Miraculously I made the connection in Mumbai despite Heathrow throwing up the usual curve balls. Safely on the ground in Kathmandu I waited an age for my bag to show and in addition to the time spent in the long queues getting out of passport control and to think I already had my visa. God only knows how long it would have taken if I handn’t.
Without doubt that was the most relieved I have ever been to see my bag appear on the carousel. A big sigh of relief and the second of the day after just making the flight this morning.
I will never forget my first day in India in 2001 when MKM and I came out of the air conditioned airport in Madras and were smashed in the face (metaphorically speaking) with a wall of eyes as well as intense humidity and smell. It was a little the same here and after some haggling and figuring out who was meant to pick me up we set off to the Royal Singi. Like India and the recent Kenya experience the roads are just as chaotic. 20 minutes later we were greeted by Sherpa Shailesh (pronounced ‘Say’les’ - a little ironic given he’s a chatter box). Interesting fellow, am guessing in his late 50s who’s been guiding in the Himalayas for 30+ years and summited Manga Parbat (the 8,360m peak) in the Pakistani Karakoram Himalayas as well as upteen others.
In the afternoon I put the running shoes on to head over to the hustle and bustle of Thamel which is filled with markets, mountaineering shops (heaven for me), restaurants and a shit load more including sticky yellow tape. It’s Kathmandu’s main tourist spot. Not sure running is going to work though - it’s way too dusty here and my eyes and throat were both sore once back at the hotel for the expedition team briefing.
At dinner I decided I much prefer the ‘Dal Yellow’ as opposed to the darker ‘Dal Makhani’.
Early start tomorrow morning with the flight to Lukla, officially the planet’s most dangerous airport.