Saturday, March 17, 2012


After our delightful visit to Doha, we had an early AM departure, we arrived in Kathmandu, Nepal, around noon.  We lugged our carry-ons through visa purchases and then grabbed our bags and hit customs, where we were waived on through with barely a glance.  After ~30 hours of travel, we finally reached "fresh air".  "Fresh" because it is anything but. The dirt, dust, fumes and refuse of this city on the other side of the world is legendary.     A fascinating city, but it must surely be one of the dirtiest.  Fortunately for us,  we were immediately greeted by Jeff and Linden- who adorned us each with a traditional welcome garland (to combat the dust?)  After so long in planning and training...oh, and packing was great to finally see them and give them hugs.  Not sure how often they receive the warmth of reunion from their clients- but to this group they are very dear.

After being dropped off at the Yak and Yeti hotel, we decided to get out and walk around town.  I'm not sure why we're worried about glaciers, cliffs, and crevasses when every second on the streets of Kathmandu is life-threatening.  We didn't see any traffic lights, but a few traffic cops in circles- a sight that always reminds me of  Frosty the Snowman..."He led them down the streets of town, right to the traffic cop..."  Pedestrians are definitely considered expendable.  We hit the ATM, and then...we lost Sasha.  One minute there, the next, gone.  We waited at the bank for awhile, and then dodged the flying motorcycles and arrogant cars as we circumnavigated the block- searching for our lovely Sash.  Over an hour later, spooked by the many potential
"first pages" for novels running through our brains, we went to back to the hotel to admit to Linden that we'd lost Sash.  She turned up moments later, as she, too, had been wandering around trying to find us.  Turns out she had gone downstairs in the bank to change money.

We decided to head back out to the "tourist" section of Kathmandu- the Thamel neighborhood.  We walked for over an hour, and I was fortunate to find some compact flash cards for my the more I thought about it, I realized I'd blow through the cards I have.  After that, Sasha and I decided to continue in our tourist role and we hired a pedicab back. Dilapidated, yes, but it seemed to have a working "eject" button as there were several times when Sasha and I became airborne.  All behind a guy on a bike.

The exhaustion began to set in, and after a great dinner at the hotel, we crashed.

(Will try to post photos tomorrow...)

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