High passes of everest

Hi, just found out about this forum.  So, if you are on the trip & want to share information, please let me know.

- Steve H Dublin, Ireland

sparkle

I clearly was horrified by your last mail Ausra, I made two errors in sending my response. Bungy? I'm getting my head around the high passes of Everest let alone a bungy at the end. I say good for you, I'd love to watch but not sure if I could take part.

Sorry about the knees...good to rest! I have had two weeks off as well, firstly sickness bug and then flu! Climbing the stairs is an effort, let alone treking at altitude! However, at least I had it three weeks before departure and not one week. Went to the gp who gave me anti sickness tabs, when he heard I was going to Nepal he laughed and gave me a bumper pack for us all to use!

I have started to lay all my kit and medicines etc on my spare bed ready to pack...excited.

mike_f

How shall I put this, Ausra . . . ? Ermmm . . . , I know . . . . , no thank you! There are various forms of minor surgery I would willingly carry out on myself using only a rusty pen-knife rather than go bungee jumping . . .  I might sell your case to a medical journal though - the first recorded case of knee injuries resulting in reduction in the capacity to make rational decisions!

Sorry to hear about your knees, Ausra, and your ill-health Karen/Sparkle. At least it avoids either of you overtraining in the run-in though! Take it easy, both of you. Happily, my build-up has been remarkably uneventful so far - have built-up the training a bit and though still a few pounds heavier than I'd like to be, do actually feel a bit fitter. And have had the last rabies jab now - having not set foot in the GP's surgery in 4 years, since the Kili trek, have been there four of the last 6 weeks for jabs. As much as I like our practice nurse, I think we've seen enough of each other now.

It really is getting close now, isn't it? Still fluctuating between high excitement and high anxiety - which reminds me, how many toilet rolls should we each be taking . . .

Mike

actually after having a look at some of the clips on the Youtube from those jumps I am having second thoughts :) but still tempted. The only downside I see is the 3 hours drive to that place, although it looks amazing.

Get well soon Karen!

Re toilet paper - I am planning to take 2 rolls with me (and lightweight :)). Hope it will be enough. They say in the book that you can buy stuff like that on the trek. Just hope it's true.

Re overdoing it in the gym - not me and not this time :) I am taking it really easy. Might be struggling on some of the mountains and passes, but I don't want to risk not being able to go on the trip because I overdid it.

Take care everyone! Weekend is coming :)

Ausra

mike_f

So, (good news) it looks like we're really going! Great to get the final joining instructions, except for finding (bad news) that Jet Air have moved their operation from Terminal 3, where I'd booked car parking, to Terminal 4 - need to sort that.

The query - I think we'd reached some sort of consensus that it was best to take cash in US$, but how much are people actually thinking of taking - I was thinking about the equivalent of £300 in cash (plus credit/debit cards), but does that sound crazily high or low? Any advice/thoughts gratefully received.

Trust that all's well with everyone.

Mike

 

sparkle

Hi Mike..everyone...I still have a virus and feeling exhausted, really hope it goes soon! I have no joining instructions yet.

 Glad you brought the subject of money up, I was wondering how much to take. I think £300 seems fine. I worked out needing about £100 at most for food and the other couple of hundred for gifts etc. A friend of mine got some good North Face gear in Kathmandu.

Karen

 

mike_f

Thanks for the rapid response, Karen. Good to hear that your estimate is about the same as mine.

Its a bit strange that you've not received the joining instructions - mine arrived (by e-mail) Friday afternoon. There aren't any surprises, I think, aside from Terminal number.

Really sorry to hear about your ongoing virus - the advice always seem to be that you've got to give in to these things for a while, and that trying to do too much to soon can make things worse in the long-term. So be sure to take it extra easy, and give your body the chance to recover. There is still more than a couple of weeks to go, which can make a massive difference.

Best wishes.

Mike

mike_f

Hi Karen,

Sat down and did some sums last night. Taking into account spending on food while in Kathmandu, tips for the crew plus leader, bits and pieces like national park fee and departure tax, plus however much we might spend each day on drinks, snacks etc at tempting teahouses/lodges, I'm now thinking that £300 worth of cash might not actually leave much slack for buying kit or souvenirs in Kathmandu or Namche. Obviously, there is scope for withdrawing cash via ATMs once we return to Kathmandu, but, on balance, I think I'll take £400 in $US to be on the safe side.

I hope you're feeling somewhat better, either today or very soon.

Mike

 

Mike, I don't think we'll have to pay the National Park fee. This should be included in the price.The only thing we'll need for the park permit is two photos.

I too think that £400 in US dollars should be the right amount. 

Ausra

melanie_frost

Hi everyone,

 Just got round to finding this forum.  good to see everyone is excited!

I'm actually working in Kathmandu at the moment so (probably rather on the late side) I can tell you that there is no need to get a visa before you arrive - if anyone hasn't and is worried.  You just bring a passport photo and US$40 for a 30 day visa or US$100 for a 90 day visa and fill in a couple of forms and bobs your uncle.  Dead easy.

 US dollars are the best currency to have, but pounds are fine too since all you'll be doing is changing them into Nepalese Rupees when you get here.  For that kind of thing any hard currency is fine.  There are also plenty of ATMs in Kathmandu and the working ones often have guards and queues around Thamel.  There isn't much point having anything other than rupees when trekking and prefereably in small denominations like 50s and 100s.  Though I've found a 1 rupee note before now, which was a bit odd to say the least.

 You can buy toilet paper, chocolate, fizzy drinks and so on for most of the trek.  At Namche you can even get trekking gear.  So if you run out it's not big deal apart from when we're in really out of the way places.

Water purification wise - you can't rely on boiled water.  At altitude it's not an effective method of sterilisation.  Iodine is supposed to be fine, but they went and banned it in the UK so I couldn't get an this time.  I've got chlorinedioxide which is supposed to be very good and tasteless, but I'm convinced it's got a slightly strange aftertaste.  

 It's a bit of a trek up to the Last Resort if you only have a day - I wouldn't recommend it unless you can stay the night since a combination of traffic and landslides would mean 8 hours plus in a van in one day... it's lovely up there though.

Sorry for all the random question answering - I'm killing time before lunch.  The weather here is very pleasant - just above 20 during the day... unfortunately the views are obscured by a haze of cloud and smog.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that that changes when we get out of the Kathmandu valley!

 Looking forward to meeting you all... my main worry is it being too cold.  I got a present of handwarmers and footwarmers from my sister before I left.

Welcome aboard! So it's 7 of us now if I am counting right :)

Thanks for all the advice. With regards to the water purification, to be honest I wasn't counting for the boiled water to be safe enough anyway and bought chlorinedioxide as well. Although we didn't have any problems at the altitude in Tanzania. Boiled water was just fine there.

Thanks for the warning on the Last Resort. I know it's a long drive, but still very tempted to do this. It's an opportunity I can't miss. Unfortunately they do not organise bungy jumps every day so might not be able to. I am waiting for their reply to see whether there is one scheduled for the 10th April when we are back in Kathmandu. 

Not long now. Getting a bit nervous... 

Ausra

mike_f

Hi Guys,

Welcome aboard, Melanie - it will be great to have a little local knowledge in the group.

Re water treatment, I see now why I wasn't able to get more iodine tablets, if they're banned in the UK! I do have some, but they've been open for a while, and I've now bought some "Biox" (I think) tablets which are chlorine based and claim not to require a neutraliser, though I'm pretty doubtful about that.

Ausra - I think that you, like me, are going through some kind of cyclical response to this trip. I've just come out of a nervous/terrified phase, am now into a maturely excited phase of thinking that this trip will be a brilliant, life-affirming experience. Very likely that within the next couple of days I will become so immaturely excited that I might just lose control of bodily functions . . . And then doubtless it will be back into panic and terror which may have a similar outcome! Whatever, I guess we've got to know that the feelings will pass and we're just going to have to live in the moment and enjoy that. Doubtless somebody will kindly remind me of this sensible and healthy approach to emotional responses at some point during the trip when I'm freaking out and/or wholly over-excited!

Now onto today's practical question:

I'm thinking about only taking a couple of 1 litre Sigg bottles rather than a Camelback. I do have a Camelback which has insulated body/tube/mouthpiece, and which didn't actually freeze on Kili, but I think we're going to be in colder conditions for much longer on this trip, and I'm thinking it just might not be worth the hassle. Any thoughts/advice/suggestions?

Take it easy y'all!

Mike

 

  

melanie_frost

I must say it's very exciting being able to discuss the trip before we leave.  I got out of Kathmandu far enough to be able to see the mountains over the weekend so now I wish the next 2 weeks would hurry up so we can get out into the Himalayas (besides which I also really want to see a yak).  Though the cold still worries me - the weather forecast is still claiming that it's going down to -12 at Namche, which doesn't sound good to me since I think that's still only 3400m or so.  Still, I live in hope because it seems to be getting warmer here in the valley - I managed to get sunburnt through the smog at the weekend.

 So, water bottles?  I've got my platypus but it's not even insulated and it did freeze last time I went trekking in the himalayas when it was supposedly only -6.  I think it's still worth it though because during the average daytime it shouldn't be too cold (fingers firmly crossed).  But I'm taking a couple of water bottles as well.  They're useful for purifying if nothing else.

 My turn for a couple of questions now - first what's everyone planning on doing on the first full day when we seem to be stuck in central Kathmandu with nothing to do?  Secondly, does anyone know what the washing facilities are going to be like on this trek?  I've never done a camping trek before - just teahouses and I was just wondering if anyone knew.  Last time I got one shower in 12 days and by the end my hair stayed in its ponytail whatever I did to it...not necessarily something I'd choose...

Mel

P.S. The bungee jumping at the border - if the last resort says no then try borderlands who are just a bit further away from the border but I think they arrange bungee jumps too.  It's a really nice area like I said and one heck of a bungee jump.

Hi everyone!

Water bottles... I was thinking to take my insulated Camelback and 0.5 litre bottle. But now you made me think about this again Mike. I'm still sticking to the Camelback as this is the best way to ensure that I am drinking enough water. I found that otherwise and espacially when I am tired I simply don't bother to take my backpack down to have some water. So Camelback is my answer to that. But now I am thinking to take another 1L bottle... just in case... although this looks silly... will see. Either way you can put your bottles or Camelback inside your sleeping bag... not really comfy but practical...

Day in Kathmandu... I am definitely planning to go and see the Durbar Square and maybe some other places. Thamel is another place to look around and especially if you want to buy some gear. But it's in the opposite direction so not sure we can manage both in one day. Will have a look at the Lonely Planet book on the plane. 

And on the 10th April when we are back from the trip, instead of wondering in Kathmandu once again, I am planning to do that bungy thing. There is one scheduled for that day so if we are back on time and I can get in touch with them, then I'm definitely going :)

Washing facilities... don't think there will be any... at least I am not expecting any. I am taking enough clothes for me to last the whole trip (although I would like to take more) and with regards to washing ourselves... well we'll have to cope with the bowl of water we'll get every evening/morning. Mind you I remember reading something in the trip notes about using showers only at those lodges where they have solar power or electricity to heat the water. So probably if we will be camping somewhere close to them there might be a possibility that they have showers. But I think we would have to pay for that. Hope for the best, plan for the worst I always say :)

Weather... -12 that's cold at 3400m. Blimey...I was hoping for the weather to be a bit warmer at the end of March... cold nights then... I am taking my space blanket. It's lightweight and doesn't take much of the space. Might help at least a little bit.

Mike, today I am excited... I bet tomorrow I'll be nervous and terrified again...

Ausra

melanie_frost

Wow - you can fit in enough clothes for 18 days?  My miserable selection of clothes consists of about 3 different outfits so that's a change of clothes once a week.  I guess that's the problem with being away from home for 6 weeks before the trek even starts...  still I have many many baby wipes so apart from my hair everything will be fine (if I was a man I'd totally shave it off).    

 For the day round Kathmandu you can easily do Durbar Square and Thamel in a day and have time to spare (depending on how much shopping you want to do).  Neither are that far from where we're staying, though it's a shame that we aren't actually in Thamel.  Has anyone considered Boudhanath, Pashputinath or Swayambunath?  Swayambunath generally has good mountain views and lots of monkeys, Boudhanath is impressive, but I think we're seeing plenty of Buddhist sites anyway up in the Khumbu.  Pashputinath is interesting if you can stomach the burning bodies, but non-hindus can't go in the temple anyway.  I'm wondering what the swimming pool is like.  I also want to know what oriental therapy is because the hotel offers it.

 

sparkle

Hi everyone Sadly I have become quite ill with a kidney infection, can you believe it! I am too weak to go on the trip. All the fear of getting ill in Nepal and here I am at home getting a bacterial infection. The mountains will wait for me.

I hope you all have a wonderful time. I will think of you all and hope all goes well!

Best Wishes Karen 

 

 

mike_f

Sad news indeed, Karen. I can't imagine how difficult it must be to have to pull out at this stage, but as you said, the mountains will still be there for you when you're fit and well again. So, get well soon, and if you want, I'm sure we'll all be able to bore you endlessly with tales of the trip once we're back! Just be sure to get well.

Ausra/Melanie - I fear you're right, Ausra, about limited, if any scope for washing. Like you, Melanie, I'll be on babywipes for "pits n bits". I'm not sure how many clothes I'll be able to fit within a 12kg allowance, but I know it won't be enough for me to be good to be around! The good news (?) is that we'll all be in the same condition . . . And I have reserved a single tent so nobody will need to be too close to me!

As for day in Kathmandu, I'm thinking I'll simply have a wander round Durbar Square, and then, try to chill in hotel, but on past form will likely spend rest of time crazily packing and re-packing my kit bag! Oh, and we do have the main briefing that day, don't we? Not sure I'll be trying any therapy, oriental or otherwise.

Trial packing some time this weekend. Wish me luck!

 Mike

 

 

So sorry to hear this Karen. I hope you will get better real soon.

Melanie, please do not think that I am taking the whole wardrobe :) no way. I learned from my previous adventures that wool is the best for trips like this one. Expensive but really worth the price. Clothes stay smell free for longer and they keep you warm even if they are wet. Also because you will be carrying (well at least I plan to) all your waterproofs and something warm in the daypack, 12kg should be enough to fit the rest of the kit you need. Haven't said that at the beginning I put loads of stuff in front of me that I wanted to take. Then I simply went through it and got rid of those things that I could live without. Last weekend after trying to pack one more time I ended up with the 12kg bag and 5kg backpack (that's without the water). You don't really want to carry more than 8-9kg on your back. What I am having problems with is fitting everything to a 20kg pack now. And it proofs to be a real challenge for me... it doesn't seem that 100 litre bag is big enough :/. Didn't manage to do this last weekend, so will have a final go on Saturday. Decided to wear my walking boots on the plane as well. This will reduce the weigh, although I'll be real hot in Delhi... it's also recommended to wear boots on the trip just in case if the main luggage gets lost.

I don't really plan any shopping in Thamel. Don't think I need anything. So Durbar Square is the first on my list.

Pashputinath... definitely no. Don't really like bodies...

Swayambunath - would be cool to see it, but I'm really afraid of monkeys... well all animals in fact. Had some bad experiences with monkeys in Tanzania as well...

Mike, yes we have the main briefing that day. Not sure about the time, but I expect we'll be told at the airport.

Good luck with the packing everyone! Let me know how it goes :)

Ausra

I just got a second gold star for my post activity :) lol

Ausra

melanie_frost

Oh no - that sucks getting ill in the UK!!!!  I'm so sorry - I hope you can go on another trip. 

 Ahh - the endless what to pack debate.  I have got my merino wool base layers and even underwear so I'm vainly hoping that this will stave off the stench of 18 days without washing.  At least I suppose there's not much point in lugging all my shampoos/conditioners/lotions/potions etc. up the mountains with me so that'll save on the weight.  I don't have any scales so lord knows how I'm supposed to judge 12kg.  I think the key may be to put my crampons in hand juggage and keep my fingers crossed.  I'm still kind of hacked off that I had to bring them - they weigh a ton.  Although more of a worry is how I'm going to get everything home that I'm intending to buy in Thamel...is 4 yak's wool blankets excessive?

Sounds like everyone is just going to wander down to Durbar square on Sunday then?  I might just stay in the swimming pool and relax - I walk through Patan Durbar Square on my way to and from work every day so I'm not that fussed.  Still, if you're lucky you may get to see the kumari or some ritual sacrifice. Always fun.  I wonder how long this briefing will be.  I hope our leader is good - I've never been with exodus before but I had a trip with explore once and the leader was terrible.  She seemed to think that vegetarians eat chicken amongst other things.

The weather forecast at Namche is looking up - only -4 at night by next monday with the potential for snow.  In Kathmandu it's hovering around 25.  I'm so English - I'm becoming more and more obsessed by the weather forecast every day.  If I'm not careful I'm going to make a graph...

mike_f

Ausra/Melanie,

I'm so glad that you two are sticking with this e-communication stuff. Its funny how friends/family never seem quite as interested in the detail of the trip as the fellow travellers! That said, I'm sure there used to be more folk on this list - maybe they're just intimidated by the likes of 2star folk like us, Ausra, or has the talk of lack of cleanliness maybe finally scared them off? On that subject, I'm afraid that I'm going to be the really stinky one - nice old fashioned Helly Hansen baselayers in finest man-made fibres for me (though I have recently thrown away the oldest, smelliest one!).

On the animal theme: I'm not (generally) scared by them, though I've not yet encountered yak/nak/dzo/whatever on a narrow mountain path! Equally, I am completely omniverous so will eat them (though usually only in small pieces, and when cooked . . .). That said, I wouldn't make a special effort to go and see any ritual sacrifice . . . actually, I might be inlcined to make a special effort not to see it . . .

I've done a few of these Exodis trips, Melanie, and have never had a bad leader yet, so I'm fairly optimistic on that front. I think that one of the things they pride themselves on is  the quality of the leaders. Am generally pretty sceptical re weather forecasts beyond about 24 hours ahead, but AccuWeather.com certainly seems to be suggesting a trend of it getting considerably milder at Namche and Lobuje so here's hoping.

Re footwear:  I've always worn my boots before on flights for walking holidays, Ausra, for the reasons you set out. However, I'm thinking that I really don't want to be in them all the way from Heathrow to Kathmandu via Delhi so am thinking about a compromise solution, and squeezing them into my hand luggage. I guess its not impossible that I could lose my hand luggage, but I've never done that before. Hmmm, that sounds a bit like tempting fate . . .

Crampons sound really serious, Melanie - you're starting to frighten me now! Stop it!

Take care both of you, and anyone else who is out there.

 Mike

hollands

Just getting back to this now, and catching-up.  Just the usual mad modern life for you. 

great news about the easy visa @ that end - I was worried about that - sprending 5hrs in-line after a big journey!

Sparkle / Karen - sad to hear about your predicament - I sincerely hope you are better soon.  

Generally, just trying to get my kit in order, and making sure I have everything - this forum has been pretty valuable for me - made me think about many items I would otherwise have forgotten - and great to hear the local knowledge too.

so, now I'm focussing on trying to stay healthy & injury free....oh and the other million things I need to do before I go.

 

 

Yep, I think you are right Mike. They probably feel intimidated a bit :) lol

Steve, Simon, Karl, don't be. Usually I am a very nice and quiet person :) As Mike said, families and friends aren't really interested in details. So it's good to share experience and chat with the fellow travellers.

Melanie, if I will fit them in, I am taking travel scales with me (... though decided to leave the hairdryer and iron at home) :) you will be more than welcome to use them. I am assuming that you will be staying with us at the hotel.

I also agree with Mike on the leader issue. This is my third trip with Exodus and so far I've never been disappointed... touch the wood...

Mike, mentioning AccuWeather.com didn't really help... I'm no longer worried about the cold, instead I started worrying about the rain!!!! But still excited.

Crampons, it does sound serious Melanie!

Karen, if you are still reading our posts, I am sure there will be some correspondence going on after the trek once we are back in UK and had some rest. There is section on Exodus website called "Arrival Gate". We'll make sure to leave you some links to the pictures :) I'm sure this will only strengthen your determination to go on this trip next year. Get well soon!

Have a lovely weekend everyone and good luck with the packing! :)

Ausra

p.s. I am taking my old blue Exodus bag to Nepal. Looks a bit thiker. I also sprayed it with the waterproofer. Hopefully this will help to keep the rain off for longer.

 

mike_f

I'm just back from Boots and Tesco . . .

spent £90 . . .

I now have what I'm guessing is approximately 12kg of first aid kit and snack food . . .

Ausra, I need your help!

Maybe I'll just have a beer and look at the packing thing tomorrow night . . .

Weekend well everyone.

Mike

you made me laugh Mike :) I think you are doing just fine.

Actually I'm doing the same. Drinking beer, watching Matrix and will do the final packing tomorrow :) I'm still waiting for my Exodus bag to dry anyway.

And medication, yep I felt as if I'm taking the whole pharmacy with me. But then I'm not taking any snacks, only 2 high energy bars and some sugar tablets. I hope to cope without the snacks. Also during my previous trips they used to give us small chocolates or snacks for the day. Either way I'm not too bothered about them. I can catch up with all the chocolate in the world back at home :)

Ausra

mike_f

I'm beginning to think that the 1kg bag of banana chips and 500g of dried apricots might be slightly excessive . . .

Have given-up on the cashew nuts completely . . .

I think I might have lost it a bit in Tesco last night . . .

 Mike

 

mike_f

Just in case anybody hadn't noticed, thought it worth mentioning that the Jet Air baggage allowance is 25kg (not the 20kg you typically get on package holiday charter flights). And the hand luggage regs although fairly specific, are not ungenerous - 115 linear cm with a notional max weight of 7kg. If, like I wasn't, you aren't sure what "linear cm" means, it means the total of the height, width and depth of the hand luggage measured in centimetres (there's an explanation and diagrams on the Jet Air website if mine doesn't make sense!), and my 35 litre daysack, unexpanded, fits the dimensions (just!) so I'd guess others will.

And that means that, unless I've forgotten anything signififcant, I've just about cracked it. Kitbag is at 12.5kg (but I'll be wearing some of that each day), other bits n bobs which will end up in the daysack on trek or left in hotel add up to about 9.5kg (including the bag I'll be leaving in hotel). Daysack for cabin luggage is about 5kg and within dimensions.

And relax!

Hope everyone else's prep n packing is going fine - and I hope that everyone has as few clothes, and so will be just as stinky, as me!

As a sepcial treat, a five mile plod around the streets of Hull now beckons - a lot like the Khumbu I imagine.

Take care y'all.

Mike

 

Yep, I finished my packing in an hour yesterday :) Ended up with the main bag of 20kg and a daypack of 5kg. I took your advice Mike and put my walking boots in the daypack. There is nothing else in it except of my camera anyway. Dimensions look just fine :)

Re 25kg, I don't think I can put more in my bag even if I wanted to. 100L doesn't seem to be big enough :/ and I can barely lift it anyway :) I'm trying to convince myself that it's not because I'm not strong enough, but because my legs and arms are too short :)

Mike, good luck with your 5 mile plod. I stopped all the exercise (except some sit-ups, press-ups and some weight lifting) last week. Don't want to risk my knees getting sore again and I thought this rest will be good for the whole body. Will get enough exercise in the mountains :) but maybe I'm just a bit too lazy ... 

Having some tough time at work at the mo, so can't wait to get to the mountains. Not long now, just another week.

See you all real soon!

Ausra

mike_f

Hey Ausra,

I hope that work isn't too stressful for the next few days - can you hang on to the idea that however bad it gets, it does pay for you to do things like trek in the Himalayas?!

And please, please, please, don't lose your hand-luggage with your boots in, or it will be my fault that your boots are lost! I think I need you to sign a disclaimer! To be honest, I was having second or third thoughts, and might actually wear mine!

Take it easy if you can. I'll be exercising through to Thursday - I've reached an age where if I stop the flabbiness gets dramatically worse alarmingly quickly!

Cheers.

Mike

melanie_frost

I'm getting very excited now - it's very hard to work when it's so close.  But look on the bright side - none of us have to wok for much longer.  3 whole weeks off!

 I'm impressed with everyone elses exercise routines.  All I've done to prepare is walk.  But I'm not sure that 14km on saturday and 12km on sunday really cuts the mustard in terms of training.  In my defence it took me about 2 weeks after I got here to recover from a very nasty bug I picked up from food in Delhi airport.  Be warned!  Don't end up with Delhi belly like me - the airport stuff is just as dodgy as the roadside stalls.  I'm still a little bit bitter.  It's definitely warming up over here still, which is good.  I'm pretty certain it was pushing 30 on Saturday, though it's cooler today and the smog has redescended (yuck).

 We can always buy snacks on the trek I think if we get desperate...I'm not taking anything like that with me because I've got no scales and I'm paranoid about the weight.  I'm still blaming the crampons if it's too heavy.  Though I'm intending to take lots of books to keep me occupied in the evenings so that's bad for the weight too.  But I get the impression that there won't be much else to do in the evenings.

What time do you guys set off from the UK on Friday?

 Mel

Thanks Mike :) Thinking about the mountains always keeps me sane :) and knowing that it's only few days left makes it so much better!!! I still can't believe that we are going this time after last year's unsuccessful attempt..

Don't worry about my boots Mike :) It will be my fault if I will loose my daypack. I'll see what weather we'll have here in UK first. I know that on the plain I also get usually cold. So might wear them at least till Delhi. 

Delhi belly - that sounds serious. I was actually planning to buy some snacks at Heathrow and have them instead of looking for some meals at the airport. 

I read on the hotel's website that they have few restaurants (one of them is Chinese). Was hoping that we could have our dinners for two days there. Somehow I am not really willing to go out to town for food and risk getting something. Although this might happen at the hotel as well. We'll see.

I am taking only one book with me Melanie. In my experience at the end of the day I am usually so knackered that my first choice is the bed and not the book :)

30 in Kathmandu - in my terms that's very very hot. I am a +20C person :) at least in the mountains it won't be as hot :)

We leave Heathrow at 20:50 and should land in Kathmandu 14:45 on Saturday. My plan is to have an hour's nap, pack everything for the trip and then go for a drink to the bar or for dinner :)

Take care everyone and have a good week!

Ausra

mike_f

Chaps,

Was thinking about Friday, at 4:00 this morning . . .

Does anybody want to try to meet-up at Heathrow before we board the flight? I don't know whether its best to try to meet before checking-in, after checked-in and through security, or not to meet at all and do the old-fashioned thing of watching at boarding, trying to work out who is on our trip!

There are several problems, but I can't believe we can't overcome them if we want to. I've never been through T4 before, so no idea where is an obvious place to meet.  I guess its not wise to post-up mobile numbers etc here, for fear of stalkers, weirdos, or just the risk that we all hate each other by the end of the trip! Another problem is I'm not sure what time I'll arrive. Though I always try to get places early, Heathrow is always an unpredictable journey for me, especially as I'll be in our no.2 car (not unreasonably, my wife has bagged our No.1 car for the duration!). Oh, and we don't know what each other look like - I see you've all (wisely) avoided putting photos up here - apparently I'll be the one in shorts with Lac Blanc behind them! Suggestions please!

Steve, I think you're flying in from Ireland, aren't you? How early do you get to Heathrow? Dunno where you're arriving from, Ausra. Anyone else playing?

Melanie, I guess we'll meet you in the Royal Singi some time Saturday afternon (thanks for the tip re food - I might stick to a large bag of banana chips at Delhi airport . . .).

Enjoy the week, as it whizzes by!

Mike

Simon_bruton

Hello all,

Hope the preparation is going well, only 4 days to go now!

Karen, I don't know if you're still reading this thread but i'm very sorry to hear you're not able to make it. As you say though, the moutains will wait and it certainly wouldn't be much fun travelling and trekking whilst under the weather.  

My first test pack on Saturday resulted in a spot on 12kg, unfortunately that didn't include everything i am/was planning to take. Tonights job is to sort it out.

In terms of meeting on Friday i'm flying down from Manchester and will be arriving at Terminal 5 at 16:30, thats assuming BA don't decide to kick the strike off early. My flight is currently described on the website as 'Subject to possible disruption'! I have no idea how long it will take to get from Terminal 5 to Terminal 4 and despite having been to Terminal 4 once before I can't remember much about it. Presumably we can play spot the exodus bag unless anyone has got any better suggestions?

See you all on Friday/Saturday.

Simon 

 

 

Mike, as we all are coming at a different time and from different locations (I'm coming from Cambridge possibly by bus, not sure about the time just yet), I think there is no point to meet up before going through the security. After that I really want to go and buy a book and also plenty of snacks for the whole trip on the plane :) Somehow I agree with Simon :) Looking at the fellow travellers and trying to spot each other should be more fun :) It will be tricky though. I think we'll have more luck finding each other at the Delhi airport where the crowd for Kathmandu will be smaller.

And just a warning - if someone expects me to sit next to them and chat all way down to Delhi, don't. I hate flying and usually try to miss the whole trip by sleeping .... I think it's like some sort of self-preservation thing :)

Not long now guys! I can't wait!!!

Ausra

mike_f

No worries - we'll have plenty of time to work out who is who!

And, like you Ausra, I'll be hoping to sleep the flight away. I usually sleep pretty well on flights - its just in tents I have a problem . . .

Good luck with the BA flight down, Simon.

Cheers.

Mike

 

 

melanie_frost

Well I don't know about anyone else but I can hardly contain my excitement now.

Someone mentioned a drink at the hotel bar once you've all woken up from your mammoth flight - I think this is an excellent idea.  I haven't had any alcohol in a month and we won't be drinking on the trek either (though the result of cheap alcohol at altitude is highly amusing until the hangover kicks in).  I shouldn't get too hung up about staying in the hotel to eat - I know where's good and where's not in Thamel for a variety of budgets and types of cuisine if anyone wants to venture out.  It's only about a 10 minute walk I think.  Though there are posh restaurants near our hotel I think.

For some reason I read the reviews of this trip on the website and someone mentioned 13 hours of walking in one day...I think they've changed that now because I looked in the itinerary and I can't find any day when we're likely to be walking for anywhere near that long.  I reckon about 8 is the maximum.  

Anyways, good luck with the packing everyone!

Mel

mike_f

Mel,

Assuming I'm not too wrecked by the time we get to Kathmandu, then I'm sure a swift drink at hotel bar would be welcome. Not sure how to co-ordinate that, though I think there is a very brief greeting meeting on the Saturday, prior to the full brief on Sunday.

Am thinking that the 13 hour day you mentioned must have been when the old itinerary for this trip included the return trip to the top of the Nangpa La on the Tibetan border. As we don't do that, I'm pretty sure that the longest day now will be from Lobuje to Kalar Pattar and return, by which time, of course, we'll all be wonderfully acclimatized and supremely fit! Nice to think about the walking again, instead of the logistics!

Quite a bit of sh*t has suddenly started to threaten hitting quite a few fans here, so the edge is off my excitement just now. Am guessing that I will be back in hyper-excitement mode only once safely checked-in at heathrow on Friday!

Cheers.

Mike

 

mike_f

Mel - Some local knowledge please! I'm assuming that we don't need it once in the mountains, but is insect repellant advisable or necessary in Kathmandu at this time of year? If it is, something is going to have to go, as there ain't much scope for fitting anything extra in.

Hope everyone else is sorted. Work not too troublesome, I hope, Ausra.

There's suffiicent other stuff going on for me right now that I'm suddenly feeling all serene about the trek!

Cheers.

Mike

 

melanie_frost

Hope this isn't too late, but no you don't need insect repellant at this time of year in Kathmandu.  You'd only need it if you were going to the Terai.

Looking forward to meeting you all tomorrow.

Mel

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