“So, so you think you can tell heaven from hell.”
Today I was thinking about the day I had my Himalayan Adventure. I still remember my trip to Nepal in the year of 2008.
I went to Nepal with my family in the month of October of the year 2008, and I would say, I had once in a lifetime experience in there.
It was the ending of monsoon season and the weather there was a bit strange, one day it was sunny and the other day it was cloudy, rainy and foggy.
After spending few days in Kathmandu, we decided to fly around Mt. Everest. Who doesn’t want to?
So, on 8th, October 2008, we actually started our Himalayan Adventure pretty early, nearly at 6:00 A.M in the morning.
The weather that day was bit hazy but clear enough to get the view of the Mt. Everest.
We had flown into the same airport when we first arrived in Nepal on a flight from India, but we had come into the international terminal.
And this time into the domestic terminal, the domestic terminal of Kathmandu was very basic yet functional and for security check, there were two different lines for males and females and after the security check, I found myself in departure lounge which also was very normal with large posters advertising Yeti Airlines and Buddha Air.
With us, there were few other travelers, some who were going to Lukla, which is highly frequented by mountaineers on their way to the Mt. Everest Base Camp. And other passengers were those who gonna fly with us in the mountain flight.
We took Buddha Air, mountain flight, for our tour and the travelers who were going to Lukla took Yeti Airlines.
Finally, a crackling voice came over the loudspeaker, and I was excited because I thought the announcement was for our flight, but I was wrong, the voice over the loudspeaker announced.
“Yeti Airlines, next flight departing at 6:51 A.M.”
So, the passengers which include 12 Germans, 2 Australians and 2 Nepalese of Yeti Airlines boarded their flight and took off.
After the departure of Yeti Airlines, again a crackling voice came over the loudspeaker.” Buddha Air, next flight departing at 7:15 A.M, the announcement was made both in Nepali and English.
As we boarded the tiny plane, I noticed the plane had one set of seats on either side of the lane with a small aisle in between and every seat in the plane was a window seat, so as to give an uninterrupted view of the mountains to the passengers.
After everyone boarded the plane, the stewardess, provided us candies and gave all of us a leaflet referring to all the mountain peaks that we were gonna see.
We ascended slowly, leaving the rooftops of Kathmandu below. After a while, we broke through the clouds and then we came across Heaven, no one dared to say a word because that place was magical and mesmerizing.
“I was on the top of the world and the mountains were commanding, inspiring and breathtakingly beautiful.”
It is a wonderful thing to view a 29,028-foot mountain from 30,000 feet. It felt like we were so close to the heaven, I have no idea what heaven looks like, but this was perfect and for me perfect is heaven. It truly was one of the majestic things I’ve ever seen in my life.
The stewardess ticked of all the mountains as we passed: Langtang Lirung, Shisha Pangma, Dorje-Lakpa, Phurbi-Ghyachu, Chhoba-Bhamare, Gauri Shankar, Melungtse, Chugimago, Pigferago, Numbur, Karyolung, Cho-Oyo, Gyachungkang, Pumoki, Nuptse, Sagarmatha (Everest), Lhotse, Ama-Dablan, Chamlang, Makalu, Kanchenjunga.
We also took turns going up to the cockpit to see the pilot’s view, which was even more spectacular.
It’s been 7 years since I was in that little plane in the Himalayas and I still can feel those mountains and the breathtaking moment, which I felt when we broke through the clouds and saw a panoramic view of the mountains.
I didn’t actually climb the mountains and I will never go for trekking in the Himalayas, but I know these mountains and I think about them often.
Everything about that day was amazing, up until we came back to the airport, when we got the news, that the plane which took off before our plane, I mean Yeti Airlines got crashed during the landing at Lukla airport.
And at that moment I felt so terrible thinking about those people who were with us waiting for their flight a few hours back, who gonna climb up those vast mountains, died in an air crash.
And that was when I witnessed HELL, the same day, I witnessed HEAVEN.