Making the Best of a Bad Situation — Part Two
On 1 May we made the move from Chhoplung to Lukla with the hope that we had flights back to Kathmandu the next day. It was an easy hike up and we got really nice rooms at the North Face Resort. The team dispersed for the afternoon to explore the town, eat burgers, have a beer, play pool, and get internet access. Deana, Dawa, and I continued to arrange confirmed flights for the team for the next day as well as get intel on conditions in the valley and Kathmandu from other teams and locals.
Our superb staff.
That night we had our staff party to tip them out, thank them for their extraordinary service, and serve them before they returned to their village. Delicious food was served with lots of rakshi throughout the night. The sherpas sang traditional local songs and danced with the members before it was our turn to entertain them. Michael from Canada organized a group to do “the time warp” from the Rocky Horror Picture show. Needless to say a lot of laughs and hugs were shared before calling it a night to get ready to head back to Kathmandu. They are by far the best local staff I have ever worked with on an expedition, staying with us the whole time despite worries for their families and homes.
Thank you party for the staff.
The next morning we woke up early and headed to the airport in 2 waves, with Deana taking the first group and me with the second team. All morning we watched flights come up with food, tents, and beer before being filled with foreigners to head back. After a smooth 40 minute flight we were back in the hot and humid weather of Kathmandu.
After a short bus ride back to our hotel, the Yak and Yeti, Deana briefed us on plans for the evening. Many members were flying home soon, so she organized a final dinner in Thamel for the team to say goodbye. We headed out on foot at 5:00p.m. to Café Mitzra for a delicious meal of individual choice. Some members got lamp shanks, quail, duck breast, or pasta and it was all delicious. At the end of dinner, nine members headed to airport for their journey home. The rest of the team has since flown out, and are either home or on their way.
Final team dinner in Kathmandu. Stuart Wolfe all photos
Deana is organizing relief efforts in Kathmandu and I am helping in my capacity until I leave on Friday. She is a remarkable woman and by far the most professional trekking guide I’ve ever had the honor to work with. Despite everything we were still grooving in Nepal and shared an unforgettable experience.
Thanks to everyone at home for your kind words and thoughts, help, and being there for us when we return.
~MM Trip Leader Stuart Wolfe