For the longest time, I had wanted to visit Nepal and trek in the mountains. While researching online, I came across the Nepal Hiking Team, read about their Gokyo Lakes adventure, and sent them an email for more info. Ganga replied within 12 hours (the San Francisco/Kathmandu time difference is pretty extreme), and we began planning my adventure. Once I felt pretty confident that the Hiking Team and Ganga were the right group for me, I booked my flights and finalized my trekking plans.
Fast forward two months. It's midnight in Kathmandu, and after a series of tiring flights, I'm taking my first steps in Nepal. Once I clear immigration, I walk outside, and right there, as expected, is the Nepal Hiking Team ready to pick me up and bring me to the hotel they had booked for me. The hotel (Kathmandu Eco Hotel) had power (permitting of the city's brownouts), WiFi, clean bathrooms, and fans. Anyways, the next day I spent taking a tour of Kathmandu. The following day I was slated to fly to Lukla to begin my trek to Gokyo Lakes.
After a short ground delay, our plane to Lukla was in the air. Out the window (make sure you sit on the left side) were some of the most fantastic mountain views I've ever seen. Unfortunately, as we approached the landing strip at Lukla, the pilots determined the weather was too poor to make a safe landing, so we returned to Kathmandu. Upon landing, I called up the Nepal Hiking Team and they were at the airport within 10 minutes to pick me up and put me up another night in the hotel. The next day, I spent mostly at the airport as all the flights to Lukla were cancelled. In the early afternoon, Ganga himself came to the airport to talk about alternate plans. As much as I wanted to visit Gokyo Lakes, with two days lost to flight delays, there wasn't enough time for me to make it there. We then agreed that instead, I would trek to the Annapurna Base Camp.
I was a little bummed that I couldn't make it to Gokyo but was still looking forward to Annapurna. I realize I've taken the last few paragraphs talking about my experience in Kathmandu, but the point I really want to make is that the Nepal Hiking Team was dedicated to making my Nepal experience as good as possible. Between picking me up at midnight, springing for 2 extra nights at the hotel in Kathmandu, and making plans to visit the Annapurna Base Camp on such short notice, they demonstrated to me that they really care. They really are awesome people.
The next day, I flew out to Pokhara and immediately drove up to Nayapul where I began my trek in to the Annapurna Conservation Area. My guide, Prakash, was very energetic and knew all the guest houses and trails very well. The scenery was incredible. This was by far the best trek I've ever been on.