In Nepal, after spending several days walking around Kathmandu, stopping by the delicious Everest Steak House for dinner, visiting the Swayambhunath Temple, and generally trying to get lost in the maze of streets and alleyways in the city, I got on a tiny airplane and flew about 40 minutes east to Lukla, an airport perched on a giant hill at the bottom of a mountain in Sagarmāthā National Park. After landing and getting acclimated to the altitude, my guide and I started on the journey up to a lovely little village called Namche Bazaar and back. Each evening, when we would stop for the night, we’d meet other travelers/hikers and would share stories and play games (mostly Uno and local card games the locals would teach us), drink Ilam tea, and just enjoy the absolutely breathtaking scenery all around us.
In the Kathmandu airport waiting for my plane to land.
Take-off and in flight – with a great cockpit view from my seat.
Learning a few Nepali words to get me through, mostly hello and thank you.
This is the official entrance to the park – The initial lovely descending slope is very deceiving.
A local kid watching me be completely and utterly out of breath as I climbed up from the airport while being passed by 80-year-olds practically skipping up the incline.
The first night, playing a rousing game of Uno with some fellow travelers.
One of the many suspension bridges on our path up.
A view of Everest. Even though I would obviously not get anywhere near base camp, it was still a view that absolutely took my breath away.
A view of the skies above Namche, with a helicopter taking one of the several people we encountered with altitude sickness back down to Lukla and a hospital.
On the airplane ride back to Kathmandu – the view out of the front of the airplane.