After the Annapurna trek I spent the afternoon of November 14, 2011 and the full-day November 15, 2011 in Kathmandu. It was nice just to relax and not to have any scheduled activities. I was able to catch up on e-mails, I finished the blog for Bhutan and also got laundry done (which was critical) and simply walked around and enjoyed the tourist district of Thamel. Kathmandu did not seem as stressful or harsh to me as it had initially. I seemed to slowly be giving in to some of its charms. I also found a great place for espresso which was nice after weeks of drinking tea. I enjoyed some of the excellent local restaurants as well. A funny thing occurred as I sat down for dinner at a restaurant on the evening of November 16, 2011. Just as I was starting to be served I noticed a woman looking at me (generally this is a good thing) and then coming over to my table. What a surprise! It was the lovely Australian woman and her anesthesiologist father whom I had met on the Annapurna trek in Sinuwa. What a small world. We enjoyed a lovely dinner together. Her father was leaving back to Australia the next day but she was continuing on to India with a friend. It was lovely to meet with them again. Her blisters were healing nicely.
November 16, 2011 we awoke early and quickly set off to the airport hopefully to catch a flight to Lukla to start the Everest trek. The weather again conspired against us and had become relatively foggy. We actually stayed at the airport from 630 in the morning through to 3:30 PM until it was finally announced that no flights would be going to Lukla. My hopes were dashed again. Because we had finished the Annapurna trek one day early I had another day tomorrow to try to fly out.
November 17, 2011 we traveled to the airport to try for the Lukla flight again. It seemed fate had conspired against me. All flights again were delayed. At 10:30 AM I received a phone call from Ramesh informing me that alternate plans would have to be made if I wanted to trek again to a different location. I must say I was quite devastated. The chances of getting to Everest were slim. I finally agreed that an alternative trek was my only option. The main reason for me to come to Nepal was to visit the Everest area and also a particular school and hospital supported by the Sir Edmund Hillary foundation which I have supported over the years with charitable donations. I reconciled myself to the fact that this simply meant I would have to come back to try again sometime in the future. With somewhat of a downcast heart I left the airport, went back to my hotel for a lunch and a private hire 4×4 was waiting to take me out to my alternate destination. I also met my new porter at the hotel Deepak. He was another very slight, young man who spoke very little English. Where would we be traveling to instead of Everest and would my wounded heart warm up to the new area? Time would tell.