with a quick visit to the toilet i managed to stuff my solo reserve, carabiners and spreader bars, cameras, and all electronic’s and some other heavy items in my windstopper with my netbook on top. i got my carry on down to only 6kgs. so i managed to skim nearly 13kgs that were hidden in my jacket im just so glad he didnt ask me to lift my windstopper as all of it would have probably fallen to the floor.
its only now that im sitting at the airport waiting for my flight that it starts to sink in, shit im actually heading out to Nepal. I arrived at the airport at 3am as all the other buses were full and i could not get a reservation. i have come to like the waiting around at airports, for some reason it gives me time for each part of the trip to sink in. my flight doesn’t go out until 1530 but i’m happy sitting at a nice cafe on the observation desk watching the planes come and go.
i always find it frustrating that the closer you get to getting into the plane the price of drinks and food doubles with each gate or security check. this is another example of false price inflation targeted at people that simply don’t have any other option than to pay the asked price. at home i pay 1usd for a 500ml coke, at the petrol station on the way here it was 1.5usd, at the airport 3usd, after security check 4usd and now next to the gate i just paid 5usd..
knowing that the passenger will eventually pay as they have nothing else to drink seeing that all liquids had been confiscated at the security check point only 15m away.
coming to the end of my 11hr wait for my flight, the excitement of the next phase of the trip is staring to hit, the butterflies in the stomach are returning, you look at your watch so much more often. as if that will somehow speed up time and you will magically see that its time to go.
at the moment i have my first 2-3 days in Kathmandu planed out. i know that if i don’t get enough sleep on the flight from Mumbai to Kathmandu ill spend the whole day sleeping off the transfer, but its ok as im not in any huge hurry to get to Pokhara as i know that once i’m there i wont have the option to travel much.
one thing that i will have to do when i arrive is do a bit of shopping for clothes as im heading over with only 2 shirts, 2 pairs of socks and jocks and a wind-stopper.
All I want to do is jump under the shower and put on some clean clothes. dont really know when that will be as i have a 16hr stop over at Heathrow and am deciding if i will stay at the airport overnight (as i normally do) or head into london and take the opportunity to meet up with my cousin who i have not seen in probably around 15years when i was traveling alone in Europe for the first time, when she was just a little rug rat.
i guess ill decide when i get to the UK and see how i feel, and how much money i want to spend while there, going somewhere for any extended length of time you tend to look at your budget a bit different, you don’t really know when you will have any type of income and lets look at it this way, a night spent in a hotel for 70GBP almost covers my hotel bill for 2 weeks in Nepal. then once you do the calculation in your head you think to yourself, well if its going to be so cheap there i may as well spend some cash here. for the last several years i have learned to listen to my gut feeling, as soon as i start to second guess my first decision i pretty much know that anything that comes after this is just going to either cost me time or money. so taking this into consideration i think that i will be sleeping at the airport tonight and ill stop by for a longer visit on the return trip in 5 months.
one thing that I always find amazing is the amount of people that are constantly in motion around the world. when you think about it, your sitting at an airport all day and nonstop there is a constant stream of people moving through the terminals either going to or returning from a destination for work or pleasure. when i think about the trip that im taking now and how long the first travelers took to cover the same route im amazed at how far people as a whole have come to where we are. a trip that took weeks if not months now takes hrs
i see that the lack of sleep is slowly getting to me as i cant seem to keep on a subject long enough to finish what i wanted to say, so i guess ill return to all this writing after a good nights rest.
what a fucking nightmare, a guy at information told me that i can go out of the airport for a smoke and then come back in with out having to go through weigh in again. i go out, have a couple of coffees a couple of smokes and head to go back in. i line up at one of the longest cues that i have ever seen to a security desk, easily stretching the entire length of the departures terminal and back, roughly about 300m each way, so after about an hour i manage to get to the boarding pass check where i get red flagged. Here i am thinking that maybe it was the fact that i was using the UK passport. nope the lady behind the counter tells me that because my flight leaves on the next day, they cant let me back in to the terminal as at 1130 they would kick me out anyway. she did however tell me to go down stairs to Costa where they have some mega comfortable seats. looks like i have found my bed room for the night. just hope that there will lbe some more interesting people joining me here, would be nice to talk with like minded individuals.
i must admit the iced mocha that Costa makes is pretty damn good.
Big thanks go out to the friendly blond for the Costa tip.
im just glad that my main luggage was booked all the way through to KTM otherwise i would have another thing to worry about and trudge around with.
sitting around doing nothing has become part of my traveling tradition, i have grown accustomed to mass downloading tv shows and movies for these types of trips where i know that i will have longer than normal layovers. this time like i said i have 16hrs to burn in total. now 12 left and i have a total of around 120gb of footage to watch. good times, i wonder which tv show i will become addicted to on this trip.
traveling around the world you get to see many different airports, there are ones that you notice evolving and changing, from what i have seen apart from the building of new structures Heathrow looks just like it did on the inside as i remember it almost 15 years ago when i was there last. there are some new stores but if you look up you will notice that the ceilings are bare and lifeless. i guess at the end of the day its meant to function correctly, as some airports look absolutely amazing but when it comes to going through the entire check in process through to the gate you notice that it all just takes so much longer.
with each passing moment i find myself getting into an even easier and layed back mood than normal, even for me. my mind is not even on the current trip but starting to drift to the next one. where should i go after Nepal? anyone have any suggestions? i have to admit that the arab states have always had something about them that has drawn me to them. i have been thinking about Izrael and Mexico for the last 2 years but family health emergencies have meant that i have had to cancel each of the trips. losing a fair amount of money each time. thats why with this trip i left buying a ticket till the last minute, i payed 100usd more for the ticket but i rather spend 100 more than have to cancel last minute and lose 2000.
whats with all the free wifi spots at airports disappearing, are we not paying enough for our airport fees for them to provide us with free net access? happy travellers are return customers, and the limited amount of cafes around the place that do offer net access codes on your receipts enjoy a higher frequency of customers.
its just gone 10pm at the airport, and you can see the pace of arriving flights slowing down. now instead of a constant stream of people walking out the arrivals it has turned into 10mins on and 45mins off. the amount of talent has reduced and slowly the airport seams to be falling asleep. this may be a good time for me to start thinking about doing the same. i just need to find a nice relatively quiet corner and catch some Z’s. just need to make a sign and place it next to me for someone to wake me up in the morning. who needs a hotel wake up call, count on a stranger to do the trick. its always funny you never know who your going to wake up to.
At the moment I count that I have been up for the last 56hrs straight due to my inability to sleep lately. I think that this will be cured on the flight to Mumbai as im sitting here drinking my 4th ltr of coffee in the last 5hrs, my body is starting to shake, my fingures are slowing their response time drastically and I have almost nodded off on the keyboard, not the most comfortable place to catch some z’s.
Im just glad that the sun is starting to rise as this may help me stay awake just that little bit longer. I still have 2hrs and 15mins before my gate is even announced and nearly 3.5hrs till departure time, im so ready to be on a plane already.
As the gate number poped up I noticed a girl that started heading in the same direction. After chatting with her for a while at the gate I had found out that she was heading to a tai kickboxing academy for a month of intensive training. Good thing I didnt say anything that I may later have regreted. Best of luck claire, kick some ass.
Once again im left on my own sitting at the gate, at least mumbai airport runs 24/7 not like the rest of the world. Something is happening all the time and shops are open. Even if there is a limited array
good thing that I only have 8hrs till I land in KTM.
One thing I was pleasantly surprised by was the quality of Jet Airlines, even in economy I could literally stretch out completely in comfort. I can safely say that I have never had such a comfortable trip in economy as I did today. I just hope that the smaller planes have similar attributes.
One thing that im able to confirm for people that have been worried about traveling with strange things in their carry on.
I was packing, 2 reserves, a set of alu spreaders with a total of 6 carabiners, gps, vario and radio. Plus a couple of shirts and a book. Not a single hiccup. At any of the security counters. Even my full face helmet with ptt installed didnt attract any attention.
What will be of this trip once I arrive at KTM, after having some breakfast here in Mumbai I now have had a taste-bud rush bringing back all the flavors that I met a year ago. It almost feels like home. And the price of food is just ridiculous. For a full meal (at airport prices) I paid I think 2.5eur I finished that meal about 5 hours ago and im still feeling full and content. Will Nepal food be just as good? Or maybe even better.
first thing to say is OMG over kill on the side of security in India and Nepal. You go through the normal security check, xray etc. what I have never seen before is a secondary xray machine in going from the waiting lounge to the gate. Further more I was not expecting to see another xray, pat down and passport control located on the gang way from the gate to the plane. Once I landed in Nepal I knew that we would have the security and declaration desk, what I didn’t expect is once again another xray machine as you exit the arrivals area out in to the free world.
Generally cost wise its not too bad considering im staying in the heart of Kathmandu. A 40min taxi ride set me back about 5eur, arrived at the Buddha Garden Hotel, pretty good sized room with all that you need including a good internet connection for 15eur per night (pretty expensive but after so many hrs on the road and the fact that the closest to a shower that I have seen in the last 4 days was the wash basins at various airports I felt the need to pamper myself.
After getting all the things put away in the hotel I went out for a walk to see how many tourists are about. It was around 1pm and I didnt see that many. Ill try again later in the evening.
Just found out that a flight from Kathmandu to Pokhara will set me back 80usd plus 50npr about 50 cents per kilo excess baggage. A nice change from being slapped with 10eur per kilo charges on international flights.
sitting in the little garden cafe, just finished my wonton soup and afternoon coffee enjoying the peace and quiet.
Friendly helping people.
Pot sellers everywhere
Seeing that I arrived during the festival season when the locals celebrate Dashain it was impossible to find a flight or bus to Pokhara until next weekend. There was no way that I was going to spend the next week spending money in a place that I didn’t even want to be in. so I asked the locals if there was any other way, the only other option was to catch a private car. It cost almost the same as the plane trip but at least I would be able to see the country and no charge for excess luggage.
The trip lasted about 4.5hrs and the only major problem was that there was a small mud slide and we had to wait about an hour for the traffic to get through.
Arriving in Pokhara around 8pm I automatically felt at home, the place emanates a mellow and relaxing mood. A far cry from India and Kathmandu. People here are extremely friendly and they don’t try to push you into buying anything that you dont want. The word “no” actually means something in this country.
I was met by Laxman, a local entrepreneur who took me for some dinner, drinks and showed me his restaurant and dance bar. Afterward he took me to a small hotel across the street.
Sleeping like a baby I woke about 5am and decided to go for a walk down to the lake side. By about 6am the sun was starting to hit the mountain range which lit up with its snow covered peak. Looking at just how massive this thing is really puts it in perspective of how really small and insignificant we really are. I have only seen the mountain from a distance but it already has given me a new respect for those that have concurred the mountain, and sorrow for those that have lost their lives.
When they finally opened the bakery, Pokhara doesn’t wake till around 8am I went for some breakfast, laxman then took me to the office where I filled in all the forms and returned to the hotel to get my solo gear ready. At this time he called me that I have 3 flights booked and to come down to the street with my glider.
First 3 flights were amazing, the air is so warm and buoyant even when you want to land it doesn’t want to let you go. The landing is not what im used to, some trees and buildings on one side and the lake on the other, all in all I think I would have to choose the lake, at least this way you have less chance of damaging your gear on sharp metal roofs.
nice private party at the bakery with some nice girls from Kathmandu. Drinking russian vodka in nepal, the label says 70% but It had the effect of only 35-40%Now I just cant wait for Shem to get here. 15 flights later and it official im in love with this place. I can now see why people flock here from far and wide.Managed a short 30 min solo flight 2 days ago and had a chance to test the new harness. Its just magical, extremely easy weight shift on it, adapts to your body great and mega comfy. Managed to meet one of the constructors of the harness here flying a nerverous bivouac harness that he has been using for the last 6 years and hes still going. Of course it does have signs of wear and tear but its still solid looking.