Day 1: Flying to the Trek
Last night, I went out for an authentic Indian meal with my family to prepare and get in the mood for the journey ahead. I had just one hour's sleep before the taxi came to take me to the airport (at 2.30am!)...so, I arrived at the terminal exhausted and met the rest of the Everest trekking group there.
It was pretty weird everyone all getting together for the first time a lot of us hadn't ever met each other before. I spent a fair while talking to one of the guys, Andy, who runs the Leeds Student Television Channel. He had decided to make a documentary of the Everest Base Camp trip for the LSTC channel and Childreach! Pretty cool.
The flight was delayed so we sat in the departure lounge getting to know each other, but we were all so knackered we could barely hold any conversations.
The flight was not direct, we went via Paris. The flight on the way to Paris (once we got started) was quick and I slept the whole way with the aid of my velvet, padded, lavender-smelling eye mask - I fully recommend one!
The connection to the plane for Delhi was smooth on the whole even though the first plane was delayed; Pardeep managed to leave his passport on the plane to Paris, but fortunately he got it back in time for the next plane!
The plane to Delhi had an amazing selection of films, sitcoms and games to keep us entertained for the 8 hour flight. We became rather fond of the Who Wants to be a Millionaire game!
When we got to Delhi, Dave was at the gate waiting for us; he'd already been out visiting Childreach projects for a week before joining us for the Everest Base Camp trek. Once we got out of the airport we were struck by the intense humidity and heat. Even though it was late at night we put on out sunglasses to block out the dust and dirt that was being swept into our faces.
We piled on to a mini bus with curtains which looked as though they'd come from the 60s and drove to the hotel.
We went down an alleyway and came to a building with the shutters pulled down over the front. We went underneath the shutters and this turned out to be the back entrance into the hotel. It was so hot over night that we all slept without covers. I was also intrigued to see that there was no toilet paper; but instead, small buckets to fill up with water to wash with.