Monday (18th November) – Steve felt really hung-over this morning having spent most of the night failing to sleep due to de-hydration The exertions of 18 days hard trekking finally are revealing themselves (but NOT to the younger team – bright and cheerful to the last!). After a good breakfast (always enthused over by Richard the ‘Munch’) the team headed for the airstrip and, after a 2-hour wait, took a helter-skelter fixed wing flight to balmy Kathmandu. The views of the foothills from the Dornier plane were spectacular (not that the co-pilot noticed as he read the newspaper the whole time!!!). I really must arrange a foothills trek sometime – less hostile an environment in which to walk and rich in culture. Arriving at the 5 – star Hotel Radisson was surreal after the privations of the past few weeks. Even more weird was to see former US president, Jimmy Carter, milling about the lobbies with his cosmopolitan entourage (here to monitor the Nepalese elections to be held tomorrow (19th) across the country). Mr C is now 89 years old and still has a twinkle in his eye and a few peanut shells on his chin. The evening was marked by a pleasant farewell dinner at the famous (albeit re-located) Rum Doodle restaurant – a haunt for many a famous mountaineer as well as the modern-day Himalayan adventurer. As is tradition, a blank cardboard yeti ‘footprint’ is filled in with the details of our jaunt (courtesy of the artistry of Rabindra, Nepal’s answer to Picasso). Soon it will adorn the dusty recesses of Rum Doodle’s ceiling (assuming the kitchen rats don’t eat it first). Then back home to the Radisson, complete with its armed guards and frisking machines (mind you the pretty Nepalese lady guard can frisk me ANYTIME!).