Post written December 18: Now that was the longest day ever. I don’t even know what happened on that last flight from Guangzhou to Kathmandu. I think I passed out and missed dinner. Then I passed out again. Then suddenly I was at the Tribhuvan International Airport at 11 pm waiting to pay my $40 Visa entrance fee. I met my driver and we were off through the sparse night streets of the city. And then I grinned a large ecstatic grin. It had been many months in the making, and I was finally in Kathmandu, about to begin a trip that I’ve been dreaming about for a long time.
And after 25 hours of travel, I arrived at Hotel Access to meet up with Dan and Sanjay, chatting about our travels and the adventure to come. Man it was good to see them again.
The next morning, we were greeted with a guide, boarded the van, and then we were off through the streets of Kathmandu. The city is a mix of Hindu and Buddhist influences. There’s more pollution that I thought there would be and crazy bumpy roads with a lack of road rules that would cripple the average Calgarian driver. But the city just seems to work. It’s been a while since I’ve felt immersed in a completely different culture, so it was invigorating!
The day was packed with visits to four UNESCO World Heritage sites- the Monkey Temple, Kathmandu Durbar Square (a plaza in front of the old royal palace), Buddhanath Stupa (one of the largest stupa Buddhist monuments in the world), and Pasupatinath (a Hindu temple and cremation site). Our guide was super knowledgeable and disseminated a lot of very interesting information, but I have to be honest: I just can’t recall the details. Maybe it was because I landed a few short hours prior. Maybe it was the excitement of the trek to come. Either way, thank you to Chattra at Nepal Eco Adventures for putting the Kathmandu tour together.
The evening ended with a some last minute preparations for the upcoming trek. It was hard to believe that we’d be flying to Lukla the next morning, weeeee!