I’ve landed, finally, in Kathmandu. It was a long journey from London – I’ve never been able to sleep on planes at the best of times, regardless of the the fact that the airline staff insisted on feeding me every half an hour. So I was half-aware of myself as I changed at Delhi to board the next plane.
The way the mountains loom as your fly into Nepal is incredible. The ground below seems flat all the way from India, and then suddenly they’re there- white-capped peaks striking into the horizon. I got talking to some other travellers on their way to the Annapurna circuit (as is everyone here, apparently).
So we landed, and I was met by someone working for the Nepal Volunteers Council. We chatted in a Cafe whilst we waited for my contact – Keshab – to arrive and take us to Thamel. It turned out Mr NVC is currently studying for his second masters degree. His English was brilliant.
We got to the hotel and said our goodbyes. It’s been arranged that I’ll take the bus to Pokhara on Wednesday morning with another volunteer. My room is pretty sparse but I wasn’t expecting much. My view says it all really.
After settling in, I had a great vegetarian Thali in a rooftop cafe just as the sun began to set. Whilst I was there, I started a nice chat with a father and son who’ve just come from Everest base camp- they’re also travelling to Pokhara to visit. The streets are as busy at night as in the day, but I’m too tired to explore. Also, that might not be the best plan on my own.
This city is unbelievable. It is extremely dense; buildings are stacked on buildings; people fly past in all directions, on hikes and cars and tuk tuks. I love it. It turns out that today is the holiday Holi – so everyone has been running through the streets covered in a rainbow of coloured dyes. Some kids even had water bombs… Westerners are seem to be an easy target.