In Lukla, our stranded crew awoke to panicked knocks and the tireless efforts of our dedicated guides who had been working tirelessly to ensure our return. What was supposed to be a 7 AM wake-up call was disrupted by a 5:45 AM alarm, heralding the news we had longed for - flights were finally set to resume.
Airport-Mission Success: Cheers and Anxious Anticipation at Lukla
In a whirlwind, we hastily packed our bags while anxiously checking WhatsApp for updates on our fellow trekkers. Our arrival at Lukla Airport was met with the thunderous applause of excitement and the nail-biting tension of hope, as each of us yearned for a ticket out.
Amidst the usual airport chaos - tickets issued, bags checked, and passengers ready to board - we stood, waiting and praying for the fog to relent. With each plane that landed, our anxiety mounted. Each boarding call was met with hopeful anticipation, and as we stepped onto that plane, relief and joy washed over us.
Finally out! The Bittersweet Journey Home
As we boarded the plane, the feeling was nothing short of exhilarating. We looked out of the window, knowing that we would soon be back home, reunited with loved ones. However, a sense of dread crept in as we contemplated the impending van ride.
5 or 6 Hours Cramped in a Van
Upon landing, the stark contrast between the lowlands' heat and the high-altitude chill was palpable. The once-distant memory of the tiny Lukla airport now appeared in vivid reality. Ditching our trekking gear for shorts, we searched for a van.
An Unforgettable Van Ride: Laughter Amidst Motion Sickness
A van arrived, adorned with stickers and style, and we all scrambled to fit inside while someone expertly loaded our bags onto the roof. Unfortunately, the seating arrangement was not thoughtfully planned, and a few of us battled car sickness during this winding journey.
Zip, Zap, Zoom! A Chaotic Descent
The journey was marked by the sound of animated horn noises, a symphony of beeps and beeps accompanying every hairpin turn. On these roads, being heard was equivalent to being seen. The mesmerizing views beyond our windows, though briefly glimpsed, were concealed by our mosh-pit-like proximity to fellow travelers.
Kathmandu: The Urban Contrast
As we arrived in bustling Kathmandu, the stark contrast between the city's urban hustle and our tranquil trekking adventure hit us. For two weeks, we had roamed the mountains devoid of motorized vehicles, witnessing both cultural and climatic changes. The adventure was drawing to a close.
Trickle Down: Farewell to Fellow Adventurers
At our hotel, we reveled in the luxury of a long-awaited shower. Some of us began packing, while others bid their farewells. First, Steph embarked on her journey, followed by Stacey, leaving just six of us for a final dinner. In the early hours, three of our companions departed, leaving a trio of adventurers.
The Final Day: A Farewell to Remember
The last three of us gathered for dinner, and Jess prepared for her voyage to Japan. John and I, the last two standing, spent our morning reflecting, sharing stories, and embracing the profound insights gained on this remarkable journey. Then, I headed to the airport, leaving John behind.
Then There Was One: Alone Yet Inspired
John Graves was left alone, and a message came in over the chat, "…and then there was one, standing alone in the wake of our collective adventure. As I reflect on a year’s worth of preparation, the meticulous planning, numerous ZOOM calls, emails and texts of questions and concerns, I’m filled with mixed emotions—humbled by the magnitude of the undertaking and your trust in me, exhilarated by the success of the trip, and profoundly blessed by the friendships forged and the experiences that unfolded. The memories etched in my heart will forever remind me of our time together in… THIS IS NEPAL!!!!"
This Journey's Legacy: An Adventure for the Ages
This adventure was born from a spark of an idea four years ago, an idea that overcame the obstacles of a pandemic to become a life-changing reality. We formed lifelong friendships, reveled in fun, and embarked on a journey that has opened a new chapter for MSSE. If you're contemplating the trip of a lifetime, join us, and experience the world's wonders.
Special Thanks: A Grateful Farewell
This is our final post for the Nepal blog, and we extend our heartfelt thanks to John and Holly for making it all happen. To MSU, for fostering a program that allowed this remarkable adventure to flourish. To Krishma and Peak Promotion, for orchestrating a seamless trek. To our guides, porters, and yak handlers - Sonam, Furi, Dasi, Ngwang, Gaglea, and Rinji - thank you for your unwavering support. To our fellow trekkers, the diverse crew that conquered every step of the journey - you are cherished.
And to Chat GPT: A Grateful Thanks
Before we sign off, we extend our gratitude to Chat GPT, my digital companion, for helping me craft these posts right from my phones.
A New Chapter Begins: Seek Adventure
As we bid Nepal farewell, we urge you to chase your own adventures, for this world is a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be uncovered. Until next time, safe travels! 😉🌍✈️