Thursday, December 22, 2011

Nepal Trek Day Fifteen: Lukla - Kathmandu


I'm taking a trip down memory lane with a look back at our trip to Nepal last December. For all of the entries about our trek, click here.

Today marked the final day of our trek in the Himalayas. It was definitely a bittersweet moment -- the trip I had dreamed about taking for 10 years was nearing its end -- but I have to admit I was looking forward to returning to lower elevations, warmer temperatures, and hot running water.

We were up early for breakfast, as our plane was scheduled to leave fairly early in the morning. After breakfast, we packed up our big red bag one last time, and Dilip schlepped it over to the airport. Upon our arrival at the airport, we learned that no planes had left Kathmandu due to clouds. To bide the time, the four of us wandered over to a nearby "bakery" and got some hot beverages to drink. Shortly after, Dilip said his goodbyes and headed back to Namche. After our snack, D, Bharat, and I headed back to the airport to continue the wait for our flight. 

{Bharat, Dilip, and me}

 {Lukla airport}

 {runway}

D and I hung out in the airport waiting room for awhile, then headed outside to bask in the sunshine. Bharat waved us back in around 9:30a and we went through "security." Unfortunately, I forgot that I still had my multi-tool in my backpack that I was carrying on and it was confiscated. Eventually our plane arrived, and as soon as the arriving passengers de-planed, it was our turn to board. Bharat was on it and made sure that we got prime seats on the righthand side of the plane. Forty-five minutes later, we were back in Kathmandu.

Upon our arrival in Kathmandu, Prim was waiting for us at baggage claim, and we quickly loaded up the car and were back on our way to the Samsara Hotel. Once we arrived back at our hotel (which took a bit of time due to the chaotic traffic of Kathmandu), we said our goodbyes to Bharat, but made plans to meet up on Christmas day. We dropped our stuff off at our room and made our way back down to the hotel's restaurant for lunch. Right after lunch we found our way to a local "department" store, where we stocked up on sundries including shampoo, soap, shaving cream, and razors. Once back at the hotel, I enjoyed a much-needed long, hot shower. We spent the remainder of the afternoon relaxing and making use of the hotel's free wi-fi.

D and I consulted our Lonely Planet guidebook to find a place to eat for dinner. We decided on La Dolce Vita, an Italian restaurant. Oh, it was so good. We feasted on bruschetta, pasta, red wine, and had tiramisu and espresso for dessert. Our bill came to 1990 rupees -- about $24 --  and it was totally worth it.

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