Up at 4:30 to catch our flight to Lukla, the domestic area of the airport was like a step back in time, very basic with pigeons flying around the place. Waiting at the gate area they called for a flight leaving from gate 1 and about 20 odd tourists quickly formed a que, leaving only 5 or so local people waiting and us hmmm how small was our plane?? Dawa recommended us to get seats at the front left hand side of the plane to get the best view. I felt sick with excitment and fear I couldn't believe how small our plane was, before we took off, the airhostess handed out cotton wool and boiled sweets, the plane started up and was so loud thank god for the cotton earplugs. The flight only took 30 mins or so and the views were magnificent, we could see the whole off the Himalayas, as we flew low between the mountains it felt a sceen from Jurassic Park. As we peered over the pilots shoulder we could see the landing strip fast approaching, it was only about the length of my street at home. I looked to my right where a man was praying, I must say that wasn't very reassuring. We were relived to land in one piece.
Our guide Onghcu met us at the airport with our porter, a short, small framed young man, how on earth was he going to carry both our big bags up a mountain? We had breakfast at a lodge in Lukla before we set off, we had been warned to be careful what we ate, so we ordered porridge and eggs, I made the grave mistake of ordering scrambled eggs, surely you can't go wrong with scrammbled eggs, oh how wrong could I be. Ryan got hard boiled, wise move. The porridge was aweful but we managed to forced it down, I don't know what they did to those eggs, the weird, soft, lumpy texture definately tested my gag reflex. With each mouthful turning my stomach the ever helpful Ryan was piping up with, 'it must be made with breast milk', oh and my favourite 'it's got yaks cum in it'. it was hilliarious to be fair and we were giggling like two naughty school children.
Our first trekking day was only 3 hours long but was till pretty tough, we passed so many trekkers who had all the technical mountain climbing gear on and walking poles etc but were moving slower than a staner stairlift, I don't get it. The phrase 'all the gear and no idea' sprang to mind. On route we passed little villages, temples, crossed suspension bridges over rivers, and saw many waterfalls, it was breathtaking. We reached our lodge for the night in Pharkding and realised our porter had somehow beat us there and our bags were in our room ready. We had a rest and some tea at a little cafe where the walls and ceilings were decorated with t-shirts signed by groups of trekkers. It was a little worrying that 90% of the messages reffered to having the s***s, for example 'Oh what other holiday do you get to s*** and spew all night and then walk 6 hours uphill?' another good one 'I have never s*** so much standing up' also ' everyone got sick and nearly died, have fun' oh and my favourite, ' I left my arse at basecamp'. On the plus side though we weren't going all the way to basecamp so maybe we would be alright. Fingers crossed, but buying a few extra toilet rolls wouldn't hurt.
Our lodge was aptly named 'The Beer Garder' as it definately felt like we were sleeping in a garden with the amount of bloody flies in our room, and another million trying to bust down the windows. I discovered that night that just like a swiss army knife Ryan is pretty handy to have around. He performed a rather impressive Pied Piper act on the flies, patiently coaxing them out the room by shining a torch until the army of flies followed him and the light out the room. Now we could sleep ready for the 7 hour up hill trek that lay ahead.