Day two dawns — and today I have a new appreciation for the fact that no matter how well intended and thorough your plans may be — there will always be something that is out of your control. For all of us at “Today,” and particularly for my travelling companions and me, the last twenty-four hours have been a testimony to that statement.
Let me fill you in... When I wrote yesterday, I mentioned that we may need to stay in Tengboche, on the mountain in Nepal, due to the heavy fog. Sure enough, stay we did, and after a dinner of Ritz crackers, peanut butter and a can of Chef Boyardee, we all settled in to our sleeping bags for a fitful night’s rest. I should point out that the 20 degree temperatures made a late night trip to the outhouse (there was no running water at Tengboche) pretty undesirable…When we woke at 4:00 a.m. local time, we were told that the fog was too heavy, too dangerous for our helicopter to get us to Katmandu. Our spirits sunk — everyone was ready to get moving, and it wasn’t looking like that was happening any time soon. But then, just minutes later — we thought that some luck had finally turned our way. A break in the fog was on its way — and it would last just long enough for us to head out. So we packed up quickly and took to the skies — with a last glance at Mount Everest and the Tengboche monastery.
We made the 100 mile trip to Katmandu safely, arriving at about 10:00 p.m. New York time, on Monday night. We quickly boarded our charter and were on our way to the next stop — so we thought. As we headed for the runway, our plane was stopped, and the pilot was told that we did not have clearance from the Indian government to fly through Indian airspace. While this was something that we had appropriately filed for weeks ago, apparently there had been a last minute snafu.
Needless to day, the next few hours were spent trying to negotiate our departure — at the same time keeping an eye on the clock as “Today” show airtime approached. At 2:00 a.m. New York time we were told we could leave in four hours — not giving us enough time to make it to our next destination prior to the start of the show. So, a re-routing decision was made, and we headed for destination three.
And that is where I will write from tomorrow — a bit worse for the wear, tired, hungry, and in need of a shower — the adventure continues. Stay tuned!