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“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta
Ibn Battuta known by many as the greatest traveller who ever lived, couldn’t have summarized travelling better.
But sometimes one needs an impetus, that little extra nudge to really get flowing.
That nudge for me was a flight to see the highest peak in the world -Mount Everest! If you are living / visiting Nepal – Kathmandu, then this is MUST DO! As grand as it would have been to scale this treacherous and marvelous peak, we got the opportunity to do the next best thing – a mountain flight to get the closest aerial view of this magnificent natural marvel.
At the break of dawn my sister and I were off for our fantastic adventure. We checked into our Budha Air flight and got to meet the very warm and knowledgeable crew of our flight.
This one-hour flight can best be described by some of the photographs we took along the way. And so here goes our picture story-
The flight was quite comfortable with all passengers enjoying a window seat and an open cockpit. After a round of sweets by the flight stewardess we taxied out and were up, up and away by 7am.
This was the route map we followed. It’s interesting to see how even the route kind of takes you through some great mountain ranges to finally climax at the Mount Everest and then we turn around.
What was exceptionally nice was that each passenger got an opportunity to visit the cockpit and see the view from there. That’s when I got my first glance of Mount Everest. We were still some distance away but it was just marvellous to see this peak. The peak above that line of cloud – Thats the ONE! Its like the line of cloud is underlining Mt. Everest.
Then once everyone had got one chance in the cockpit, we were free to walk back in again to get some great views and shots. And that’s when I saw it as close as I could possibly have. That unmistakable sharp pointed triangle was standing there so majestically and I just kept gaping at it. I didn’t even want to blink and just wanted it etched in my mind forever. We would love to have flown even closer but the air is so periliously thin there that nothing really can fly over it. And to think that some brave humans have scaled this peak! Utmost respect for them.
After all the passengers got their fill of the Mount Everest, the flight finally turned around. And the flight back turned out to be just as exciting. With the sun now shining in all its glory on the mountain ranges we got to experience some breathtaking views of the Himalayan ranges. The part snow covered- the part blackish barren mountains were such a beautiful sight!
And then I saw my second most favourite part of this mountain flight. The Gauri-Shankar peaks. They were not as high as Mount Everest but something about them just instantly drew me to them- Maybe the way the snow had covered Gauri, the softness of the snow akin to a soft cloth and the sun playing with her snow and giving it a unique grey hue; maybe the way Shankar stood tall behind her like a protective figure; maybe that they are Hindu deities (thought not particularly religious it just struck a chord); maybe that climbers are banned from climbing it (though some have scaled it too). Not sure what the appeal was but they had a magnetic draw and I kept looking back till they were long gone.
Then came the Ganesha peak. The unmistakable trunk and face! I guess it helped being Indian on this flight. Because Mount Everest peak was not the only awe inspiring peak we connected with.
And with that ended our lovely hour-long tour of these stunning ranges. This enchanting journey ended with a certificate for each of the passengers and the quote on it summed up the whole trip ‘ I did not climb Mt. Everest…but touched it with my heart!’
If this blog post has enticed you to plan a mountain flight then these notes may help you further-
HAPPY MOUNTAIN FLYING