Colibasanu Still Stranded in Kathmandu

In the last few days, some of the last tourists have managed to escape Kathmandu. Others patiently bide their time.

Peter Hamor managed to squeeze onto an overloaded plane to the Czech Republic. He now has to find his way home to Slovakia from there. Horia Colibasanu of Romania, however, still waits in Kathmandu for an exit opportunity. Earlier today, he packed some essential gear (mainly electronics) into a small backpack and tried to join a German group bound for Frankfurt. A long line of would-be passengers, most of whom sported heavy backpacks, waited for the same flight.

Foreign tourists stand in line, hoping to be evacuated in a German plane. The waiting list for the flight totaled 130 people. Photo: Horia Colibasanu


Ultimately, he didn’t get on the plane, but the operator had some good news for him. He managed to get his name on a waiting list and was told that he will “probably” get out Wednesday.

This is not the first world event that the apparently star-crossed Colibasanu has experienced in the greater ranges. “I got caught the Maoist insurgency in 2006 and the riots in 2010 when the king was overthrown,” he recalled. “I had to walk 30km to the airport. In 2015, I miraculously escaped the earthquake because I left the day before, after Peter had an accident.”

Colibasanu was in Pakistan during local riots and tense nights on the Karakorum Highway, when groups were at risk of being stopped at machine-gun point. “But nothing was like the return from an attempt on K2 with Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner in 2004,” he said. “Coughing and defeated after almost three months of adventure, I managed to miss my connection in Dubai and stayed at the airport for three days, heroically surviving on biscuits and Cola.”