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Published: April 5th 2010
Vista? of Kathmandu
You can't really see much because of the smog and the buildings in the way. However, you can see the outline of the Himalayas in the background.
The Pete Seeger song has inspired us to come here.
I think I'm going to Katmandu,
That's really, really where I'm going to.
If i ever get out of here,
That's what I'm gonna do.
I think that's where I'm going to.
We have now completed over half of our bucket list. Our original list that we composed in 1996 was:
1. Drive through Death Valley in a convertible with the top down - done 2003
2. Tasmania - done 2010 (this trip)
3. Katmandu - done 2010 (this trip)
4. Timbuktu -- open
5. Machu Pichu - open
We just have to hang in there for our last two items before we …
Now that we’ve seen Kathmandu, we are probably a bit bored with the whole idea and it’s just another busy city (population about one million) that is dirty (though not as bad as Calcutta), congested and polluted. There is a perpetual haze hanging over the city so that you cannot see more than a few kilometers.
Here, as in Calcutta, people throw their trash in the streets in piles. Unlike Calcutta, they burn the combustibles every evening (probably a major contributor
not really, I think it's an everyday occurence
to the perpetual haze). On the way to the airport, I observed city workers shoveling the ashes into carts, presumably for disposal.
Friday, our first night in town we ate supper in the hotel restaurant and both got sick. Loren woke up in the middle of the night and had stomach cramps and the big D for the rest of the night and then got better after breakfast. I felt fine all night but after breakfast started coming down with similar symptoms and spent most of the day in bed
I did venture up to the rooftop in the afternoon to take a few photos as much as could be seen from there what with the haze and the taller buildings. At dinner time, we decided to splurge and took a cab to the Hyatt for dinner. It was tasty and well presented, but I was still sick and couldn’t eat the chicken mozzarella that I’d ordered. Back to the hotel and I crashed for good. This time I awoke and was prepared to tackle the new day.
That new day was Easter morning here in Nepal. The only evidence we saw of a gathering was a group convened to have breakfast (Easter Breakfast?) in a pretty run-down neighborhood. There was no evidence of colored eggs, bunnies or Christian processions or church services.
Sunday we were scheduled to fly back to India (New Delhi) arriving about 11 AM. As is usual in this area of the world, the flight was delayed for an hour (no announcement, just changed the departure time on the board) so we’ll wait. Actually, we have no particular schedule to follow today, so it’s no big deal.
Loren writes - while we didn’t get a chance to tour the town, we did talk to several trekkers. This is the term used to describe folks who come to Nepal to go to the mountains. A Britt I met in immigration coming into the country was headed to base camp on Everest and had 13 days to get it done. She had lots of climbing experience but was a bit unsure of the altitude issues since England is barely above sea level. Another trekker we met while leaving the country had trekked to 5400 meters and spent 30 days in Nepal. She raved about the wonderfully scenic mountains and valleys. Kathmandu was our target and we hit it. Next time we will go trekking.
Hal back again -- Due to health issues with Loren’s elderly aunt, for whom he is responsible, we find it necessary to cut our trip short of the 80 days originally planned and the first flight (set of flights) we’ve been able to garner start at 5 AM Wednesday from Delhi’s Indira Ghandi International Airport.
In the meantime we’ll have two days to take a day trip to see the Taj Mahal (I don’t know why that wasn’t on our bucket list) and brace ourselves for a 29-hour jaunt back to Minneapolis by way of Doha Qatar, Washington DC and Chicago.
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Thanks for the memories!
Loren - sorry to hear about your aunt. We have all enjoyed travelling with you the past few weeks. Safe travels home.
Safe Trip Home
I hope you have a safe trip home!! I'm sorry to hear the news about your Aunt. You wanted to come home anyway!?! I bet you can't wait to eat real food!! Can't wait to hear details. Safe travels. PS. I'm off to Paris April 16 -27!