Finally made it to Kathmandu after a pretty epic trip.
Mother of all thunderstorms over Delhi closed the airspace for a couple of hours.
Another hour to get a visa (I’ll do a blog post about that particular nightmare anon).
So it was well past midnight when I arrived in Thamel, home for the next 4 days, before setting out on my Next Big Adventure.
It’s been a while since I was last in Kathmandu (I think it may be 13 years, though I’m sure it can’t really have been that long…) and I’ve only actually been here for about 18 hours, but I thought a few first, fresh impressions were in order.
Apart from the tout who, when I declined to be told how to circumnavigate a Buddhist shrine said “Well, you’re not very friendly.”
Otherwise everyone I’ve met today has been perfectly lovely and seemingly blown away by the fact that I speak Hindi – a foreign language here, but one that many people understand.
It’s the equivalent of me complimenting someone in London for speaking to me in so-so German.
Gotta love their kindness.
Air quality isn’t great. But I live in one of the most polluted cities on the planet, so who am I to criticise?
Smart coffee shops everywhere.
No hassling or staring…sigh…
The Thamel area – which I’d remembered as very back-pack-y – is smart and clean, with wide, decent unencumbered pavements. Which is something we don’t have in Delhi.
Bonkers traffic, but traffic cops everywhere on point duty, so that’s ok.
I walked miles today & climbed zillions of steps, when I visited Swayambhunath Stupa, cleverly combining tourism with some pre-climb acclimatisation.
At the temple I prayed for a safe climb.
A successful summit would be wonderful, but safety is the most important thing, and so that’s what I prayed for: