I arrived in Kathmandu yesterday afternoon to a beautiful day–partly cloudy, high 77, low humidity! While waiting for the plane, it was interesting to note the high level of excitement in the terminal. Thank goodness I didn’t have to sit next to the Witch of the Skies, a woman who gave filthy looks to her seatmates for having the audacity to get up to use the bathroom, and snapped at the young Nepali boy who was chattering excitedly when the Himalayas were in view.
Kathmandu is in a valley encircled by the Himalayas. It is beautiful, but lots of poverty. The wireless connections here are spotty, and last night we had two brief blackouts. I’m staying at the Yak and Yeti, which was founded by this semi-legendary Russian. Part of it is a former palace, but I’m in the shabbier section. Compared to the Lebua, it’s like a Motel 6–and it cost me more to stay the night there, too! And they charge an arm and a leg for net usage–I found a net cafe in Thamel that I can use for less than a dollar an hour.
This am I woke before Dawn to take a sunrise flight over the Himalaya. Unfortunately, it was too foggy for sunrise, but after waiting 1.5 hours, we flew out. Truly an awesome sight, and definitely worth it! Saw Mount Everest, which was cool too. Had a combo Western/Indian brunch (tea, dosa (Indian masala pancake), fruit, hashbrowns, mini pain au chocolat) at the hotel, where I was unfortunately seated in view of this sick guy who kept coughing up a lung and had strings of snot hanging from his nose. Despite the poverty, there is some magic here in the wafts of incense and the chimes of temple bells and the toots of melodious car horns.
This afternoon I will be meeting the other members of my tour group and will will tour Kathmandu tomorrow. Not sure how often I’ll be posting, but I’ll do it when I can. Hope you are all doing well, and don’t forget to vote!