Local time: 30 March 18:45
Location: Kathmandu, Nepal
Weather: Overcast, slightly humid and 25C
Hi Everyone, Paul here coming to you from Kathmandu. I wasn’t sure how I would feel being back here only 10 months after leaving, but I can tell you I feel great and I am really excited about the next two months.
The last day at home was a mad rush to get last minute things organized, but I got there with a fair bit of help from Fiona. She has been great helping me with lists and more lists, the contents of which seemed to be ever growing, not shrinking. But I got there and made my plane OK and I am grateful for my family who drove out to the airport to see me off.
Everything went smoothly at the airport in Kathmandu, where I was met and taken to my hotel (Vaishali). It seems pretty nice, but it’s certainly no Hyatt. When I checked in there was a note that Elizabeth Hawley wants to meet me tomorrow – don’t know how she found out about me or my arrival, but apparently she has a habit of doing this. Elizabeth Hawley is a long time researcher of Everest climbers and has documented almost all of the attempts and summits for many decades. I think this will be an interesting experience.
Later in the afternoon I went and met Mohan from Asian Trekking and reviewed all the agreements that I had made with him, plus paid the balance of the expedition costs. Everything seems to be in order which was great, although the oxygen hasn’t yet arrived from Russia. I was assured that by the time we need it, it will be here. As Asian Trekking are the main agent for Poisk oxygen in Kathmandu, I am not too concerned. Mohan outlined a couple of administrative details to that need to be attended to – we have a group meeting to go over all the logistics at 10am on Sunday and then on Monday we are going to complete the climbing permit application with the Ministry of Tourism. I am interested to see what this involves.
After that I went back to the Hotel and met with Lakpa, my climbing Sherpa. Lakpa is a similar age to me (all the Sherpas like to ask you your age when they meet you), is from Thame, near Namche, but lives in Kathmandu now. He seems like a really great guy. It turned out that Lakpa was also climbing on the same day that Fiona and I were last year. He didn’t have much time so I didn’t get much of a chance to talk to him, but I am really keen to get to know him well – I am sure that the next two months will provide plenty of opportunities.
I also met up with Steve and Atilla; two other climbers with Asian Trekking. We are off for dinner in a few minutes (maybe Fire and Ice, or else Rumdoodle, which is right next door to the hotel). I am pretty tired, so its going to be an early night for me.
Talk to you tomorrow,