After a day of travelling we landed in Kathmandu – a massively overcrowded and chaotic city. “Kdu” is located in a valley and has seen its population explode in the last five years since the Maoists took over. It is city planning gone badly wrong, with dry stinking rivers, rubbish everywhere and endless traffic jams.
The team of 10 climbers were greeted at the hotel with a small Hindu ceremony by a group of traditionally dressed women and children. That evening we had dinner in the hotel and gauged the people we would be spending the next 60 days with. At the end of the dinner our Sherpas came in to say hello and we gave them all Iceland branded expedition kit. These are exceptionally tough but modest men who risk their lives every year for their western clients.
We hung out in Kdu for a few days, sorting out our kit and preparing. We had a runner who frantically charged around the city buying all sorts of random requests – mirrors, high altitude gloves, flip-flops, batteries, water sterilisers, etc, etc, etc!
I met up with an old friend from Uni who is Nepali and lives in Kathmandu. A little local knowledge goes a long way and I was eating in these fantastic, hidden away traditional restaurants.
However, we were all keen to get on with the mission we are here for and on Thursday morning we left at the crack of dawn into the foothills of the Himalayas on the road to Tibet. Firstly we have a two week acclimatisation trek, which should be the most pleasurable and certainly the least painful part of the trip.