Monjo to Lukla and worrying omens
05.04.2012 - 05.04.2012 15 °C
I’m still feeling tired from my ‘tummy’ problems, so wasn’t looking forward to the 6 hour walk to Lukla today. On paper it was a fairly flat walk but having already done it in reverse we had learnt that Nepali ‘flat’ is anything but. Anyway the sun shone and we had loads of time so a gentle amble following the valley of the Dudh Koshi river wasn’t too taxing. Magnolia and Rhododendron were starting to blossom making the scenery quite different to that we saw only three weeks before when we started our trek. What was even in more marked contrast was the amount of trekkers coming the other way. At first we thought that many were taking advantage of the Easter holidays to come trekking and whilst this was the case to some extent the main reason was more worrying.
Lukla airstrip had been closed for two days and had only just reopened meaning a large backlog of trekkers was now rushing up the valley trying to make up for lost time. Furthermore the forecast for the next few days wasn’t great so there was a danger we may be stuck in Lukla. Just to more of a negative omen the sky let rip after lunch with a prolonged downpour which occasional turned to hail. We could hear thunder in the distance as we gloomily trudged along.
By the time we got to the North Face Lodge in Lukla we were soaking so we quickly changed into dry clothes and sought solace in the highest Starbucks in the world. If you are imagining Venti Caramel Latte think again. All the milk was powdered so it wasn’t exactly the same taste you would expect from your local coffee should. But it was warm and the chairs were comfortable so we settled in for a few hours.
After dinner we said goodbye to our porters and mountain guides, donating old clothes and equipment that we weren’t going to take home with us. They had been so much support over the last three weeks that it was sad it see them go, we were told they had a couple more nights in Lukla before their services would be required by another party this time doing the Everest Base Camp Trek.
During the night the rain seemed to get heavier and the thunder louder, would Lukla Airport be open in the morning?