Namaste from a very sunny and very hot Nepal. After 24 hours of travelling, which included an 8 hour stopover in Mumbai, we finally touched down in Kathmandu and got whisked off to our hotel which was an oasis amongst the chaos of Kathmandu. Being the intrepid adventurers that we are, instead of relaxing by the pool and getting a bit of a tan to brag about back home we decided to risk our lives and jump in a taxi to explore Kathmandu. They say that if you learn to drive in London, then you can drive anywhere. We beg to differ. There is no highway code. Pedestrians, bicycles, scooters, motorbikes, cars, buses and even cows zig zag around each other, using the pavement and the other side of the road to assist in their apparent rush. Out of the taxi and into the crowd, dodging vehicles trying to maneuver their way down tiny alleys, we wandered around taking in all the colours and smells. Fortunately, or rather unfortunately, we happened to be there during a traditional festival where they slaughter buffaloes by beheading them with one blow of their sword. The buffaloes did not look impressed!!
Back in the hotel that night, we had a big group dinner with the rest of our fellow CAIRN Trust trekkers and an early night to prepare for our crack of dawn awakening to catch our flight to Pokhara from where we start our trek.
Upon arrival at Kathmandu airport we were told that our flight would depart an hour early. Since the plane was only big enough to fit the 30 of us in our group with our swanky new CAIRN Trust matching bags, there was no need to wait around. So in we got into our tiny propeller plane which honestly sounded like it would never be able to take off it was so rickety…and the air hostess kindly handed out cotton wool to stuff into our ears to block out the noise the plane was making. Quite a surreal experience, and as one of the boys in our group shouted as we landed “we survived!” which summed it up nicely. Flying below the Himalayas and seeing them appear above the clouds though was spectacular!
Pokhara is absolutely beautiful and, in comparison to Kathmandu, utterly serene. We are currently sat in a cafe by the lakeside drinking banana lassis (milkshakes) and relaxing before our 8 day trek begins tomorrow. We’re all meeting up for lunch on an island in the middle of the lake in a couple of hours and then we’re off to buy lots of supplies to take with us to the school children in Hille Taksar.
Kipu and Mahi are loving it here and are pretty excited about trekking (although being strapped to the outside of our bags is hardly going to make it challenging for them!!)
We’ll blog again soon, by which time we will have opened the new Trotters school!! Photos to follow next time.