EBC


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Date/Time
Date(s) - 24/09/2018 - 26/11/2018
12:00 am

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Stuart Dingwall
  1. As a boy I read lots about Everest and Nepal and was lucky to get there in 1993 for a month – this walk in November is a boyhood dream come true for me!
  2. I walked up Scafell Pike 3 times in a day for charity some years back – tiring but a great day of hard walking!
  3. I can juggle and plan to take the juggling balls to Everest!
  4. I live in Jeddah, Saudi with my wife Philomena and we enjoy every trip back to the UK to get some wonderful dales and lakes walking in.

 

We are now on our final countdown to our biggest ever walking challenge.

Expect a weekly blog leading to the big off and I hope to introduce fellow walkers and more details on the trip.

We are doing the challenge for a great charity called Jessica sarcoma..please do sponsor us and we hope to help a great charity while we achieve the walk we always dreamed of!

This is the start of my new blog to share the amazing trek to Everest base camp in November 2018 (referred to as EBC)

watch out for introductions to the trekkers, facts on Everest and the many preparations underway before we all arrive in Kathmandu for the trek in November this year.

 

https://theebc2018.wordpress.com/

https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/StuartDingwall

Day 1 2nd November 2018

An early start, after a few hours sleep, saw us winding through the Jeddah streets to the airport.

Jeddah is one of those places that lives at night. Evening prayers done, people rest before heading out so 2am feels like rush hour!

NOW… we tackle the airport. Voted world’s worst airport 2016! It was eco driven worst in 2017 but it only lost out to sana’a in Yemen due to sana’a being bombed!

A lot can be said of Jeddah airport, words like bedlam, crowded, noisy, smelly, dirty and not uncommon, but for all that the people don’t generally hassle you and they treat westerner’s well.

As Phil will tell you, for a guy who has visited 79 countries and taken thousands of flights, I am a real stress head when I am catching flights,so her morning coffee was her reward for putting up with me as we battled the check in process, then immigration and then security. It doesn’t bode well for the many trips we are planning when we retire! I think I am getting worse not better,so Phil’s morning coffee was well needed and well deserved.

In the Middle East, a lot of people are travelling for umrah to Mecca and have never been abroad or flown on a plane so the many challenges of an airport are bewildering to them. In the UK, patience is a virtue, in Jeddah patience is a survival skill,

Well the Jeddah to Abu Dhabi flight, was a typical Middle East / North Africa flight, I call these flights “bob wants to sit next to bill” flight.

You get on the plane and and head to your seat, but someone is sitting in your seat, and that’s because someone is sitting in their seat, because in turn someone is sitting int their seat…it’s Ryanair – Saudi style.

Due to boarding passes having English numbers and most people not understanding them or having not flown, it’s a free for all where anyone sits anywhere, so it’s usually bedlam and harassed cabin crew look forward to getting every one seated ASAP.

In the end, the air hostess allowed us (the only westerners on the flight) to sit in reserved seats with more leg room so it all worked out.

I was telling Phil about a flight back from Amman (Jordan) a few years ago, we arrived for the flight to be told it was delayed an hour. When we enquired why, the air hostess said seating challenges! The next hour was bonkers, with arguments, noise, bags flying everywhere, just to get my fellow passengers seated, next to someone they liked and could cope with for a few hours flight to Jeddah!

An uneventful Abu Dhabi flight saw us arrive in Kathmandu at 19.45 Nepal time and after using a simple machine to get a visa and paying at the bank kiosk we then found not many staff working so an hour wait to get our passport stamp.

For Phil, this is country 46 travelled and in last 6 years its 26 in total, so we have been busy. I was here back in ’93 So this is not a new country, but one I hold with great affection.

A very friendly guide picked us up and so began our adventure. A lovely hotel awaited for the weekend and we also found an Irish bar over the street for food and a drink. I’m a great believer that every city has an Irish bar and having an Irish wife, it’s only polite to visit every one of them!

We had our tea listening to a Nepalese rock bank playing AC/DC and enjoying the sights and sounds of a Nepalese night out. My god, they all smoke! It was a throw back to the 90’s when a good night out had you sniffing your clothes for smoke when you got home.