It's 4am on Sunday and I'm still, unfortunately, at the Hyatt in Kathmandu. Yesterday we successfully completed a dress rehearsal of our heli flight to Samagaon.
We left the hotel promptly at 6, loaded with bags of gear and food, made our way through the dusty streets of Kathmandu, our driver skillfully avoiding a large brown cow running towards us, being chased by a pack of mangy dogs.
At the domestic terminal of the Tribhuvan airport, I walked through security side-by-side with locals, listening to the metal detector beep as I passed. A stray dog followed me all the way through the airport to security, hoping for a bite of my muffin.
I was handed a boarding pass and said goodbye to the half of my team that would depart on the first flight. An hour later, they phoned from the tarmac; they were still waiting in the rain to take off. Another hour passed before we were escorted to the tarmac. I started to get excited about flying and watched our heli gracefully land. Then the first half of my team walked off of it. They were unable to fly higher than 3,000 feet due to low clouds, making it unsafe to fly through the narrow valley connecting Kathmandu to Samagaon.
We all went back to the hotel and relaxed by the pool, disappointed at 12:30 when three helicopters flew by, headed in the direction of Samagaon.
|My escort through security|
Photo: Lisa White
Hopefully today will be a better weather day!