Kathmandu Altitude:1400 meters
Lukla Altitude: 2800 meters
Phakding Altitude: 2610 meters
Flight Duration (Kathmandu to Lukla): 40 minutes
Trek Duration: 4 hours
Finally! I was loading me with through real gusto. At last, it was happening. I’d read the term “thrill on Lukla flight” several times on many articles about Everest Base Camp trekking. So, I was ready to experience it by myself.
Early in the morning, the alarm woke me at 6. I was flying to Lukla, i was excited! It was at the hotel that i had my breakfast. There was HARI waiting for me to finish off with breakfast. He helped me carry all my bags to the car.
We reached the domestic terminal of Tribhuvan International airport. I was nervous about what laid ahead of me. There were hardly some lists of “world’s most dangerous airports” where Lukla wasn’t contained. My heart was pounding.
Soon, I was on and the plane took off. As i looked down from the air, what i saw in the Kathmandu valley were the clustered houses, Boudhanath Stupa, and some other historic monuments.
Luckily, my flight day was a clear day. As the plane flew towards north-east, the white range of Himalayas started appearing in front of the plane’s snout. It was a beautiful time. The hills below and the twirling trails around them looked unique.
I was enjoying the surrounding views and then i experienced a chilling freefall. We were about to land at Lukla airport. The only thing on my mind then was “Oh Lord, please take care of this.” I took a really deep breath before I opened my eyes, and the plane halted.
After landing in Lukla, we had lunch at a hotel in Lukla. After that, we began trekking. The trail was flatly descending. There, we saw a herd of donkeys that were carrying loads on their back. The trail passes through shades of Rhododendron trees. It was Spring and there were Rhododendron petals scattered on the ground. I also found some hazelnuts from the trees. (but i didn’t eat it.)
There was the splashing Dudh Kosi river alongside the trail. Along the trail, we saw beautiful houses made of stones. Gun Das pointed a scattered settlement down below saying “there is a school there”.
The trail was beautiful and refreshing. A few hours ago, i was in the midst of loud and crowds in Kathmandu. And now, i was looking at the giant hills, tall and quiet, the splashing rivers, soulful and pure. There were no easy roads, cabs or bikes, or any vehicles. I savored the fresh bucolic aroma while I walked further.
There were prayer wheels and large mani walls at different places on the trail. I saw these cute kids with red cheeks and bright smiles. Lukla to Phakding was giving me soulful and radiant vibes.
At some places, there were women working in the fields. There were young potato plants in the fields, and they were working on them. There were many shops, some selling snacks, some selling local breweries, some hotel-like selling teas and cooked noodles, rice, and others.
It was almost 3.5 hours that we had been trekking. I asked Gun Das; how far? He smiled and replied “fifteen more minutes”. We continued walking and soon the small stone stair to Phakding appeared in front of us. There was a board saying PHAKDING, 2610 meters.
It was there. My first day of trekking in the land of Yaks and Sherpas was amazing! I loved everything about the trek. Lukla flight and Phakding trek was a full package of thrill and refreshment.
Continue reading for Day 2: