Saturday, April 28, 2007

John Fortes' Account. Larry's Tips

An Account of John Fortes Trip from Katmandu to Lukla and trek to Namche Bazaar
28 April 2007 sent via Email


We arrived Lukla yesterday morning through a bumpy ride across mountain ranges whose beauty are really spectacular. We landed in a short landing strip of Lukla. Pilots are OK. I suggest you take Bonamins before taking the flight. We got delayed trekking to Phakding as we waited for the 2nd flt from Kathmandu as most of our supplies are there. Our personal baggages were with us though.

We got to Phakding and went straight to our lodge. clean and comfortable. nice food too. Thick blankets are provided.

830am the following day we started our trek to Namche Bazaar. The trail is a rolling hills. We crossed hanging bridges 4 times and had lunch along the way. We girded the mountain sides by the rushing river. After lunch, the trek started to climb. Some 30 some 45 degrees. The difficult parts are the stone steps due to uneven distance and height.

We reached Namche after 8 hours. Our doctor, Jodell got AMS at this early stage which slowed us down considerably. Locals do it in 4-5 hours.

We will stay extra night here at Namche due to Doc's condition. So far accommodations are good. Food is good. Later you will be able to adjust as to what food to eat. You can order anything on the menu.

It's good we have an agency taking care of us. We have one guide and 3 porters. Arrival at Kathmandu is a nightmare if you don't have an agency to assist you when you go out of the airport.

It's getting really cold us we go up and expensive too.

That's all for now.


Helpful Tips from Larry on Namche Travels

There is no restriction in bringing in videocam and camera in Katmandu and Namche.
A duffel bag is better than a backpack if you are travelling with several transpo transfers. It’s easier to unload your stuff upon your arrival at the lodging house.
Allowed baggage load at Lukla flight is 15 kilos only. You have to pay the excess load at 61 rupees per kilo.
There is no problem with airport porters. They can carry 2 bags weighing about 60 kilos or more.
Once you start trekking all your expenses will be Water (Lukla 80 rupees/liter, Nache 50r/liter, more expensive beyond namche) Hot shower (200 rupees) and some extra food. The rest is shouldered by the Agency.
Computer (Internet 600 rupees/hr) is available at Namche and Tengboche only. Battery charging is (100 rupees/ hr). Cellfon signal is at Kathmandu only. Bring at least 2 bottles of Coke (500ml) each from Kathmandu. Coke is too expensive in Namche to wash away your thirst!

Happy meet up with Larry
Based on Nepalese Rupee currency conversions, estimated costs in Pesos are:

1 Rupee is at P .73 pesos and US$ 0.02 cents
Water at 80 Rupee per Liter is at P 58.40 or US $ 1.79
Shower at 200 Rupee is at P 146 Pesos or US $ 4.47
Internet per Hour at 600 Rupee is at P 438.0 or US $ 13.40

Notes from John posted 27 April 4:32 PM

The trip itself is quite an experience.
Our flight to BKK on PR730 was on sked. We were asked to try the restaurant at the airport called Magic. Yes everything there was spicy but cheap. Monet Trespeses-PAL Country Mgr gave us very sweet lanzones. Yes better than our own.

At the waiting lounge for the flight to Kathmandu, we met 2 Japanese and 2 Norwegians-all going to Katmandu. The Norwegians were at a loss as what to expect at KTM. We told them our agent Henry can help them. So upon arrival we introduced them to Henry and they were taken care of.

There is only one counter for no visa persons. You should have a ready passport photo as this is required. Or else this might delay you as you will be asked to have your photo taken at the airport.

Outside the terminal, (just like ours) taxi drivers ask for contract. Normally it will cost you 200 rupees to your hotel. The problem is with the porters. So if you have an agent taking care of you, you don't have to worry a thing. Just take out your baggage and give it to your agency who will be there waiting for you. In this case Henry. The reason-Henry is married to a Filipina so it's a plus factor.

Immediately we were whisked to our hotel, checked in and went to sleep. Almost midnight.

More to come.

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