Nepal and Himalayas

Day 17 (3-2) - Wednesday, November 13, 2019 - Mount Everest Flight; Visit Boudhanath Stupa; Durbar Square; Explore Patan

We were up at 4:45 for our optional flight to Everest this morning. The moon was full and the traffic was light as we headed back to the Tribhuvan International Airport. This time we went to the Domestic Terminal for our Yeti Airlines, Everest Express flight.

All nine of our Post-Trip group chose to make the flight, a once in a lifetime opportunity! Once we found the correct area of the terminal for the Charter Flights, a shuttle bus took us to the tarmac. We waited until the driver told us to get off, only to have the air traffic agent reprimand him and we had to get back on the bus.

We drove to another aircraft but the pilot was not happy with the windshield wipers, not a good sign for us nervous flyers. Finally, we drove to another plane on the tarmac and after standing in the wind for a while, we boarded the flight.

The plane was a Jetstream 41 with 30 seats. There were ten more passengers in addition to our nine, giving everyone of us a window seat. It was 7:45 when we left the ground and we climbed to 22,000 feet. We could see the whole Mahalangur Range of the Himalayas. Of these mountains, Everest is the highest at 29,029 feet above sea level.

We traveled the whole length of this section of the mountains and then circled back so each side of the aircraft had perfect views. As it was a very casual flight, we were up and walking around and even got to go to the cockpit to see the pilot and copilot. They took time to point out Everest peaking behind the front of the range.

Our flight attendant, Nima Zangmo Sherpa was exceptionally nice to our group. She helped take photos and we had our picture taken with her. As we turned around and we headed back to the terminal after our hour-long flight she served us all a glass of Champaign and we received a certificate documenting our flight.

We landed at 8:45 and Kunal met us at the terminal to take us to the bus and our trip into the center of Kathmandu. Our first stop was the Boudhanath Stupa. This is Nepal’s holiest site. Along with a few tourists, the pilgrims were mostly Tibetan Buddhists.

After having an hour to explore the stupa and look in the shops, Kunal gave each of us a breathing mask because of the dust and pollution. We had an opportunity to walk to the bus parking along the busy streets. Kathmandu was still recovering from the devastating earthquake in 2015 and the streets are in terrible condition.

We drove as close as we could to Kathmandu’s Durbar Square, in the city center. Once a palace of the Kings and royal families, it is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, public center, and the palace is now a museum.

On our way to the square, we stopped at the Ratnakar Mahabihar Monastery where we met the seven year old Living Goddess or Kumari. We had a chance to talk to her mother and even take a few photos. Both Hindus and Buddhists worship her.

Kunal took us to lunch at the Panta Royal Café and then we went back to the square for a detailed tour of the palace. At 3:30 he offered to give us free time, but everyone was very tired so we opted to go back to the resort. With the traffic congestion we did not get back until 5:30.

Dinner was on our own but Gennie had bought some fruit at the local market so we ate in our room and worked on the journal and posted Day 17. Tomorrow we have another flight to the Mala Lodge in Annapurna. There will be no Internet for the next two days. We will document our experiences but not be able to post until we fly back to Kathmandu.

Meals included: B & L

Accommodations: Gokarna Forest Resort

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Overseas Adventure Travel:
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We were lucky to see Everest on our flights to and from Bhutan! I don't remember if the living goddess is always a child and a new one is selected when she gets older. I was wondering how they were recovering from the earthquake. It happened shortly after we visited there and I could picture the places near the quake where we had been. I hope the air is better in Anapura.

Carol Larson   November 13, 2019 - 10:47am

You did have a once in a lifetime opportunity!

Susan P   November 13, 2019 - 8:40am
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Yeti Airlines, Everest Express

Yeti Airlines, Everest Express

Mount Everest

Mount Everest

Boudhanath Stupa

Boudhanath Stupa

Living Goddess

Living Goddess

Patan’s Durbar Square

Patan’s Durbar Square

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