May 1, 2006 - Another Long but Enjoyable Day at the Airport
Shital and I have had another long, but enjoyable day at the airport. Today, right on time, Jackie Berger, arrived on TG 319. She had spent a restful night showering and sleeping some inside the transit area of Bangkok’s International Airport. As she confirmed it is not a bad place to spend some time after a long flight. There’s always plenty to do and pretty much everything you need is available. She looked fresh and excited as she stepped out of the customs area and met us.
Jackie and I came over to the Hyatt so that she could check in and by the time I returned to the airport Charles Martin and Jim Barr were hanging out with Shital, looking equally excited and energetic.
It was great to see Doc Martin so soon after the amazing experiences we shared together recently on Kilimanjaro with Berg Adventures and BCACL. And seeing Jim again after our visit just a few days ago to Campers Village and especially to Abbot Elementary school in Edmonton seem surreal. Here we are around the world, “reaching new heights”.
This afternoon, a group of us Albertans hung out a bit. Jim Haskins, Jim Barr and I shared “Everest” and Carlsberg beer at the poolside restaurant on the ground floor of the Hyatt. Later we met Jackie in the Lobby and it was quickly established that both the Oilers and Flames playoff news would be important information we will seek as this trip continues.
One interesting note is that Jackie has a Flames jersey packed in her trekking gear. I am sure that this will be displayed proudly from the summit of Kala Patar and perhaps elsewhere along the trail on this upcoming adventure.
Now at about 6:30 PM I am listening to a soft thunderstorm roll through the Kathmandu Valley. Shital is over at the airport waiting on the arrival of the Gulf Air flight that will bring our Ontario contingent into the Valley to join our team. John Stewart, Doug and Tim Welland will soon be on the ground here with us. The excitement grows as the team comes together.
[Update later that day]
The Gulf Air flight arrived no problem, and now 8 members of our team are enjoying getting to know one another in the Café on the ground floor of the Hyatt.
Doug, Tim, John, Jim Barr, Doc, Jackie, Roger and Jim Haskins are telling stories, sharing perceptions and their excitement about being underway really being in Nepal!
Erin and Opus the final two members of our team to arrive will not be in Kathmandu until Wednesday. Min will wait for them and we will all meet in Namche on Friday.
Meantime tomorrow holds a lot of promise for those of us already here. We will walk to Boudhanath Stupa and afterwards we will no doubt pack and repack our bags at the hotel a few times and savor the first hours together of an adventure that is just beginning. Stay tuned.
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