After my last blog post my Mom told me she thought my blog was lovely; she wondered if I needed to use the F word so much though.  The answer to that question is yes, I do.  However, in the spirit of not being TOO much of an asshole since she’s already put up with so much from me, I decided to oblige her for this blog entry only.  Sort of.  In true autocorrect fashion, I’ve replaced the word ”fuck” with the word “duck” throughout this post.  You’re welcome Mom 🙂


So it’s another day of site seeing.  I woke up and not only was I sick, I also got my period.  I was NOT in the mood.  For anything.  I had some massive fomo going on though so I showered and got ready to go with everyone anyway.

Mike still wasn’t feeling well so he didn’t come with us, which really just made my shitty mood shittier because I was concerned he wasn’t going to make it on the trek at all.  Ang decided that when we got back from site seeing that night she’d talk to him about whether or not he wanted to go on the trek.

We were flying out to Lukla first thing the next morning and would start our trek that same day.  I wasn’t a fan of even just the thought of him not coming.  Then again, I wasn’t really a fan of anything that morning.

It was hot, my throat hurt, and my nose was running like a motherducker.  I had a buff to wear over my mouth and nose but I kept having to pull it down to blow my nose because it was running so much, and the whole situation is just not ideal.  To say I was cranky this day would be a gross understatement.

However, we got to the monkey temple that’s in Kathmandu and this made me really happy.  The reason it mades me so happy was because my niece back in New Hampshire LOVED the monkey videos and pictures I had on my phone from my trip to Bali, and the thought of being able to send her more monkey videos that will make her smile, made me smile.

Here are some pictures from that day.  We also got to see the largest stupa in Nepal, the Boudhanath.  I’ve included a few photos of that as well.

image
image
image

I loved the prayer flags everywhere – they were beautiful.

image
image

This is the largest stupa in Nepa!  Also beautiful (note: I found most things in Nepal to be beautiful…)

image
image

We got back a little later than we planned to, which isn’t good because we still needed to pack for the trek.  We had two porters (Lolit and Suman, who we met in Lukla), so Mike and Ang put all of their stuff in one bag, and PJ and I put all of our stuff in another, and the two porters carried those bags and we carried our own smaller day packs.  So naturally the night before we left for the trek seemed like the best time to pay any attention at all to packing…

But first we met with Santosh and Kabi (the person running the trekking company) to go over our gear and make sure we had everything we needed and to answer any lingering questions we might have had.  They told us we were leaving at 5:30am for the airport and that a boxed breakfast will be given to us before we leave the hotel.  We’re also told to have EITHER our passport, or some form of official photo ID with us.  This bit of information becomes important later.

As we were packing I went to visit Mike and Ang and see how they were doing, and Ang is having trouble getting everything to fit.  The buckles on two of their straps had broken and while we were shopping in Kathmandu she tried to find replacements but couldn’t so she was struggling to attach the sleeping bag to their main pack.  Mike was still feeling like shit, his fever was down though and he decided to give it a go and come with us anyway and just hope for the best.  Things are feeling a bit tense though.

I went back up stairs to finish packing.  I was almost done and was feeling pretty good about things – packing is the easy part!  I got the rest of my stuff in the bag and then I went to get my passport out so I’d have it handy the next day when we got to the airport.

Right.  My passport… where did I put that stupid thing anyway?

I bought a new Camelbak before I left and I was sure I had put it in there when we did our day hike; I hadn’t seen it since so I started going through my bags looking for it.  I checked my Camelbak first because that’s where I had last seen it.  I took everything out, it was not in there.  Weird.  Next I check my Chrome bag that I used as my other carry on.  Again I took everything out – it’s not in there either.

I kept looking, however I was already convinced it was gone.  Those were really the only two bags I had touched since I got to Kathmandu so if it wasn’t in there, it’s not anywhere in the room.

Me:  So uh… hey PJ.  I don’t suppose you’ve seen my passport…?
PJ:  …..what?
Me:  Yeah…. I can’t find it.  So, that’s not good.  I feel like when we went on our day hike I put it “somewhere safe” and I meant to tell you and Ang where that was, in case this exact scenario happened, but I don’t think I actually told you.
PJ:  No, you definitely didn’t….

She helped me check every inch of our room.  It wasn’t there.  I’m not one for stressing out about things though, so I thought about it logically.  Did I need it for the next day?

I DIDN’T!!!  Kabi said any official photo ID will do so I can use my license, right?!  Sweet.  So I went and told Mike and Ang about my current situation.

Between Mike being deathly ill, me having lost my passport, and no one being able to fit all of their shit in the bags we’re supposed to fit it in, things seemed to be falling apart a bit.

Anyway, they suggested I keep looking for my passport, and in the meantime that I call Kabi just to confirm that I can use my license the next day.  Ang pointed out that getting in touch with the US Embassy that night (instead of waiting until I got back like I was planning to) would probably be a good idea.  That way I could hopefully get the process of obtaining an emergency temporary passport started, and have it ready for me when I get back.  She’s wicked smaht.

So I called Kabi and confirm; license is totally acceptable!  Sweet.  Next I googled the US Embassy in Nepal and got the phone number.  They were closed but they had some information on the website about what to do in my particular situation – and basically there was nothing I could do until they opened.

I’d be in Lukla by then so really there was nothing I could do about it until the trek was over.  I was okay with this because honestly I wasn’t concerned as long as I could go on this trek.  The rest I was confident I could sort out when I got back.  No dramas.

I went back up to my room and went to get something out of my camelbak, but what I wanted was all the way down at the bottom so I unzip it completely so I could get it out.

Now, remember this was a new bag so I was not used to all of the different pockets it had.  And when you unzip it completely the front kind of flops over to reveal a mesh pocket thats on the inside – and contains my ducking passport.

It was a new bag and I forgot that pocket was even in there!!  Don’t you judge me.

Side note, because I’d like to finally come clean about this:  I didn’t lie to my sister, I definitely withheld information though.  After the earthquake she sent me the address for the US Embassy and I simply thanked her for it.  I didn’t have it in me to be like “Oh!  I already have that saved on my phone because I thought I was going there anyway to replace the passport I lost.”  I didn’t think that admitting that I almost lost it once already would be a comforting thought for her given the circumstances, so I said nothing.  Now you know, sister.  Regardless, I still really appreciate you looking out for me and getting the address for the Embassy.  🙂

I excitedly went and told Mike and Ang that I found it!  Things were looking up!  Ang was almost done packing, she was still struggling to attach one of the sleeping bags to their pack because of those broken buckles though.  And that’s when I realized – I have spare straps with buckles!

I bought this new hardshell snowboard travel case, and it came with straps on the inside for skis so you can strap them in and they’ll stay in place and won’t bang into each other inside the case.  I don’t own skis, and I’m 99% sure I never will, so I figured out how to detach the straps and gave them to Ang.  BAM!  Another problem solved, and suddenly things are starting to come together again.  Except Mike was still half dead.  He was on the mend though and I was sure he’d get better each day.

So that was it, there was nothing to worry about, except our flight the next morning.  What’s the reason I’d worry about that?  I’m glad you asked.

Back in Boston someone asked me at what elevation I’d be starting my trek.  As you know I don’t really research these things I just do them, so I had no idea.  I googled it though!  Here’s what happens when you google “Lukla.”

image

I didn’t even put in “airport,” I just googled Lukla.  The first two autofills are “Lukla airport crash statistics” and “Lukla airport crash.”  Then check out the titles of some of the websites.  Most dangerous and extreme airport?  And it gets worse the more you scroll down.

What the actual duck am I doing?!

Once I saw that, I closed google.  Sometimes I think ignorance is bliss, and nothing I read was going to stop me from getting on the flight, it would just make me more nervous about it, so I choose not to read any of it.

Another spoiler alert:  I live.  😉