Day 6 part 1: On the plane again !
We had a very early start, waking up at 4.30am to get the early morning flight to Lukla. When we got off the mini bus our luggage was carried off by unknown porters that were waiting around at the airport. They scrambled in and grabbed some of our luggage and even though we were perfectly capable of walking the 20 metres to the airport entrance! They refused to give the bags back until they'd been tipped! Cheeky! and they even complained about the amounts of the tippage!
The airport was very small, but we were checked at security stations about 4 times before boarding the plane. The plane was over an hour delayed as we had to wait until the sky was clear in Lukla. Most of the group fell asleep waiting for the plane. When our flight was called we went onto a bus which took us to our plane. The airline was called Yeti Airlines!!
When we saw the plane the excitement of what we were about to do sank in! The plane was tiny, seating 17 people - just enough for the group. Sweets were handed out, and cotton wool because the plane was so noisy. The excitement and anticipation of the group as we neared the Everest Base Camp Trek is difficult to describe in words as it was so immense!
The journey lasted just 40 minutes and the views we saw out of the aeroplane were spectacular!
The landing was surprisingly smooth. We noted that the airstrip at Lukla was on an incline, I assume so that the aeroplane can slow down and take off faster on the runway.
We had tea, sorted out our luggage and began walking straight away. Many of the local people work as porters and help walkers carry their luggage up the mountain. These porters are incredible - super human! They voluntarily took our big bags, each porter carried about 25k of weight, and they literally ran up the mountain as if our bags were full of feathers!
We carried our day packs on our backs containing anything we'd need during the day as we wouldn't see our other belongings until the evening. Most people's day packs had snacks, 1-2 litres of water, sun cream, lip protection, fleece, waterproof jacket, sunhat, camera, water purifying tablets etc. We then started walking.