We are about to get on Agni Airlines flight 303 here at Kathmandu Airport. It’ll be one of the most interesting commercial flights we’ll ever do, but also the most nervous! The safety record on this route isn’t great, partly because of the unpredictable mountain weather and partly because the landing at Lukla is challenging – a 480m strip with a mountain at the other end of the runway.
But the weather seems OK today – at least here in Kathmandu it’s fine, and forecast only “partly cloudy” at Lukla – although the forecasts are very unreliable in the mountains.
Our first couple of days trekking should be relatively easy – only 6km with a 230m descent today to Phakding, followed by 5km/800m ascent into Namche Bazaar (3440m). And then a rest/acclimitization day. All this in the first 3 days is at altitudes similar to what we dealt with fine in Bhutan. We’re particularly glad of the easy schedule for the first 3 days as Stef still hasn’t fully recovered from her cold and I woke up with a slight sore throat this morning (hoping it won’t develop into a cold).