16.05.2012 - 16.05.2012 15 °C
We started our day with a visit from one of the local mums that Byron knows, who brought us white tea using fresh nak milk ..... eeuuuwww!!! Not the best tasting tea, to be polite!
So instead of phoning a cab to get a ride to the airport, we had to walk to the next town, not too far only about 45 minutes, and of course uphill. (remember the heading says descent!). This time we were taking a helicopter! Our group had enough for 3 loads. The pilot thought the weather was getting worse so instead of going direct to Phaplu he ferried us to Lukla first, so we each had 2 heli rides.
We had a national park guy hitch a free ride with us and while we were waiting for our second pick up he thanked me (us) for helping the people in the area.
A couple of interesting things while the helicopter was on the ground. First was hot fueling - filling the gas tank with 5 gallon containers while the engine was running and the rotors turning! Also while we were waiting for the helicopter to return one of the fuel jockies lit a cigarette and was smoking beside about 13 containers. Byron told him to stop and then had to get someone else to get him to butt out!
We all made it safely to Phaplu and walked to our luxurious accommodations at the Hotel del Sherpa! While not a Hilton each room had its own bathroom, they said there was 24 hour hot water, and the great room had a nice wood burning fireplace. The beds had clean sheets and blankets if you didn't want to sleep in your sleeping bag. It was a nice change after our 10 days in the wild in the tea houses.
We should also mention our starting and ending point airports were gravel runways.