On the night of the 28th, we stayed in the village of Phakding, nursing the colds we had all picked up, and the next morning slept in until 7:00 a.m. (We only had a three-hour walk into Lukla, so we figured we deserved a break.) Walking down into Lukla (2840 meters altitude ) where we had begun our trek, we marveled again at the variety of loads the Sherpa porters carried on their backs--rolled carpets, cases of beer, live chickens in cages, 8 sheets of door-sized plywood, even freshly butchered yak meat. Gopal, our head guide, explained that Sherpa porters generally carry between 40 - 45 kilograms. Around noon we reached the town of Lukla, where we had started our trek, and after spending a free afternoon in the town, we gathered in the evening to have dinner and celebrate with our Sherpa porters (much dancing to Nepali pop music!). They truly were a wonderful bunch, and Gopal was the perfect head guide--wise, friendly, and highly competent. We spent the night in Lukla and on the morning of October 30th, we rose at 5 a.m. in order to catch an early plane from Lukla back to Katmandu. Gopal shepherded us through this last stage with his usual efficiency, and now we are back in Katmandu, sorting through our photos and memories. Tomorrow, people will be begin flying back to Canada. The trek was a great success--nobody got sick (apart from our colds), the weather was beautiful, and we all had to call on hidden resources to get us through the tough parts. We've seen the top of the world; we've helped some of the needier citizens of this extraordinary country; and our lives will not be the same afterwards. Stay tuned for more developments!