at the bag of my guide.

Tomorrow as we go to Namche, there will be 4 or 5 of those suspension bridges.(Note, you do get the hang of it even with fear of heights… the phobia ca be vanquished!)

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I am sitting at  a terrace at Phakding right now. Just beside me are 2 musicians. At the beginning I was the only one listening but a crowd has gathered for a makeshift Phakding Party Central!