After an exhausting journey in India and Nepal, we decided we deserved one final splurge….one relaxing, AMAZING, breathtaking, positive memory to return home with…….
When we were in Pokhara, we saw an advertisement for helicopter rides to the Annapurna Base Camp and thought it would be amazing. I reached out by email to a couple of different trekking/tour companies and was immediately contacted by a guy in Kathmandu. He asked if we were interested in Annapurna or Everest Base Camp. Wow, we didn’t think we could get up to Everest this time of year, but he said it was no problem and that we could land as long as the snow wasn’t too thick and the weather held…..So, we decided to fly back to Kathmandu a couple of days later to take a 5 hour helicopter journey through the Himalayas to see the spectacular Mt. Everest!
There were four others on the tour and we all met early in the morning at our hotel for a bit of breakfast and briefing. From there, we drove to the helicopter terminal at the Kathmandu Airport and waited for the fog to lift. A short time later, Troy and I were up in the front seat with the pilot and we were lifting off in our “dragon” helicopter! We flew through the rugged Himalayas for about 30 minutes until we reached the Lukla “Tenzing-Hillary” Airport where we had to refuel.
This has been rated as the most dangerous airport in the world for over 20 years due to the high terrain, extreme weather, and steep drop at the end of the single runway. Of course, in a helicopter, it was a breeze! Per Wikipedia, It has been said that Hillary was unhappy with the runway’s soil resistance, and that his solution was to buy local liquor for the Sherpas and ask them to perform a foot-stomping dance to flatten the land that served as the runway. The runway was not paved until 2001
Next, we landed in the small mountain town of Periche. This is a popular spot on the Everest treks and is also home to the one of the world’s highest bakeries at 14,340 ft.
In Periche, we had to leave three of our group so the helicopter would be lighter to proceed up to a landing spot just below the Everest Base Camp.
Sooooo beautiful!!! After taking tons of pictures, we headed back to Periche so the others could have their moment with Everest. Later, we headed to another spot, Hotel Everest View, which opened in 1971 as the Highest Hotel in the World at 13,000 ft. The only way in is by either trekking or helicopter….we chose the easy one :-)! This was a great spot for some more pictures and some breakfast before heading to Lukla to refuel and then back to Kathmandu.
One last thing, we were blown away by was the terracing on most of the mountains between Kathmandu and Everest. The Nepalese people work so hard making use of every inch of the land to grow fresh veggies.
So, with this amazing ride, we concluded our journey into 2019! We wish you all your BEST year yet filled with Adventure, Peace, Love & Hugs!