Friday, November 4, 2011

Still no Lukla flights

It has been about 5 days since people managed to fly to or from Lukla, and the local TV news was reporting last night that there are 3000 people stuck in Lukla and another 500 in Phaplu just down the trail. Trouble is, Lukla is running out of meat and veg, and people are running out of places to stay while they wait for their flight.
A very simple solution is to walk for another maybe 2 days (since you have already been trekking you should be fit) and get to the roadhead, catch the bus to Katty and not miss your international connection. Alternately, you can sit in Lukla or Phaplu and complain about how somebody else should fix the problem. And how your travel insurance won't pay, and you have to fight with everyone for the first seats once flights start, or you have to bribe your way onto a chopper.
Everyone here knows that every year in late October or early November there is about a week of bad weather when flights to the mountains quite simply cannot go. Overseas tour operators should know this too, because they are always complaining about how much it costs them to evacuate people and change flights. So, why not just change your stupid trekking programmes to allow for the weather problem, or just give the staff instructions that if the flights is cancelled they immediately start walking for the roadhead? That way people could still get out in time. Why is it always that the Nepal Army has to waste time and money flying enormous helicopters up and down to Lukla to rescue these idiots? It makes my blood boil. But I guess you can see that. That's my opinion and you are most welcome to it!
At least the people here in Katty who were hoping to go to Everest are smart enough to see that their holiday is slipping away and they just go somewhere else for trekking.
So what else? Well I missed Raj's birthday bash in Delhi but Robin went along and ate too much food. Robin had an interview in the Hindustan Times - the English they attribute to him cannot possibly be his but it is an interesting angle...
People here are still excited about the 'peace deal' between the major parties, who now admit that they are embarrassed that they wasted 3 years arguing about petty rubbish instead of working for the benefit of Nepal. Maybe now they can get on with the business of actually running the country. Dr Bhattarai really does seem to be doing a good job and he has the confidence of the people. If his previous efforts as Finance Minister are anything to go by we may just get positive change here.
The weather here right now is what can technically be called 'dreary': damp, foggy and COLD at night. Thank goodness for my Red Spot Boutique doona I brought all the way from home.
And in vitally important breaking news, the Fate of the Nepali Calendar hangs in the balance...Do not read if you are easily befuddled or demented. You can see why this country is such a basket case when you read this.
The reason it says 2069 is the Nepali calendar is a bit in front - I forget exactly what it is based on but right now it is 2068 and 2069 starts about 15 April next year.
It's Friday and some more friends are arriving just as others leave, so the frantic social whirl continues. Spent last night chatting with an interesting Saudi photojournalist. Now that's something you don't get to say too often!
I am going to see if my washing is drying on the balcony (probably not) and think about going to the gym. Or not. I am feeling rather lazy after I spent the morning updating my CV in an attempt to procure work on my return home. Ah the joys of being a contractor. Have a beautiful Friday!

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