Sunday, February 12, 2012

Dateline Nepal

This is the licence plate for a hit and run.

Dateline Nepal

Ok so the where in the world game is over. The crew in Nepal with Matty had their suspicions, some were sure I would show up at some point and others were less committal, but I don’t think anyone was surprised.

With the crew that is over here while I am “between work commitments” there could not be a better time for me to do this.

The picture on face book with Big Ben in the background was not as much a tell as I thought. I may have been the only person getting here via London. My travel task, like everyone’s was arduous: Early start to take the Airporter from Yakima. Good seat on bulkhead scored by being first in line, waiting most of the day for British Air to open the counter at 2:00pm. Flight out at 6:40pm on time to London, arrive with 9 hr lay over (time to take the tube into Westminster for the pic of the clock, back and on a second redeye to Deli India, 2 hour wait for 737 to Katmandu, and now it gets interesting.

In Katmandu at about 3:30 local time, Nepal is not just off set by x hours GMT but also by 45 min or 15 min depending on how you look at it. This place is actually out of a different time, and is a different world. The sites and sounds can not be described, they are completely other than anything I have ever experienced. The city itself is a seemingly unending maze of energy, a cacophony of attempts to sell and or make money amongst squallier, noise, signs, bodies moving about, cars, tractors, animals, children, and many motorbikes.

We drive on the other side of the road but the roads are so small that each encounter with the next vehicle begins with an apparent head-on followed by a negotiating honk of horns and then a near miss of 6 inches, Over and over and over. Amazing that this doesn’t happen more often:

I promised my cab driver in Pokhara I would try to get this hit and run up asap for his needs.

Good evidence but I don’t know if it will help his cause.

Back to the story – In Katmandu the attempt to find Matt’s recommended Guest House begins with the cab driver saying, Oh Yes Sir, No Problem and ends with a – “Just Let me Out where someone speaks English and there is a bed. This is a city without street names and endless Katmandu-ness.

Once my bags were in my room it was beginning to get dark and I learned my first lesson in Nepal. – always have a flashlight. The power is on based on a schedule, maybe. – No power for a while so out comes the flashlight and I head off on a walk looking for a restraint named ORK2. – I find it after another interesting story of looking about and trying to get a cell phone – Got one right quick and about 17$ US with 200 min or so. – Now I know why Matt said bring 4 passport photos. You need one for most official transactions.
The first went to the Entry Visa, second to Cell phone guy, third to Paraglider documents, and I have one for a souvenir for now until the Elephant trek guy needs one for Insurance.

I bought an Air ticket for the morning which was a bit of a mistake, but after a long wait at Katmandu airport, another experience that knocked me over I was in the air and then quickly setting down in Pokhara about 30 minutes later. – There Fish Tail element of the Hymilalias were out in stunning form – Incredible.

That’s all for now – Flights ok – I need to build bump tolerance following a spin/stall event 700 or so over the ridge on my first flight – All is well but back in the game later today. – All is well - Love you all –

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