Planes, Yaks and Broken Packs

Sept 25, 2018,

Arriving in Lukla was a miracle in itself. What started out

as a smooth plane ride over the Nepali countryside

quickly turned into a bumpy ordeal as we banked left and headed straight

for the goddamn mountain.

This is it.

This is how I die.

At Least the views are nice!

    I kept my thoughts of doom silently to myself to avoid causing further panic to my fellow trek-mates.

With a thud and a suspicious creak, we landed on a narrow airstrip in the small village of Lulka.

As we exited the plane I felt a cold slap of mountain air hit my face.

Ok, so I’m really doing this… no way back now.

We collected our bags from the tiny baggage claim and met our guide, Karma.

He led us along the small stone streets towards the restaurant where we would have breakfast.

    Only when we stopped to let a herd of yaks pass did I realize the blinding smell of yak shit.

The path was covered in it. Not that I was appalled by this at all, I expected something of the sorts but

the image in your head is always different than reality, right?

Karma told us to stay mountainside as the yaks passed us and stop until they’ve all gone by, apparently,

they are notorious for pushing people off the path and down the mountain.

After they all passed he led us to the cafe and we sat and looked at the menu.

We found Connor, a solo Aussie trekker that we had met in the Kathmandu airport and had tea with him.

He told us all about his upcoming solo trek to Gokyo lake and Base camp, I admired his wild ambition

and spontaneity but I’m glad the company paired the four of us together…at least we weren’t totally alone.

I got to know my trek-mates a little bit better; a woman in her 30’s from Toronto(like me),

a mid 20’s Texan and another man in his late 20’s from Amsterdam

– we were your standard breakfast club for sure.

As the teapot dwindled to nothing we realized the clouds that had so quickly rolled in,

just shortly after our arrival, had rolled out just as fast. Karma told us we would be leaving in

10 to make the best of the decent weather so we all jumped up and prepared to get going.

I threw on my 9kg pack and said our goodbyes to Connor and suddenly realized the chest strap of

my pack had been snapped off (undoubtedly when they loaded it in Kathmandu or unloaded it in

Lukla). I grabbed my oily, dirty scarf that I used as a buff, Mad Max style, in Kathmandu and tied

it where the chest trap was supposed to be. I heard yak bells in the distance.

This was going to be a long 12 days.

It’s not a scarf, it’s literally holding my life together.

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