I’m happy to report that today marks the beginning of my 5th expedition to the Himalaya.
It’s 3am local time here in Qatar, 10 hours into a 15 hour layover. I would say that of the layovers I’ve had on flights to Nepal, Doha ain’t bad at all. I’ve had a chance to hit the gym, the Jacuzzi and their infinity pool here, and now I’m perched on a comfortable bar stool. As I left the “spa” I asked an attendant if the bars were still open. Comically, I received a long lecture from him on the evils of alcohol… all in broken English… Geesh, all I want is one overpriced airport terminal beer… I quickly extricated myself from the conversation. All the while making apologies for my slight grin… It wasn’t that I was intentionally trying to be rude or dense, it was just too unusual and comical.
And as it turns out, the airport terminal bars are open all night.
Update : 4/10
Today is my second day in Kathmandu, it’s nice to be back and see my old friends here. Crazy! It’s been a year since my spring 2015 Annapurna expedition. The last few years I’ve been making spring and fall trips out here. As a result of the earthquake, this past fall there just weren’t any teams available for me to buy onto.
Last night there was a significant earthquake. I’m so well trained after last spring that even during deep sleep I sprung out of bed and was ready to bail out of the freakin window, anyways…
I fly from Kathmandu on the 12th for Lhasa, Tibet. from there I’ll be driven by the CTMA (Chinese Tibetan Mountaineering Association). The trip is over 4 days to the end of the road at what they call the Everest Base Camp. But it’s a bit of a misnomer as the real BC is a two day hike from 17,000ft to 21,500ft and 16 or so miles further in.
Many people and expeditions have been delayed going into Tibet this season until April 15th, but Seven Summit Treks, my usual logistic provider, has, apparently got the right connections and I’ll be departing on schedule. I’m excited and eager to get out of Kathmandu, its always smoggy here but this time it’s especially heinous. Today and tomorrow I’m packing up, purchasing food items and catching up with friends.
Looking forward to exploring Lhasa and entering from a different area and mode of transportation for my third expedition in Tibet!