Sunday, 27 September 2009

Kathmandu - for the first time!

I'm lying in bed in Dwarika's in Kathmandu, and I can't sleep, and my phone has no reception. So this blog is surely going to appear late.
Before I start telling you about this amazing place I've arrived at, let me first tell you about the journey. I spent the flight from London to Delhi with two Mamagi Grannies on their way home. We had some very smiley conversations even though they didn't speak any english and I don't speak any gujerati. Shamefully I didn't even know (still don't) if its gugerati they were speaking. I also spent the flight watching The Hangover, trying to sleep and oogling a guy a few rows ahead of me on the flight who had the most gorgeous arms/face/hair hahahaha
Anyway, before leaving London I'd met most of our group and already hit it off with Tessa who reminds me of my mum (hello mum!) and so when we got to Delhi to wait for our flight to Kathmandu Tessa, Jayne, Toni and I were hanging out. They said I should go and talk to the man with nice everything - but I'm pretty timid when it comes to approaching guys y'know...But ladies together are pushy... And then I kid you not, one of the airport staff came up to me and said "the man you are looking for is downstairs" I said "sorry?"
Thinking cynically I thought this was some kind of ambush, but Tessa took me by the arm and frog marched me to the downstairs departure gate, and sure enough there was the chap, waiting for the flight for Kathmandu. So Tessa asked him if it was at the right gate for Kathmandu then left me there to talk to this chap called Emil, who is Swedish and going to be a rafting guide in Nepal for 3 months.
We switched seats so we could sit next to each other for the flight, and all I can say about that is that I hope we will see each other again before I leave for London.
Now that's more "personal" info than I usually put on my blog but I know a few readers who will want to know this stuff and it was just so strange that I had to mention it before I speak about anything else.
My first 3 hours in India spent in Delhi airport I didn't get to see much. When I walked out with Emil to get the next flight I was hit my a huge wave of heat that I hadn't realised anything about in the terminal. It was 30degrees there or more, and it seemed quite flat and lush. The flight to Katmandu was maybe 2 hours in a smaller plane than London-Delhi. I had been told by the air hostess on the flight from L.A. earlier this year that landing in Kathmandu was an amazing experience. Unfortunatley it was pretty cloudy coming in to Nepal, but you could still see the huge tree covered hills rising out of the clouds with little houses dotted about. It looked so fantastic it was truley hard to take in, and still feel like its unreal.
Upon arrival in the airport that Emil thinks looks like a military bunker we're greeted with hand painted signs about Swine Flu and people in masks and an extra form to fill out asking whether we feel short of breath. Then there's the visa application and arrival form to fill out. The paper is very thin and my pen kept going through it. The visa application centre has no computers and long queues. I make friends with some french old boys going up a mountain. Emil and I are taking bets on which group of mountaineers look most likely to succeed with their escapades. The three Germans look like a good bet. Its humid and overcast in Kathmandu and not so hot as Delhi. I go through the pleasant confusion of getting a visa where the chap behind the desk likes my name very much and tries to let me jump the queue but the lady with the stapler and scissors gets a bit mad with him.
After picking up paddles and saying goodbye we're hearded off to our bus and greeted with scarves and a welcome to Nepal. I saw a bus with its roof covered in goats and monkeys, wild, sitting on the fence and fumes rising from the funeral pyres. What a mad place! We arrive at the hotel about 4pm, and I'm sorry to say I haven't seen much more of Katmandu yet. But this hotel is a wonder! Constitued from pieces of other old buildings its red brick and wood carving and trees and vines and really pretty enchanting. I jumped in the pool as soon as I could, then we ate dinner at the hotel and I got tired and went to bed! Having not slept on the flight though, its understandable. But now its the middle of the night and I'm awake. So I'm gonna give sleep another try now, as we leave for Bhutan tomorrow and I don't want to miss a thing!

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

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