A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: Julia1976

Back in Kathmandu again and Summary

sunny 28 °C

[*]After arriving completely hung over back in Kathmandu in my hotel it felt even more like coming home. It's now the third time I have been here and it is also the place where I stayed longest over all.
Anyway, I had buff momos for breakfast/lunch and went straight to bed as it was still quite early as the flight was very early and I have also gained 2.15 hours again coming back to Nepal.
In the afternoon I started my souvenir shopping, had dinner and spent the rest of the evening on teh Internet. I have quite a few things to sort out before I leave tomorrow. Shopping, shipping stuff home, changing flights, booking accomodation etc.
The next day I started early as I had so much to do and I hope it's all done now. I did loads of shopping, got quotes for shipments, got my tickets etc. Have done quite some exessive shopping and got pretty much everything I wanted. Shipped 14 kilos for $250! Dough!!! Must have been my trecking gear that was so heavy. Tried to book accomodation for Kalkuta and Hanoi but are awaiting confirmations.
Spent a few hours again on the Internet, made a couple of phone calls and bumped into Marko, the English guy from Tibet working for the BBC in White Chapel and had dinner with him. He also mentioned that Eduardo did a great job in looking after me... uppss.. how embarrassing...

Unfortunately my time in Nepal is now over and I was very sad indeed to leave that wonderful country. It has been an amazing month.

Summary:
I love Kathmandu with it's chaos:
[*]it's dirty, chaotic, loud, dusty and in general messy
[*][list]Cows, goats and dogs are in the middle of the road and no one seems to bother
[*]Nepali are very friendly and nice (with the one exception of Lachba my porter)
[*]They are spitting everywhere they go and one must be careful not to be hit by it while wakling down the road as it is flying everywhere and they also make the most disgusting noise so it seems they are pulling it up all they way from their toes :-) that is one thing I won't be missing
[*]Great shopping and lovely roof terrace restaurants in Kathmandu
[*]The Ganesh Himal Hotel in Kathamandu is the one place where I stayed longest so far and came back 3 times in total. It's the places that felt closest to home on this trip.
[*]I have met two wonderful guys that I had a fabulous time with and hopefully stay friends with and I am still amazed that it all worked out so well
[*]The Everest Base Camp Treck was certainly one of my highlights. Nothing I have ever done compares to it. 14 days trecking in fantastic scenary, the physical exercise, the altitude and to see how your body reacts to it and eventually making it to Base Camp enjoying the German Apple Pie and also Khala Patar, seeing the Himalaya Range including the top of the world ,the highest mountain, completely being pushed to my limits and beyond.
[*]Bad experience: being robbed but it still could have been worse and I still understand that Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world and we Westerners are extremely rich compared to them and therefore a constant temptation....
[*]If I would go back I would like to see/do: Annapurna circuit (18 day treck) , Chitwan National Park, Kathmandu Valley, Pokhara etc, Buddha's birth place and white water rafting
[*]Shiva said Nepal stands for :
N=Never
E=Ending
P=Peace
A=And
L=Love

Posted by Julia1976 07:18 Archived in Nepal Comments (0)

Lhasa - Tibet Trip III & Summary

Days 4 to 8

sunny 20 °C

On Wednesday we had a long drive again all the way to Lhasa. We passed a beautiful river which was running next to our road and looked amazing. Bright turqois which looked beautiful to the contrast of the brown mountains. Our hotel in Lhasa was really nice, just by the Potala and I also managed to swap rooms mates. I am now sharing with Eduardo, the Chilen guy, which is much better than weird Pascal. Pascal took it okay.
In search of the travel agency, the partner agency of the one in Kathmandu, I went to the Potala in the evening after we arrived which looks incredible. It's difficult to stop looking at it. Its so impressive. The rest of Lhasa is again very Chinese. In the evening we went out for dinner and for drinks which turned out to be run by a Dutch guy and was quite a nice bar. At midnight we celebrated into Jon's birtday.
The following morning we went to Barkhor which is the part of the city that is still Tibetean and is also the heart of the city where all the markets are etc. As there was a big festival on, pilgrams were circling the Jokhang Temple. Unbelievable how religious Tibetans are. Everywhere the smell of incense, the smoke, the pilgrams... an amazing atmosphere. As it is the festival today it is of course even more packed and all the monks were in the main courtyard. They were dressed up for the occasion, sitting on the floor, receiving gifts and mumbling away. They were wearing incredible costums (ther probably is a more religious name for that....) with really cool wigs. So incredible their culture. On a sad note, I keep loosing things and today I lost my so loved jadestone from NZ! So pissed off about that. Must have just fallen off my neck. It wasn't a very good day for me, as my bad luck continued and the neglace was just the beginning. It started already that Eduardo set the alarm an hour too early and we both didn't realise and even got up and only noticed at breakfast..... I then lost my neglace and confirmed my misfortune over lunch. I did the Jokhang Temple with Eduardo and Jon which was great. Some of the parts are from the 7th century and you have several chapels with statues and buddhas and everything is packed with pilgrams praying and prostrating. It smells of incense and yackbutter everywhere. Latter one is used for the candles. There is so much yackbutter around that even the floor is very slippy. :-)
From the roof you had great views into the courtyard where all the monks were and also over the city and the Potala.
After the temple the 3 of us went for lunch at Barkhor to a nice rooftop restaurant. I ordered a grilled sandwich and just after thinking that there is an interesting herb in it (while I am having my last bite), I am trying to establish what herb it is and are pulling something out of the sandwich which I believe to be the herb but turns out to a worm or maggot!!! And quite a big one too! You can imagine the expression on my face. Jon and Eduardo loved it and of course tryed to freak me out with telling me that it has probably put eggs in my stomach and that those kind of worms are never alone and I have eaten all the other ones. Disgusting!! thanks to the grilling the maggot was at least dead.
I even paid for the sandwich , as I figured that there is no point in complaining in a country that can't kill any living creature. The waitress would have probably griefed more over the dead worm, as it could have been her re-incarnated grandmother than feeling sorry for me.
Never mind. After lunch we were going to the Potala but my bad luck continued here too. 3 people who were meant to go the following day sneaked into our group which was strictly restricted to 20 people, so Francois, Kirby and myself ended up being refused at the entrance. The Chinese are so strict.... You even have to show your passport in order to get in. Our guide just left us outside and suggested to go to Drepung Monastery. Needless to say that I wasn't happy at all, as the bus had of course left for the monastery so ended up having to get a taxi.
Drepung Monastery used to be the biggest one in Tibet with 7000 monks. Today there are max. 500 left and even that is unclear as they have been asked to denounce from the Dalai Lama. As that monastery was very close to His Holyness and also involved in demonstrations againg the Chinese they are only allowed to do education these days and no marchel arts or anything else. I bought some protection amulets as souvenirs there which are great and so cute. They are little square amulets which contain prayers written on paper inside and are then covered with colourful thread. I also bought a mask called Bah. It was used by monks for religious dances and symbolised protection of health and life. It's really cool, a bit scary but quite unique.
After that we went to the Internet cafe and got quotes for our trip to Namtse. We went out for dinner and a few drinks for Jons birthday.
The final day, Friday, we finally went to the Potala after all. It was incredible. Such a massive building. It has around 1000 rooms and everything is empty, as the Dalai Lama is in exile in India. You start at the top with the rooms of the current Dalai Lama. His name is only mentioned once and apparently there is one single picture of him shaking I thinnk Mao's hand but I didn't even see it, so it must be well hidden. Pictures of him are prohibited in Tibet and they even tear them out of your guidebook if they find it. You can still see his bedroom which has a great view over the city and also ironically over the "Liberation" statue that the Chinese built right in front of the Potala. That monument is guarded by armed Chinese. You can also see several rooms and thrones etc. of all previous Dalai Lamas and there are very impressive tombs. Some are several tons of gold. Incredible! It ws amazing and certainly the highlight of this trip.
After lunch we went to the second biggest monastery - Sera which is fmous for its marchel arts. As great as they are but after so many monasteries they all look a bit the same...
We then went to the Tibetan Medical Center which was quite cool. I got a massage and was also inspected by a Tibetan doctor. They check your pulse and your hands and I was diagnosed with "Anti-Women-Disease" much to the joy of Kirby who had diagnosed me with it the moment he saw it written down on a leaflet.
I also found out that my flights were changed after all. As I didn't expect that anymore, I was now actually really looking forward to spending a few more days in Tibet and to go to Chitwan and was no quite disappointed that he could change them. What can you do... never happy!! :-)
I am sure it's the way it is meant to be.... It is going to be strange though to say good bye to the boys. We have been travelling for a whole month together and had such a great time. But I suppose that is travelling for you. Hopefully I will be able to meet Kirby back in London before he moves to Paris. With Jon going back to Boston doing his MBA it might a bit more difficult.
I got my flight from Lhasa to Kathmandu changed too, although it was a very close call of missing it. If it wasn't for the best room mate ever, Eduardo, I wouldn't have been able to get it in a million years. Jon, Kirby and myself celebrated our last evening together in style and got so drunk (especially me). I can't even remember how Eduardo managed to get me on to that bus. Poor him... he really deserves a medal for that effort.
Thanks to my state I slept through the whole flight which was probably the most scenic flight you could possibly imagine going all the way over the Himalaya.... Always the same! If an English couple wouldn't have woken me up in the waiting room I would have missed the boarding too....
What an ending to a trip!

Summary:
All in all it was an incredible experience and next to Nepal probably one of the most impressive ones on this trip.
An amazing and sad place! Incredible people and scenary but also very sad to see the results of the Chinese invasion. In certain places there is not much left, well actually in most places.
Still the attitude and faith of the Tibetans is just inspiring. They are apparently the most religious people on earth and it is not difficult to believe that when you get there.
One last note on sanitary hygiene... Oh my God, what I have seen and experienced in the last month is incredible. Getting used to the squatting is one thing but what I have seen in Tibet is just out of this world. Dirty, disgusting and also no privacy, as there is either one whole with no door and everyone can just walk into it or there is a gutter instead of the whole like in public places in monasteries tec. and everyone is just squatting behind each other with a little divider in between. Again, no flushing there or water at all, so everything stays in the gutter..... nice!!
One very entertaining bit in Tibet are the markets, as all merchants try to get you to their stall by saying:"Looky, looky... cheapo, cheapo.... whoever taught them that, but they all use it :-)

Posted by Julia1976 07:09 Archived in Nepal Comments (0)

Xigatse & Gyantse - Tibet Trip II

Day 3 & 4 of my Tibet Trip

sunny 23 °C

On our 3rd day we drove from Lhatse to Xigatse. We drove all morning through fantastic landscape again. It's so unique, I have never seen anything like it. We passed the highest pass - Gyatchu La at 5520m and Mt. Kailash. Around lunch time we got to Xigatse which seemed like a quite big town with 60,000 habitants. It's far more developed than I thought and the Chinese influence is very distinctive which is a bit of a shame. The people are so friendly and seem to find great pleasure in saying "Hello" which most of the time is the only English word they know. You are being less hassled than in Kathmandu which is quite a pleasant change. At the Himalayan Bank which looked really civilised and modern I was hoping for nice toilet and got majorly disappointed again. What a disaster! So disgusting, just incredible what you see and smell in those toilets. I just don't get it. In a rural village fair enough. But here... the second biggest city in Tibet, people working in a nice bank, putting on a suit and than going to that shit hole (quite literally)??? Doesn't make sense. Anyway, we got promised a nice hotel with twin rooms, own bathroom and hot showers. I just couldn't believe my luck to find it was really true. A nice clean room and a proper Western toilet with toilet paper is all it takes these days to make me happy :-) I was in heavan. The toilet flush didn't work but who cares about these kind of technacalities?? I was happy anyway. Oh, maybe there was one downside. When we were asked to split into two, they boys went in one room and said it's probably easiest if I find myself another girl. I had that strange feeling though and somehow knew that there was no girl left and of course I was right and I was also right about the suspicion I had straight away, of me ending up with Pascal, the strange Belgium guy and unfortunately I was right. He is probably in his mid/late forties, looks like a proper German, wears a bright red rain jacket that he never takes off and is just weird. He looks like a proper geek, has the strangest accent ever (says the German....;-), needs about one minute to say 5 words, that is in any language by the way even in his native tongue and probably still lives with his Mum and to make him an even more of a perfect room mate he has diarrhea!!! Happy Days!!! What a room mate! The only good thing is that I think he is gay and fancies Kirby and Jon, so at least I don't need to worry that he crawls over in my bed at night.
Never mind. My good spirits about the hotel and shower couldn't be destroyed. The boys, me and of course Pascal went out for lunch. That is the other problem that I have that funny feeling that we won't ever get rid of him now, as I feel obliged to ask him along. Damn!!
Anyway, we went to a really nice Chinese restaurant and I had at last some proper food. The ordering was quite difficult, as none of the waitresses spoke a word English, but with pointing at pictures, sign language, drawings and the help of the LonelyPlanet we finally got there. The sign language consisted of Pascal imitating a chicken by the way, with noice and everything. I was surprised he didn't drop an egg out of his pants. :-) A few dishes were quite a surprise but delicious. Pascal, not being very adventurous with food at all, had some egg rice and kept talking about his diarrhea! Great!
After lunch we went to see the Panchen Lama's Tashilumpu Monastery, which was great. It is situated at the foot of a mountain and the whole peak is decorated with prayer flags which looked amazing. In the monastery were several different chapels. One had the biggest gilded Buddha statue of 26 meters hight in there. That looked incredible. Unfortunately we didn't really get a guided tour, so a lot of things are still not making sense to me. The current 11th Panchen Lama is a young boy who is kept almost like a prisoner by the Chinese. The 10th was originally very pro-Chinese and therefore not very popular but had a change of mind in a later stage. Rumours are that his apparent heart attack was actually poisining by the Chinese. The new 11th Panchen Lama was then kidnapped as for as I understand and now they have the boy that is basically just a puppet of the Chinese. All very interesting but also confusing.
You have to be careful of what you say here too. Eduardo said something to the tour guide about the Panchen Lama being the "Chinese Lama" and he was told if Chinese would hear that comment the would be straight away sent back to Kathmandu. Upsss...
At the end of our sightseeing we could take part in a prayer session of monks which was very interesting. They are all wearing their dark red robes, no shoes and are sitting on comfy benches in a really cosy room, constantly mumbling prayers while someone is walking through the rows handing out Yack-Butter-Tea, and spreading incense.. We were not allowed to sit down but could watch. Although I found it fascinating I also felt a little bit uncomfortable as there were some really rude Chinese tourists interrupting them and just demanding to walk through and I felt they don't really want us there.
But it was still brilliant. After that we had a wonder around town and the market which was great as everyone is so friendly. We went the the Israeli gang (managed to escape Pascal after the monastery) and a really nice Dutch guy, Tom, for dinner and then back to the hotel where we bumped into our bus drivers and some other guys of our group having beers. The drivers were having great pleasure in re-filling our glasses and asking us in Tibetean to down it which is called "sabta". Once you finished your drink it ended in great appreciation and laughter. The supply of beers seemed never ending and apparentcame out of the boot of the bus. Not sure why it was there, the only imagination I have, is maybe bribery for the Chinese police. We didn't even need to pay a penny, although we did offer it several times. They don't really speak English but with help of sign language and a guy that studies Buddism in Kathmandu we managed to communicate and teach each other words in Tibetean and English. Andy hey, how difficult is it to understand to down a drink? Sabta!!

The next day I felt surprisingly good and actually better than before. Either the beer helped my cold or I am coping better with the altitude. For once we had a late start at only 9.30am. This whole trip is maybe turning into a holiday after all???!!!
We only had a short drive which was good considering that we got our bus driver pissed the night before and they even continued by the time the 3 of us went to bed. Our short drive was extended to a few hours by our never ending breaks (pretty much every 20 mins someone needs the loo) and got to Gyantse by lunch time. The moment I was getting off the bus Pascal was already happily waving towards me with our room key in his hands. I knew it, once you have a room mate you get sort of stuck with them for the rest of the trip. Damn! Is is getting quite bad, as he really starts to annoy me,so I asked the boys not to let me near him once I have had a few drinks, as I know I won't be able to keep my mouth shut. The boys are feeling sorry for me but are also finding the whole thing of course highly amusing and won't miss a single opportunity to take the piss out of me. We had such a lauch. It is a bit mean but very funny. As it turns out, Eduardo's room mate seems to be a bit of a nightmare too and also gay (we think), so we are coming up with wild plans of how to swap rooms and match them up0 and arrange their first date. Very amusing. Straight away after getting to the thotel which is nice again we went to a Chinese Muslim place for lunch, which was just delicious and also quite an experience. It started that everyone got sunflower seeds and spat the peel on the floor. We then got Muslim Tea which looked like potpouri filled up with boiling water, but was very nice. We then ordered loads of dishes we shared again between us, obviously excluding Pascal as he is still suffering from diarrhea, and doesn't fail to give me an update on that several times a day. The absolute highlight was the sweet and sour mutton. So delicous! Once of the best dishes I had. Pascal actually ordered the same but didn't like it so much. He didn't like the preparation of it which was too Chinese for him. I of course couldn't help asking what preparation he prefers and his response was the mutton they serve on planes! Do I need to say more?? I don't think I have actually ever heard anyone saying they like the food on planes but to prefer that over a delicous Chinese dish seems rather odd to me.
The other thing that was highly entertainling in the restaurant was the slurping. Unbelievable! They are ordering soup with noodles and basically hanging with their face in the soup bowl and are slurping with such a disgusting noise it's just incredible and very difficult to remain serious. You can imagine the look on our faces when the table next to us with 4 Chinese got 4 soup bowls served. The symphony was remarkable! When Jon started joining in we were all lying under the table with laughter. But the funny bit was that apart from us no one took notice....
We then went to our next sightseeing tour. The town is a bit smaller than Xigatse but looks very similar, very Chinese! but the people are as lovely as before. We went to the Kumbum Stupa & Phalkor Monastery which again was at a spectacular scenary, surrounded by mountains. Pilgrims were walking around the mountain which is called kora - a pilgrimage circuit. We have seen people prostrating themselves which means they lie flat on the floor, touch the ground with their forehead, get up and start all over again, only moving forward by their body length. People do that in front of temples and monasteries but also walk all the way from their home town (or wherever) to the place where the pilger to. Amazing! I have never seen so religious people. We have also seen a lot of people doing the kora, loads of people are just sitting outside the chapels or by prayer wheels, chatting and drinking yack butter tea and turning their prayer wheels.
They are so photogenic and I find it fascination to watch them and would love to take pictures of every single person but quite often they don't like that.
The monastery was impressive again, but again I would have loved to have a good guide. Ours came with us for a bit but wasn't really good. One one of the main building you had 3 or 4 floors where you could walk up and around with loads of different Buddhas in small little rooms but it's impossible to understand the meaning and differences if no one explains it, as there were so many. At the end we were watching a ceremony of dancing from the monks which was good but a bit too long as it was quite repetitive, so I found it far more interesting to watch the locals.
I managed to escape from Pascal once more and had such a laugh with the boys. Jon's imitation of Pascal is just too good. I really should have taken a video. I spend some time on the Internet but unfortunately my flights aren't changed. I so hope that can do it. Although it would be great see the lake here and do the trip with the boys and maybe go to Chitwan National Park but I feel I really want to move on to not loose even more time for South East Asia but there is nothing than waiting and hoping I can do now.
We went for dinner to a restaurant that served Western food and I had a feast for Euro 7. A yak burger with cheese and fries, a banana lassi, a Lhasa beer, a fresh fruit salad and a chocolate cake. I was in heaven! Almost lost it all when I saw Pascal in underwear inviting me into the room to have a party..... The guys were loving it....

Posted by Julia1976 07:05 Archived in Nepal Comments (0)

Zhangmu & Lhatse - Tibet Trip I

First 2 days of my Tibet Trip

sunny 17 °C

We had an early start leaving already at 6am. The bus was dreadful, as it was so cramped that even I didn't have enough leg room. Poor Jon was half lying in the aisle and half over our petrol tanks that were in the back row of the bus. Very safe...:-)
We are around 20 in one bus and there are 3 buses in total so quite a big group which isn't great but it was the only way to get into Tibet. The group seems quite mixed, we even have a few pilgrams and monks on the tour. We had breakfast outside of Kahtmandu overlooking the whole valley which was nice. The streets were in so bad conditions that it took us 3.5 hours for 95km. I have never seen roads in so bad conditions. Unbelievable. When we finally got to the the border we had to first haggle with the money exchangers to get our money changed then walked in to emigration from Nepal and then across a bridge to the Chinese border, where our luggage was sprayed with some desinfection, our temperature was measured to make sure we don't have Sarse. We got our 2 copies of original visas there which we must not loose otherwise your trip is straight away over and you are being deported. Great and that where I loose everything at the moment. I might as well not bother.
Apparently they even check your bags for pictures of the Dalai Lama. Even when it is in a guide book they just tear out the page. I was lucky, as I am reading the book "7 years in Tibet" at the moment and they probably wouldn't have been too happy about that as it has an introduction from him in there. Once we have walked accross the border/bridge we were greeted by our new Tibetan guide. Apparently he is a monitor for the Chinese but who knows... The whole procedure took that long at the border that we had to stay in that border town over night - Zhangmu 2500m. The drive so far was very scenic with mountain valleys and gorges and the river running in the middle again. Zhangmu was quite strange. More developed and modern than I thought but still all a bit strange. Our hotel, Sherpa Hotel, was very basic, so they didn't promise too much when they said it is going to be a very rough trip and the accomodation for the first few days will be very basic with no showers, no running water etc. I shared the room with 5 other guys: Jon & Kirby, Eduardo from Chile, Pascal from Belgium and a German guy. The beds were so close together that you pretty much ended up in the next bed when you rolled over. The toilets (sorry, I know I am going on about toilets....) were disgusting. Just a whole again but really dirty and sooo smelly. An interesting engineering fact was that the drain for the so called shower had stuff from the toilet flowing into. Yummy! I rather not showere then and poor Eduardo didn't notice and wasn't too happy when we told him... ha, ha.... Well, at least we had sink where you could brush your teeth. We just had a look around in town and then had dinner. Eduardo seems nice and the Belgium guy seems a little weird....

Breakfast the next day was at 5am (allegedly) and departure at 6am sharp. After not getting much sleep again, although we had a reasonably early night, I was absolutely knackered. Breakfast of course wasn't ready at 5am more towards 6 am and it really wasn't worth waiting an hour for it. A soup bowl filled with what looked like porridge, but turned out to be egg with milk and something similar to bread.
The Chinese have one universal time zone for the whole of China which is Bejing time. That means it is 2.15 hours ahead of the Nepali time although it is that close. That means it is bright until at least 9pm but only gets bright around 8am ,which makes the getting up early even harder. Our guide didn't even show up for breakfast so we only left around 6.45am.
The scenary here is crazy. It almost looks like desert but in the middle of the mountains. Just sand, rocks and dust. No trees. We are driving through riverbeds, got stuck in mud and it is so bumpy and dusty that the ride is quite uncomfortable but it looks incredible. In between you sometimes see the snowy mountains. It is breathtaking to watch. Really beautiful!
I was shattered today, so like most others slept a lot on the bus. We passed another Chinese border check point where I really have seen the worst toilet in my life (and it still hasn't been beaten 2 months later). Someone walked in there and has straight away thrown up in there which exactely how I felt when I walked in. Just a whole in the concret and there isn't even water to flush. In Nepal you had at least a kanister with water and a small bucket to scoop water out of the big one and use it as flush. But here the stuff just lies there from months and probably years... Urrgh.....
A few people got quite sick today as we went up as high as 5200m. For those who haven't been trecking before it is quite a shock to the system. If you imagine what problems we had on the Everest Treck by slowly walking up there and having acclimatisation days in between and now they just bring us to that altitude straight away. One guy was so violantly ill, I don't think I have ever seen anyone being so sick and a Japanese girl had to be put on oxygen. We seem okay, although I feel as if I amight come down with a cold which would be rubbish. We are staying overnight in Lhatse which is even more basic than the last place and I am sharing the room with 4 of the guys from yesterday. The toilets are a nightmare, the smell is so bad, it feels as if you are running against a wall. Again no sort of flush or anything. Those wholes don't even have doors, so everyone can just walk in. Nice! Not sure what is worse, the smell or the sight of all the exrements that have been there for ever. It was so bad that it was even too much for the boys :-) Thank God I have my antibacterial wipes and my sterilising handwash where you don't need water for, as we don't have water here at all.
We were driving for 13 hours today which was exhausting. Although you are not doing anything it is tiring, it might be the altitude again. Dinner was very questionable. My hot and sour soup had some sort of cabbabe in it and my cauliflower was something that looked like succhini or so but it certainly wasn't cauliflower. At least we could get something to eat. The first agency we consulted regarding the Tibet Trip told us that not only would we not have water, showers and toilet but there would be nowhere to buy food, so he suggested to take a lot of biscuits and dried fruit on the trip. Not sure he really wanted to sell us the trip! Very questionable sales technique!...
From tomorrow onwards it should be better as the accomodation should be better and we also do some sighseeing, instead of just driving all day. We have seen Everest today. From the other side, this time we are facing the famous North Face that gave the brand it's name. We were crossing over Lalungla where we had breathtaking views over the Himalayas including Mt. Cho Oyu (8021m).

Posted by Julia1976 06:52 Archived in Nepal Comments (0)

Back in Kathmandu

sunny 30 °C

Back in the hotel at lunch time was like being in a dream. I had the longest shower ever and felt really clean for the first time in a very long time. It was a pleasure to give away all my dirty cloth and we headed off into the heat of Kathmandu just wearing shorts, T-shirt and flip flops. Great! Kathmandu felt like coming home.
I had my first big steak already for lunch! Yummy!! After that we went to Ying Yang agency to sort out and book our Tibet trip. In the evening we went to a really nice restaurant in Thamal called K Too. Very nice atmosphere and great food, what a delight!
I also found out that day that Lachba, my favourite porter has actually stolen twice. That bastard went into my bag again and even managed to get passed the number padlock and nicked all my cables, chargers and all that stuff. Bastard! Even the stuff for my camera, now I somehow have to find some replacements as I am sure I won't be able to get the dogging station anywhere. I once made a comment that the thief wasn't too clever after all, as all the stuff he nicked will run out of battery eventually. Well, he made sure he taught me better. I even noticed a few days ago that someone had been in my bag as everything inside was in a different place and some of the buckles were undone etc but I was stupid enough to think that I am just paranoid as there wasn't anything to nick apart from smelly trecking clothes. What a twat!
The next day we sorted out a few things in preparation for our next adventure and spent 6 hours in the Internet cafe. I am still nowhere near catching up.... but I am making progress.
After our Internet session we went to another roofterrace restaurant, an Idian one, which was nice. I really like those roof terraces. At least you are a bit away from all the Kathmandu hectic and chaos of fearing to be constantly run over. That evening we all got very drunk. We had already 2 bottles of wine in the restaurant and I had probably one of them to myself, then after no success of finding ieck's place we ended up in a strange little place where they played live Jazz. Somehow it was a really cool places though. We met Claire alias Glenn from the Lukla teahouse there too who seemed to be kicking off with one of the older guys that got stuck in Lukla too. It was such a fun evening. We were bitching and gossiping and just having loads of fun.. We ended up until 2.30 am in our hotel garden. The two are just great. Originally we wanted to go the Monkey Temple in the morning which of course didn't happen. I only got up at lunch time and had some buff momos for breakfast which helped a bit.
After that I got my all my stuff for the Tibet trip, went back to the Internet cafe and I also tried to postpone my flight from Kathmandu but it seems that all flights are booked and I have to stay another week which is really rubbish, as I really need that time for Southeast Asia. The agency we used for booking Tibet will try to help me to change the flights but my hopes are not too high.
In the evening we went to Everest Steak House with Jason and Leslen for our final dinner with them. I had very little sleep and wasn't a happy bunny when Kirby knocked on my door at 5am to get up, as our bus left at 6am...

Posted by Julia1976 05:29 Archived in Nepal Comments (0)

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