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Kathmandu

Around the world travel, Backpacking, Bucket List, Kathmandu, long term travel, Nepal, Travel

Hello Kathmandu, You’re Almost as Crazy as India


After a whirlwind 24-hours in Istanbul, I began my journey to Kathmandu, via Dubai. I began to get that “I’m not in Kansas anymore” feeling. Turkey and Israel had been relatively tame and definitely first world compared to where I was headed. And just sitting and people watching over a coffee in the Dubai airport made me want to return.

I boarded the flight from Dubai to Kathmandu, which was empty so I stretched out for some sleep, waking up in just enough time to catch a glimpse of the Himalayas before landing- a picture of what’s to come.
Upon landing in Kathmandu, I realized I didn’t have any dollars. And for some reason, they don’t accept local currency for visas, so I befriended Stevie, the Scotsman. He paid for my visa in exchange for Nepalese Rupees and we shared a cab to town, well actually just out of town, to the Sparkling Turtle Hostel, where I would spend the next few days.
I had hoped to get my trekking permit within days and get out of Kathmandu, but the permit office was closed for public holidays, so things were on hold for a few days. There was a great group of people at the hostel and we spent our days roaming aimlessly around the trekking shops and cafes, eating momos, drinking masala tea, and the evenings pub hopping and discussing life over Everest Beer, which is sometimes served in an Everest bottle and other times served in a Kingfisher bottle…odd.
I was slowly getting sucked into Kathmandu entirely, so the following day, I made my way with a few others to the trekking permit office. We were all going in different directions. I was headed to Annapurna, based on some friends’ recommendations, and a few others were headed to Everest, which I had heard was more touristy and less scenic. By the end of the afternoon, the permits were sorted and I had bought myself wooly socks, a hat, altitude sickness medication and a used NorthFace sleeping bag, of which I had little faith in.
We all reconvened at the hostel for a last supper before parting ways. After repacking my trekking pack and shedding the extra things I wouldn’t need to survive the wilderness, I headed upstairs for one last beer with the crew. Despite being in Kathmandu longer than I had anticipated, I was thankful for the people that I had met and the bond that had formed amongst the group. I looked forward to regrouping with them at the end of the month after all our new adventures.