Thursday 5 November 2009

Buddha and The Endless Chain

It was one of these will I, will I not decisions. Having failed once to go on the early morning mountain view flight I was reluctant to go back. Also after the Jomsom flight I was sceptical about mountain photography from an aeroplane. For those that care about these things on the Jomsom flight we had great views of the Annapurnas and Dhaulagiri but many shots that were in focus on the top and out of focus on the bottom. I could only attribute this to the heat from the very old engines on the Tara - Yeti aircraft. Give me an ultralight any day!!!!

Anyhow I got to the airport and killed some time chatting with Henry Todd. His experience was not encouraging - they fly to Lukla and then turn back. I left it with Henry that if I changed my mind on other matters I would get back to him.

There was the usual mayhem and melee. The flight exceeded my expectations. We had excellent views of the whole mountain chain. Despite taking off an hour late. The promised visit to the cockpit to take photos did not materialise. The door remained tightly shut. The thing that really struck me was that I had never before seen a whole mountain system like this close up. It was quite stunning. Great views of Gauri Shanker and Menlungste among other lesser peaks. Everest, well the Everest flight goes nowhere near it!!! I felt treated with the disdain that tourists get treated with in many ways. They said the flight would be 50 minutes and from commencing taxing to touch down it was exactly 50 minutes. So in fact we were in the zone of big mountains for say 15 minutes. All this said for 100 pounds i'd say it was a snip. Something I will always remember. The solution for the avid mountain photographer is obviously to hire a helicopter :-)
Finally a couple of images for Ralph and Andrea from Baudinath. Finally made it. A joy.

Off to pack leave on Sunday assuming the airport is open. Lots of "activity" there this morning.

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