I’m in Kathmandu!
I still can’t quite believe I’m here. It’s nothing like I expected, but everything I’d hoped for.
The culture shock has been a little overwhelming and the roads are just mental. No such thing as a leisurely stroll down to Durbar Square. Between avoiding cars, motorbikes, bicycles, potholes, rubbish and the occasional cow there’s hardly any time to even window shop.
Horns beeping incessantly, you’re never sure if they were meant for you.
But let’s go back to the beginning …
Tues 3rd July arrived and with it my 38th birthday. I was much too busy with last minute preparations to give it much thought, which is probably a good thing. Only one birthday left in my 30’s!
Ash and Adele were kind enough to make sure that I got on the plane and didn’t back out. There were some last minute doubts.
Out of character for me I left heading for security with not much time to spare. My friends watched as my panic grew when I realised the queue was going nowhere and the gate was about to close.
Finally through without any hassle, no porno scanner or fondling by the security staff I legged it to my gate. Thankfully I wasn’t the last to board.
On arriving at my seat I discovered I was surrounded by children. I almost ran screaming from the plane.
It turned out alright in the end and they were very well behaved. The little girl next to me had never flown before so we had great fun peeking out the window at all the sights. At one point I woke up and she was curled up fast asleep against my arm.
It appears travelling does indeed change you.
Arriving in Delhi around 9:30am local time I was finally reunited with my hand luggage which was stowed nowhere near me due to my late boarding.
It was then that I had the opportunity to read the cards Adele had thrust into my hand as I hugged her goodbye.
Gosh! I had no idea what she’d been up to at my leaving party. Turns out that sneaky woman had gotten everyone to sign a card for me.
I am really touched by all your kind words. I miss you all!
After patting my face dry I opened the second card she gave me, which was from her and included this little fella.
Yes it’s cheesy, but expect pics of him in random places over the coming months. Suggestions for a name, anyone?
Flight from Delhi was brief but loads of fun in a rather small aircraft. My face was pressed up against the window for most of the flight in the hopes of glimpsing the Himalayas.
No such luck as below us was a blanket of thick cloud.
Both legs of my journey I flew with Jet Airways. An unknown quantity for me and it wasn’t until 4 days before leaving that I managed to talk to someone who had flown with them. I was told they were outstanding which put my mind at ease.
While more basic than Singapore Airlines, I couldn’t fault Jet Airways. They certainly win at legroom, and the food was delicious.
Just before landing in Kathmandu, the valley came into view. Breathtaking!
Green lush mountains on either side of the river valley. I’m very much looking forward to exploring the countryside once I get out of Kathmandu.
Sat in the back of the taxi, $40 lighter after getting my 1 month tourist visa, I looked out the window and all I could think was “What have I done??”
It was evident I had glamourised the thought of Kathmandu, and what I now saw in front of my eyes was nothing like I expected.
Everything seems better after a shower, a nap and a hot meal in your tummy. Once I’d settled into my rather large room (!) I wandered downstairs to acquaint myself with the very friendly hotel staff. It would seem nothing is too much trouble and they are willing to organise pretty much anything I need while staying here.
They pointed me in the direction of a restaurant not too far from the hotel serving local food, and as any good tourist should I ordered the non veg Thali set.
Delicious and tastes I’d never experienced before, especially the vegetables. I knew then that I would soon fall in love with Nepali food.