I have already presented “The Ultimate Everest Base Camp Plan” and my exhaustive “Everest Base Camp Gear List”, so now if (when) something goes wrong out there and I come back with a bag carrying me instead of the other way around, you can't blame it on recklessness or lack of planning/foresight.
Soon I will be soaring through the air, over Nepal, and to Qatar via an almost thirteen hour flight. Then, after twelve hours of exploring the world's richest country per capita's airport I will board another aircraft bound for Kathmandu and travel four hours back in the direction whence I came.
Landing in Kathmandu I don't have any real idea of what to expect. I would like to imagine snow-capped mountains and beautiful scenery, but I am skeptical of the views the city has to offer (I don't know that I have ever seen a photo of the city – this will make for a much more enjoyable first impression me thinks).
One US dollar is currently 99.67 Nepalese rupees and 100 Japanese yen (what used to be the equivalent of $1 USD before it decided to tank) is a mere 83.97. Currently, this information has no meaning to me whatsoever (except that I am earning the wrong currency), but as soon as I find myself some tangible measures of monetary value (a beer and some street food) the rupee's mysteries will be clear to me.
So what do I know about Nepal?
- It's the only country with a time zone set to a quarter-hour.
- It's the only country with a non-quadrilateral flag.
- It borders India and Tibet (China?).
- There are some big mountains there.
It feels like yesterday that I showed up to work in Japan, but enough time has passed to warrant an escape from the confines of this island. I have no plans for once I arrive in Nepal, and all I know is that I want to get on a plane to Lukla and start heading to Base Camp as soon as I can (which will likely be the day following my arrival).
Temperatures are currently hovering around 60 °F/16 °C and are expected to hit 70 °F/20 °C on on the day I arrive. That's a lot warmer than the freezing temperatures I am currently experiencing in Fukui. Lukla on the other hand (where I will begin my EBC trek) is currently below freezing with snow expected all next week (this is no good).
Looking higher up into the mountains, Namche Bazzar, Dingboche, and Lobuche do not appear to be faring any better in terms of snowfall – a couple of feet are expected next week. Hooray! So much for December and January being clear and dry.
As I write this I should really be doing something else to prepare for my trip. I hope that whatever else it is I have been spending my time doing it's worth it.
I'll catch you on the flip side.