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Published: February 26th 2018
Woolly says – We’d all managed some sleep although Zoe didn’t look great, we led her to the taxi and sat back for the ride to the airport. The streets of Dhaka passed, it was a shame we hadn’t seen more of the city, but circumstances were out of my paws. The airport was busy and had no departure boards which a little bit was disconcerting, I opted to stay with the poorly one while Jo went to find someone to ask, she returned ten minutes later having been told our check in area and the time, finding some seats we made Zoe as comfy as we could and waited. Isn’t it always the way that you get the gate that is furthest away, in our case a half hour slow walk with a couple of stops on the way for Zoe to catch her breath. Having put the hand luggage through the x-ray machine Jo was pulled over and had to empty everything and I mean everything from her bag, the security queried the coins in the bottom (sterling and no I have no idea why she has loose coins in there), every strip of medication (at least the word
for migraine seems to be universal) and my Christmas hat (you never know when you might bump into the man himself so it’s always good to be prepared!) Finally, we could board our propeller plane and set off for Nepal. Nepal is perhaps most famous for being home to Everest and is a trekkers heaven, the country made news headlines in April of 2015 when many places were devastated by an earthquake including areas of Kathmandu our next destination, hopefully the Nepalese were back on their feet for our visit.
The flight passed quickly, and we made our way towards the on arrival visa queues, leaving the mammoth and the daughter sitting by a post I was quite chuffed to be able to complete the electronic sections of our visa application and hurried over to pay the fees. By the time we joined the line to collect our visas and have our passports stamped Zoe was barely able to stand up, we needed to do something and quickly, so I flagged down an airport employee who took one look at her pale face and shot into action. Woolly says – It was
the fastest way to get a visa if nothing else, we were taken to the front of the queue, issued with the visas and were in a medic’s office within minutes, worth remembering for long lines in the future! Zoe was prodded and poked, had her temperature and pulse checked and then given a range of pills to take. Within half an hour or so she looked a bit brighter and seemed to feel a little better, we thanked the doctor and headed into the outside world. We seemed to be surrounded by mountains but with no time to admire them, one of the airport staff joined us and helped in locating wifi to check on our accommodation.
We had booked a place over a week ago but had not received a full address or details on how to locate a key, despite our number of emails and the fact that the money had been taken from our account the owner had sent one email merely saying that she was not in Nepal! Woolly says – Not a word regarding the digs so having sent an email to the support desk at
air b and b, we moved onto finding some cash, the airport ATM refused to work which left us with a slight dilemma. By now the airport person had tracked down a taxi, got our bags and Zoe into it and having spoken to the driver about our problems waved Jo and I in telling us that we would get to the centre of Thamel, find a cash machine and that they would take us to a place with wifi. Talk about good service! We sat watching the dusty streets of Kathmandu bump past, electrical cables dangled from everywhere and everyone appeared to have masks on. Kathmandu is the capital city of Nepal and stands approximately 1,400 meters (4,600 feet) above sea level, historically termed as "Nepal Mandala" it is the home of the Newar culture, a cosmopolitan urban civilization in the Himalayan foothills. It had a similar look and feel of many Indian cities until we found ourselves driving down pot holed roads with flags everywhere, Jo’s eyes were nearly popping out of her head as shop after shop of tie dyed goods went past, colours of the rainbow and many more seemed to cover every shop front. Our
driver pulled into the tiniest of roads and bumped onto a pile of bricks which was apparently a carpark, having helped us out with our bags Mr Airport Man led Zoe and I to the lift and a roof top terrace whilst our driver took Jo to find an ATM, who could ask for more help!
Money found we set about finding somewhere to sleep, our two helpers sitting next to us although by now we had thanked them and given a tip they didn’t seem in a hurry to leave, I started to wonder if they were going to be booking in with us as well! Woolly says – I think they were just worried and having found a place to stay and managed to coax the invalid into eating a few mouthfuls of food before thanking them again and set off to find our beds. Our new taxi driver took us through hundreds of roads passing Stupa’s by the dozen before ringing our accommodation for further directions, his concerned face turned to us as he said, ‘they say they have no rooms’, I looked at Jo and we both looked
at Zoe who was dozing, it was nine at night and I’m not sure either of us knew quite what to do next. Jo showed him our booking and he spoke into his phone, a few minutes passed as the tyres kicked up some more dust and we arrived outside a Stupa where a man was waiting. As the driver unloaded the luggage Jo and I talked to the gent from the lodgings and showed our booking, he scratched his head and told us that he wasn’t letting rooms currently, our faces must had been a picture as Jo then asked why he was still on a booking site. He shrugged his shoulders and fearing the worst I asked him what we should do, Jo stood holding Zoe up as he pondered for a few moments, ‘come with me, I will give you a bed’.
With no idea of what might come next I held onto the daughter as Woolly attempted to carry as much as he could, the bloke shot ahead and vanished around a corner, we plodded on, he seemed to have waited and sped off once more, there was no way we could go as fast given our current need to support Zoe, finally he stopped and waited for us, by the time we had caught him up he had had a good chance to look at the state she was in and I thought it a good moment to ask him to help carry stuff which might help with the speed. Woolly says – Zoe without her back pack went slightly faster and might now pass an odd snail or two, on we went until the bloke vanished through a gateway, we followed and found ourselves tackling four flights of stairs, I could hear Jo telling Zoe that she was nearly there with Zoe responding, ‘you’ve been saying that for hours now’, which was true. Finally, we made it into a room, the man handed us a key and told us we would he would be back at ten in the morning. I looked around, it was grim, I could see Jo trying very hard not to say anything as she helped our invalid onto the bed, her nose quivered as she pulled back the covers, but she carried on making sure Zoe had everything she needed, luckily for her she went to sleep. Jo and I looked at each other and crept towards the bathroom, one peek was more than enough, and we climbed into the second smelly bed trying to ignore the human hairs that covered the base, not our best booking!
The night didn’t go well and was spent helping our girl to and from the bathroom, daylight seemed to give her some relief and although exhausted from lack of sleep between the three of us we found and booked another place to stay. A taxi into the centre of Thamel left us at a clean and modern hotel, the staff took one look at our motely crew and promptly carried our bags up the four flights, shortly followed by a tray of toast, tea and eggs before leaving us to settle in. Hopefully some food and some sleep will bring better things for the morrow.
For obvious reasons we haven't had much of a chance to take any pictures, these come from an hour out on the search for food when we found mammoths!....we did find food as well!
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