Lukla Airport – The Beginning and the End of the Epic EBC Journey 😒Well it’s that point in the journey when I attempt to make a rambling review of the EBC Trek πŸ˜‚Sooo where to start…..The journey begins with experiencing the crazy trip from Kathmandu to Lukkla (supposedly the most dangerous airport in the world, but it’s an epic flight and worth it). The problem is that the weather is sooo unpredictable you could be waiting hours or days to get onto the flight. One minute planes are flying back and forth, the next everything is on hold, I arrived at Kathmandu airport at 06:00 and didn’t fly till 14:00, on the return journey from Lukkla we waited all morning to be told all flights were cancelled because it was too cloudy. The departures lounge is full of tourists and guides from all over the world, when will the next flight leave no one knows, you just hope and wait, everyone is worried one minute and then word circulates that flights are running again and everyone is happy. Lukkla airport is also the gateway to the Everest region so is the main airport for planes carrying food, and supplies for the region as well as passengers. When the weather changes for the worse everything is on shutdown and everyone is waiting for the weather in Lukkla to improve, it may be fine in Kathmandu. When the weather improves all flights are go, flights are scheduled every 30mins in and out. Once on the small plane it’s a 30min flight over the crazy, busy, industrialised City of Kathmandu and into the mountains, the dramatic change in that 30min flight is incredible. There is always a huge Cheer when you hit touchdown in Lukkla, the plane lands on a small landing strip in the mountains.Next step find your bag and your guide, well that’s how it went for me, the bag turned up on the next flight because the plane I was on was overloaded (we were notified of this possibility before take off), give my guide a quick call and he arrived before my bag.Sooo the journey starts here, oh wait, when you get to the airport because of the nature of the airport all these darn tourists end up taking endless pictures on the landing strip, and beside the small plane, so the staff have to push everyone into the arrivals area and chain the gate behind them, honestly these tourists and their silly selfies πŸ€³πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚Ok the journey, well the itinerary says:Day 1 Lukkla to PhakdingDay 2 Phakding to Namche BazaarDay 3 Namche Bazaar Khumjung (acclinitization/rest day) πŸ˜‚ not really rest daysDay 4 Namche Bazaar to ThyangbocheDay 5 Thyangboche to DingboucheDay 6 Dingbouche acclinitization/rest day πŸ˜‚ again definitely not a rest day includes a steep climb to adjust to altitudeDay 7 Dingbouche to LobujeDay 8 Lobuje to Gorek Shep and Base CampDay 9 Gorek Shep to the top of Khala Pather, then hike down to PereisheDay 10 Pereishe to KyanjumaDay 11 Kyanjuma to MonzoDay 12 Monzo back to LukklaThat’s the brief​ itinerary which we didn’t follow exactly some of the days merged into one to save time.Rather than give you a breakdown of each day, these are the highlights of the journey and the types of things you will experience enrouteYou start hiking from the low point of Lukkla and head further down, enjoy the first few days of easy hiking, the entire journey is a rollercoaster of hiking up and down hills, it’s not a uphill journey to Everest and downhill back to Lukkla, overall Everest Base Camp and Khala Pather are the peaks but everyday has Climbs and Descents.You start hiking through the town of Lukkla (full of shops and all the convienances you’d get in a City), as you come out of Lukkla, then you’ll come across little villages on route, you’ll come across lots of small restaurants, lodges, small farms, you’ll find lots of Buddhist prayer wheels, green forests, rivers and of course mountain views, these are smaller green mountains in the begining…As you continue, generally the weather is nicer in the morning as the sun rises, the route rises up, and descends down mountain forests that weave around rivers. Experience the crazy traffic jams of people, yaks, pony’s, horses, on sometimes narrow tracks. Yaks, Poneys and people are used to transport food and supplies from lukkla up to the various villages and towns all the way up to Everest. (No roads, no trains, no tow paths here mate! πŸ˜€ All logistics are handled by people working side by side with animals). You’ll see pony’s carring gas bottles, yaks with countless backpacks for hikers, Sherpas carying lots of supplies, food, drinks, some carrying around 80kg held with a rope in front of them, arms spread wide and a stap around their head (being able to lift that load is impressive, but carying it up mountains at altitude is crazy, these guys are just tough!) Some carry lots of wood that’s used to build huts, others cans of coke, Fanta etc, bottles of water as these tourists like there creature comforts. And of course the porters carrying hikers bags up the mountain and guiding us to the next stop. Lot’s of the Sherpas, farmers, guides, and porters have different types of music playing as they are trekking through the mountains, it’s mainly calm Sherpa and Hindi music, you do come across some of the more youthful locals playing rap music 🎢🎡. Farmers keep their yaks and ponys moving and in order, not an easy task given the environment and how busy the route is with the different types of travellers using the paths. You constantly have traffic jams when herds of either ponys or yak’s are traveling in opposite directions on narrow tracks up and down mountains, seems chaotic but a sort of order is maintained by the farmers. Sometimes there’s a lot of shouting to maintain the order, while other more senior farmers may just whistle to maintain order, it’s important for the safety of the animals too as there is often a drop on one edge of the path.So as you continue there are lots of rope/suspension bridges (similar to Indiana Jones movies, they constantly bounce up and down as weight is distributed, sometimes you find lots of animals and people crossing in different directions at the same time (because who has time to wait πŸ˜‚) everyone squeezes past one another, some are nervous and hold the sides, some cause a full on traffic jam and take a few pics from the middle of the bridge holding everyone up (darn tourists, it wasn’t me! πŸ˜‚). The bridges are an awesome experience they always bounce, sometimes depending on the weather they may rock side to side too. They​ run over a river and hang on to mountains either side.Ok, so the hiking and the mountains, the hike is one big rollercoaster all the way up to base camp and back down. It’s full of acsents and descends as well as flat terrain. You reach an elevation point after Namche Bazaar where it’s all flat (for a while) and you have views of the most amazing Snow covered mountains in the distance, Amadablo, Everest, and countless others, easy walking, nice warm weather and blue skies, it’s just awesome. Lot’s of prayer wheels, Buddhist temples and fellow tourists enroute. There are challenging days with steep ascents, but that’s one of the reasons you come for.The weather, well layering is the key, it may feel like it’s freezing when you start but after an hr of hiking it’s probably too hot. Layer up and down to your ideal temperature. Some people are always cold so will need more layers πŸ˜‚Tea houses and the culture, in the evening everyone has dinner and then sits around the fire, especially further up in the mountains, it’s an international get together of like minded adventurers.For those who enjoy your creature comforts, you can get most types of food on the way, (pizza, chips, bugers etc). You can get WiFi coverage and 3G on some parts of the Trek. But if you want a total disconnect from city life and all the distractions of modern life, flush your phone down the toilet before you go, take a tent β›Ί and sleeping bag, try and pack lite and hike it, you’ll still need some cash for food but you can stick with the local Nepali Dhaal Bhaat dish πŸ˜‚, (Disclaimer I don’t condone or recomend this type of behaviour by anyone but myself).Everest Base Camp itself, the area is stunning, you can’t​ really see Everest from there as it’s too close. But you can see the climbers setting up camp, the snow covered mountains surrounding Everest, and the icy glaciers.The morning after visiting base camp is when you normally climb Khala Pather in the early morning to see Everest at sunrise, and that’s where you get the best view of Everest and is the heighest point of the trip.The EBC Trek, a journey of a lifetime, but that doesn’t mean once in a lifetime πŸ˜‰, an Epic Adventure, a Disconnect from City Life, a spiritual journey, make it what you want (words don’t do it justice you have to experience it), so just do it, don’t think about it too much just book it and hike it, Now!!! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚