12th October, 2010- Adventure starts

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This morning we started at 5.45

The flights finally started to go to Lukla again, but since they have been cancelled the last three days, there was a very long line of people before us. We aimed for taking the helicopter instead, to make sure not to start our adventure too late, in order to reach the goal.

Ivan ready to fly lukla by helicopter
A great looking helicopter camouflaged to match Jurassic Park and just the right size to fit our group of four plus the Sherpa and the pilot. Why I separate the Sherpa in the description of our group, is simply because he is much smaller. Don’t think we would all fit in if he was the same 100 kilo size as me.  The lady, Ulrika Biding of our group was very brave, since she is afraid of flying and still went through, without any complaints. Well over the mountains, impressing views made me feel only the dinosaurs were missing. I took my camera in a steady grip and held it outside the window to get some really great shots.
Lukla airport is one of the most challenging ones in the world to land on.  With the helicopter it just felt like a dance with a smooth ending. Getting off was like entering yet another world. The small airport was surrounded by hundreds of Sherpas, young and middle aged men, looking for a job, to carry one of the many loads from the intense air-traffic.
                Bad weather at Lukla airport

phakdingMani wall way to Phakding

Just at the lodge while we were having our first coffee break, we heard of an accident at the airport. An airplane bumped into the mountain and broke the nose of the plane. All other flights got canceled and we felt even more satisfied by choosing to go with the chopper.

The first hours of smooth walking and stappling behind zop yoks (kind of caddle that carries huge loads) and watching speedy sherpas run by us. The air, the views, the suspension bridges, the small rivers, the cloudy mountain tops and finally testing our high-tech gear. A good start, and surprisingly good food.
Well, I must quote one of our members “a group is never stronger than the weakest link”, and maybe just because of that comment the mountain goods punished him with a light sun-struck. He will sleep it off though, and be spreading good vibes as before, by the morning.

The small village Phakding offers great teahouses, warm shower and coosy small rooms with incredible views.
Good night
         Childrens enjoying on the rock at Phakding