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The Top of the World! Everest!

Everest. One word, wow. It was a beautiful clear day. Our Budha Air flight was on a 17 seat Beechcraft. This aircraft is a small tubular unit with one seat on each side of the aisle. A six foot tall person cannot stand erect in the aisle. Mary Ann dislikes small planes and she was uncomfortable at first. Once we got to the mountains, her demeanor changed.

We flew out of the domestic airport. Other airlines serving it had names like Yeti Air. They take security more serious than any airport I have ever been in. We got frisked three times between entering the airport and getting on the plane. They found both my lighters. At least two other airlines run “mountain flights”. This is a major tourist attraction, and we found out why.

We left at 6:30 in the morning and were back in the hotel by 9:00.

It took about ten minutes to reach the Himalaya range.  They gave each passenger a map which named every peak along the way. We went West to East skirting the range at about 30,000 feet. That let us see the mountains up close and personal.

This range is very different than the Andes, which I have flown over and through dozens of times. Not just because they are higher, but because they are much more “ragged”. The Himalaya are a set of very sharp peaks and deep valleys, with many rivers and even a couple of large ice lakes. They are a brilliant white, and you can see giant ice flows with well defined patterns. It left me with an even more impressed reputation of all those (especially the early ones) who have done on foot what I was doing in the air.)

And then we flew over the top of the world, the third pole. Everyone has seen photos of Everest and is familiar with the shape of this amazing mountain. When you get  so close you feel like reaching out and touching her, it is moving and thrilling .  It was a once in a lifetime experience. It was a bucket list item.

As we started flying back and descending in altitude, all I could think of was, “It’s all downhill from here.”

I’ll probably never stop talking about it, but for now I’ll post some photos in an effort to share this thrilling experience with you.

Over the himalaya

View from the cockpit Everest in front

Yes, they let me into the cockpit. Which was a good thing because my window was dirty and over the wing, so most photos kinda suck.

Awe inspiring

Top of the world!

My next post will cover the rest of an amazing day which included watching an ancient rite of cremation of bodies along a river on the outskirts of town. If you can handle it, I have photos.  I also will share with you the origin of the Kama Sutra with some “adults only” photos. Thanks for reading. Stay tuned, subscribe if you have not already, and tell a friend.

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