|Mount Everest from the cockpit!|
Another 5:30 get up – I think the lack of constant electricity here in Nepal makes everyone work on a sunrise to sunset schedule. Nirku picked us up in front of the hotel to take us back to the airport for our 6:30 flight. Well – we got our boarding passes and got in just fine. We found the right gate – there are only 2 – and then we waited, and waited, and waited. Instead of a sunrise flight, we didn’t actually get to leave until after 8:30 in the morning. We were initially concerned because our experience so far in the Annapurna area was that sunrise would be pretty clear but the clouds would start amassing shortly afterwards however, we were delighted to find that although some of the lower mountains were cloud shrouded, Mt. Everest was clear.
It was the most exciting flight I’ve ever taken. We were invited, one at a time, to step into the cockpit to see the mountain coming towards us! It was absolutely spectacular. I was extremely surprised to discover that Mt. Everest had no snow on it at all – apparently the winds that blow up there blow all the snow off! It is certainly snow covered during the winter when snows are frequent and heavy but during the spring and summer, it is all blown away. I found it very interesting that the clouds only went up so high. Mt. Everest was well above the clouds but lower mountains were frequently covered. Still…an incredible view.
Absolutely an unbelievable trip. We are very fortunate indeed.