Arriving into Kathmandu, it’s been a long journey to get here but fairly uneventful and quiet and I managed too get some sleep and not eat too much on what seems like a never ending buffet of food and drink on the plane and in the airport lounges.
Flying into Kathmandu, the capital city with a population of around 1.4 million people it’s the largest city by far in Nepal, the next being Pokhara with a population of 200,000 and flying in at night all you can see is the twinkling lights of the city as far as the eye can see, I’m off the plane and into the immigration hall in no time and thank OCD that I got my visa in London before I left looking at the length of the queues waiting to use the automated machines before joining another queue to pay the visa fee, its still a wait to get through but I am eventually and collect my bags and head outside to be met by Tensi from Elite Exped and swiftly driven to the Kathmandu Marriott for a couple of nights before I head up into the Namche in the Khumbu valley.
Ten minutes to drop my bags in the hotel and then I’m on my way to rendezvous with Mingma Gyabu Sherpa for dinner and to catch up. Mingma Gyabu has climbed with me on every expedition in Nepal and to say he’s a climbing legend would be a massive understatement - he was the youngest person to climb all 14 eight-thousanders, and held the Guinness World Record for “Fastest time to climb Everest and K2” which he did in 61 days, this will be his 8th time submitting Mt Everest and I’m in safe hands with him by my side. A quiet reserved man Mingma and I have developed a climbing relationship that gets me to the summit mainly consisting of me whinging and begging for a rest and Mingma waving at me to move and a ‘rest later’ comment so we’ve really nailed the communication! On Ama Dablam I watched him carry out the rescue of a climber, abseiling with them in his arms single handily down the steepest and longest ice wall and then getting them airlifted off safely - legend really is too small of a statement!
It’s a quick meal as jet lag and tiredness of travelling starts to kick in and I head back to the hotel to get some sleep and I’m wide awake as soon as my head hits the pillow - ah jet lag love it!