Hello from Kathmandu

7 October 2018

‘It is not the mountains that we conquer but ourselves’ Sir Edmund Hillary 

So, after a year of planning and over 1,300 miles in training, I have arrived in Kathmandu. I feel incredibly privileged to be able to return here and excited about the next three weeks. I am also very nervous! Over the next 17 days, I hope to trek for on average eight hours a day, slowly walking four miles in to the sky to reach the summit of Mera Peak. I am doing this to raise money for the wonderful charity, Cancer Research. 

It was incredibly hard to leave my husband at the airport and to say goodbye to my family and friends. People have kindly wished me good luck, told me to take care and asked me to come back safely. I know my husband and my family are worried and it is difficult when I know that I am causing this. I hope that I can make everyone proud. 

I was excited to arrive in Kathmandu, which was an experience! The drive from the airport to the hotel was accompanied by the constant sound of horns tooting as cars, minivans, motorbikes and pedestrians tried to navigate the busy streets in a very chaotic way! It was, however, very good spirited and I arrived safely and met the group I will be trekking with. 

There are nine of us in the group, together with three guides, porters and cooks. Our head guide has reached the summit of Mount Everest ten times and so I feel that I am in very good hands. 

We were due to fly tomorrow morning to the tiny airport in Lukla in the mountains, wonderfully called the ‘Tensing Hillary airport’ but less wonderfully known as ‘the most dangerous airport in the world’. The weather is, however, forecast to be very poor tomorrow and so flights are being cancelled for safety reasons. We are therefore changing our route. We will be travelling in to the mountains by road and then having a longer trek, and we’ll aim to make up time over the course of the next three weeks. This means that we will be trekking from almost sea level to the summit of Mera Peak, at 6,500m, rather than starting at 2,800m at Lukla. This feels quite special to me and so, despite the additional trekking, I’m feeling very excited. 

The quote at the start was on a card that I was given after I returned from Everest base camp two years. It is so true. Every time I have taken on a challenge, I have learnt something new about myself and each time I have been able to push myself further and conquer some more fears. 

I know the next three weeks will be a challenge, physically and emotionally. I also know it will be an amazing experience. There will be no doubt times when I smile, when I cry and when I think I can’t go on. I will try my best and it is wonderful to know that I have everyone with me, willing me on. Thank you all so much for your support. I’ll keep you all updated on my progress, as best I can.

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