An early morning flight from Delhi brings me to Kathmandu, capital city of Nepal. The weather is a balmy 21deg celcius – a relief from the sweltering 42 deg in Hyd! This is paradise, I am already telling myself.
Nepal feels quite like India, and Kathmandu is chaotic and littered like a number of Indian cities. I get picked up at the airport by Himalayan Expedition’s rep, a cheerful guy who is quite conversant in Hindi. They put me up at the Marshyangdi Hotel at the Thamel area of Kathmandu. I relax in the room for a while, and in the afternoon head out to explore the area on foot.
I intend to go to the Swayambhu temple, a walk of about 45 min or so it seems. But I never get there! For the first time I am actually unable to locate something, thanks to the wrong directions I was helpfully offered. But getting lost in a new city is good, you always end up somewhere! So here I found myself in Durbar square, the place where everybody, young and old, seemed to go to stroll/while away time in the evenings.
A helpful rickshaw puller brought me back to my hotel towards evening. At the hotel I learnt that the rest of the group had landed from Hyderabad, but had gone out to rent jackets and sleepings bags. I made a brief search for the group, found nobody, and sat by myself at a nice coffee shop, looking out at the traffic on the street.
In the evening, finally, I caught up with the group. A motley group, and on first meeting, I wasn’t sure what to make of the folks in the group. Little did I know I’d be having such a great time during the trek, and make some good friends in the bargain too.
We’re starting our Everest Base camp trek tomorrow, and I am very excited!