Welshman Walking Blog: Returns Part 2
Welshman Walking Blog : Returns
My Own Bucket List
When Bucket List was in its infancy, Co Founder Andy, created a blog called Welshman Walking. This was about his first journey to Nepal where he was heading to Mt Everest for the first time. The writing took him from the busy Airport at London Heathrow, all the way to the foot of the tallest mountain on earth, Mt Everest, and back to Kathmandu.
As with any journey his was so much more than just reaching the destination. The realisation of a lifetime ambition, the friends he made on the trails, the hospitality he enjoyed from the Nepalese people and the life experiences he went through all added to the story. I hope you enjoy reading about this journey as much as Andy enjoyed living it. We will be posting each blog throughout the next few weeks with this being the second installment, in the build up to some of our planned expeditions in spring & Autumn 2017! Keep a sharp eye on the horizon for more news.
Here i sit in the transfer area of Mumbai airport thinking about the last 24 hours or so. It’s been a journey and a half already and i havn’t even started my trek yet. The old saying
‘Its not about the destination, it’s about the journey’ is definitely spot on.
So, to follow on from my last post, i had a little shock realizing that I had missed my connecting flight to Kathmandu and was therefore stranded in Istanbul for the time being at least. I am trying to recall my thought process at the time and i think it actually took me about 5-10 minutes to confirm and agree with myself that yes Andrew, you have been a dick! Well at least for an hour until i reached the Turkish Airlines helpdesk who put the blame entirely on themselves and agreed that the transfer time was way too short and they reassured me that they would organise another flight and sort me out with a hotel in Istanbul for the night. Sweet as!
As i sat waiting for them to sort out my tickets for the next day i concurred with myself that things could be a lot worse. I did actually think whilst flying over the city of Istanbul
that i would have loved to spend a couple of days there. Be careful what you wish for, goes without saying.
It was 1:30 in the morning and creeping towards the deep depths of the early hours
when about all but 1 of the Turkish Airline staff decided to have a party. I mean, i know i’m not in Istanbul very often but i’m not the Queen, i don’t require a party. They settled down with cakes and some food that i didn’t really know what it was but when they came over and provided me with a plate of the stuff i gladly accepted. I had some full fat Coke which was the first in a very long time but i thought what the heck, i’m going to be trekking for 20 days soon, go for it!
The only thing that disturbed my mind from the wonderful taste of the random doughy food and full fat coke was a bloke gesticulating and complaining or should i say shouting at the one remaining Turkish Airline staff about his flight which was actually my flight that he had missed. I didn’t feel so bad when i realized i wasnt the only one. However i did feel for this bloke as he had 4 or 5 young children with him and he was concerned at being stuck in Istanbul for the night.
After 10 minutes of this guys shouting one of the staff from the party who i can only describe as a 6ft 5′ Turkish version of Arnold Schwarzenegger with a huge head of hair. The complaining guy soon lowered his tone of voice and things were more of less resolved. Good old Turkish airlines resorting to ‘Get the big man’ tactics. I was chuckling to myself in amusement.
After i had finished the food and drink i waited and waited for around 2 more hours for the staff to sort my tickets. Eventually at 4am local time i was told a shuttle bus would take me to the hotel they had sorted for me and went outside. I got chatting to the complaining dude and i just said to him ‘Keep smiling’. In all fairness he saw the funny side of things and him and his family jumped into the same shuttle bus as i and went to the hotel. The relatively old driver casually drunk a coffee in a 1970’s style glass mug with his co driver whilst smoking and chatting away. I couldn’t understand a word they said but it sounded like a couple of lads chatting about the footy on a Friday night. It entertained for the trip thats for sure.
I had this feeling that the hotel was going to be a cheap option but the hotel was as good as anything i had stayed in before. I was told i could have free brekkie and free lunch. The only downside was the location with the hotel being about an hour away from the center and therefore not much of an option to explore the following day.
When i eventually got to sleep it must have been around 5:30am. I had decided to have a decent nights rest and a lay in to prepare the body for onslaught that was to come on the Everest trek so set my alarm for 11am. I drifted off with thoughts lingering on the huge mountainous expanse that was lying in wait for me and the footsteps i would be following.