Getting down is the hardest part and we were aggressive. So much so, we broke our Sherpa and had to pay him double that day.
On the second descent day we nursed our ailments from the previous day’s twelve hour hike with dal baat and chang (the rice wine).
We drank a lot of chang that morning.
Back in Lukla, we were greeted with chocolate cake, wine and showers which our tight budget on the ascent excluded. We never skimped on ever-present Nepalese popcorn, an indulgence at every teahouse.
Our descent was so aggressive, we arrived a day early, but so did the rains and it wasn’t possible to fly back just yet. The next day was quite cloudy, but we were on the first flight so if any plane came in, we’d be on it when it returned. So we waited and one came.
It was a little twenty seater and mine was right behind the pilot. Our little plane bounced along the runway, down the hill, and toward the cliff we flew off.
The pilots window was down and I could feel the fresh breeze on my face, though it didn’t change the fact that my clothes still smell like smoked yak dung.