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Published: August 25th 2010
19/5/10: Today was catching up on e-mails and letting our parents know we made it back down the hill in one piece. I was shocked to the Aussie share market crashed losing most of our travelling money to the share market and then the dollar went 10c lower than when we first started the trek 8 days ago. Feeling pissed off about this the day only got worse, our Steripen stop working so we couldn't sterilize water, that's $113 dollar we won’t see again; it was only five months old, then our hard drive crashed losing two months of photos. We should have stayed on the mountain!! Depressed about everything we decided not to hire a motorbike or go paragliding; instead we booked a bus ticket to Kathmandu for the following morning. We were lucky when we got the ticket for 300NRS/ person. The only good thing about today was we weren’t walking and we got to have dinner with Richard, Emily, Clair and Caroline at Lumbini’s. We ended saying goodbye to everyone there with big hugs all around. Back to our room to pack.
21/5/10: We had to catch the bus at 7:30 so we took a cheap 100NRS taxi to the bus stop. Pokora was a ghost town and absolutely everyone was getting out of the town. The only thing left were loads of taxi drivers wanting our business. This gets extremely annoying when they drive right up behind you and toot there loud horn scaring the shit out of you. Or when our glancing eye happen to get in the way of them driving past, this gives them and invitation to do a u-turn from the other side of the street somehow thinking we want a taxi. They must be so desperate? The bus station was full with people leaving Pokhara. It wasn't too long before we were on our way to Kathmandu again, it ended up being an 8hour journey just to travel 200km. Jacinta counted five major accidents along the way including buses down the valley, rolled local buses, trucks hitting trees and a bus into a building. “DON'T CATCH LOCAL BUSES IN NEPAL, ONLY TOURIST BUSES WITH BETTER TRAINED DRIVERS!!!” if there’s such a thing? We were dropped off 1km outside the major part of Tamel we avoided the salivating taxi drivers and decided to walk with our heavy packs. We headed for Pilgrims Guest house where we previously stayed but all the rooms were full. It took us another hour of searching before we found something decent for 400NRS but ended up being a shit hole. The room was clean but when we got into the room we realised that it had no fan, the water was a funny colour brown and the bathroom light didn't work. The only thing good was it had free WIFI which was desperately needed. That night it was hot, the fan would have been so nice, what made it worse was we were right above a major bar that partied into the night, there was no way we could shut the windows as it was just way to hot. To top it off, I was nursing the sorest throat I have ever had yet. Somebody must have coughed on me in the bus and I felt awful.
22/5/10: Today we went shopping for thermals and a warm down coat. After the cold wind and temperatures of ABC we weren’t trekking Everest without warm gear. We found exactly what we needed and saved a lot of money by shopping around. We were mainly worried about the weight of our packs as they started to get ridiculously heavy, mine must be over the 25kg mark not including the day pack that is around 7-9kg. I also had to find another camera battery for the Everest trek as the two batteries I had were not going to last the 18days. My attempts had to extend into the next day. ****
23/5/10: Another bad sleep due to the partying outside our hotel late that night. We packed up, cheackout and headed for Pilgrims Guest house as they had a room for 500NRS which we were more than happy to pay until we got a room cheaper. We had another day of sorting stuff out including getting a new Steri-pen after our bulb blew and you conveniently cannot get replacements. We had to find some drugs for both of our developing sickness. Jacinta had just gotten sick and there was no way we were even going to book the flights to Lukla in the state we were in. My throat felt like I had swallowed glass then vomited it back up again just to swallow more shards of glass, it was so sore and swollen that my ear drum was hurting and I couldn't turn my neck from the pain. I had trouble eating food and couldn't swallow let along open my mouth. It is by far the worst throat infection I have ever had, I had to succumb to antibiotics which I hate taking. Jacinta was just as bad to but had more flu related symptoms. We were both a mess. I ended up catching up on my blog that afternoon while we rested.
24/5/10: I had a great sleep despite the sore throat. Pilgrims Guest house was so quiet and peaceful we really enjoyed being here. Jacinta was not as fortunate as her sickness started to peak during the day. We had another day of running around; first the tourism board for our trekking permits located 20min walk away. The TIMS card cost $20USD each and the park fee cost 1000NRS each. We then carried onto the Central Immigration Office only 10min further up the road just to extend our visa by 15days which cost us $30USD each. Immigration was hopeless! They took 15min to serve us and most of them just sat at their desk, then and ate lunch. No one came over to offer assistance or let us know how long it would be. I cracked it twice just to get some action. One lady just stared at us while she ate her watermelon and proceeded to spit the seeds on the carpet floor next to her desk. She was so lazy that one of the seeds hung precariously from her, she chose to wait for the next seed to dislodge it onto the floor. Finally a man came over to help and then wanted us to pay extra for the immediate return of our visa instead a 2½ hour wait. We were not happy about this opting to keep our money in our back pockets. We chilled out and had some lunch in a local restaurant down the road and returned an hour later to some stamped passports. Maybe the ruckus I cause before might have kicked them into gear. “Haha NOT”. It worked out that another couple were going back to Tamel so we split a 100NRS taxi saving us the now 30min walk back.
25/5/10: We played around on the internet for most of the early part of the early part of the morning. The internet was so slow it took 10x as long to get any information you needed, I found out that our download speed was 3kilo bytes/second. We needed to go back to the main importer of STERIPEN (UV light steriliser for drinking water) as we were waiting on a call from the main office in USA to see if they would replace ours with a new one free of charge. Peak Promotions were the main wholesalers and were very helpful. We went back to see if there was any word from the USA. Yahoo! We got a brand new Steripen for free, we were both amazed as this never ever happens to us. We left quickly before they might have changed their minds. We also had to get our flights to Lukla sorted for the Everest trek now that we were through the worst of our sickness. We were getting prices from $230USD to $200USD. We had a tout that kept annoying us every time we went past him. “Cheap flights” he would say. It was time to pay him a visit. It turned out he could do the flights for $178/person return what a bargain! We also got and exceptional price on our flights from Kathmandu to Hong Kong; not often but sometimes the touts workout. All in all it was a good day and we saved a lot of money getting our tickets through Adventure Discovery Treks and Expeditions. We were very well looked after by Rabindra Adhikari and I have no troubles recommending them for future flights and treks as they were the cheapest by far. They are almost directly across from the Kathmandu guesthouse on the second floor. Email: www.adventurediscorverytreks.com or www.nepalhiking.travel . We ended up booking our Hong Kong tickets with them as well, once again blowing the competion out of the water with cheap flights.
Lastly we shopped for our food for the trek spending over 2400NRS on more noodles, chocolate éclairs, cookies, dried fruit, muesli bars, moisturiser for the dry air and notepad and pencil for my blog.
26/5/10: Another bad night sleep for both of us, Jacinta was worse,she was now sick with the flu and later with a stomach bug that made her lose the whole contents of her bowel down the toilet, this forced her to stay near the bathroom the whole day. The tickets weren’t able to be postponed so she had to get some Norfloxcin into her to kill whatever it was. This was the best drug for India as it helped with all our stomach troubles. I too was not well, I feeling worse than yesterday, this gave me a bad feeling about the whole trip whether we should be going or not. I had a big day just getting everything ready for the trek tomorrow while Jacinta was incapacitated. I decided not to get another battery for my video camera instead I spent 15NRS on a plug in light adapter that will fit a bayonet light globe making in possible to plug a universal adapter into the side ports to charge my battery with the light switch on. It was still possible to even have the light on when charging. It ended up saving me a fortune in the end as they wanted 300NRS for one hour of charging, I couldn't believe how great it worked; you couldn't even buy the materials for how much it cost. Jacinta needed a new hat and long-sleeved shirt to keep the harsh high altitude sun off; we also needed to get more money sorted as I worked it out to be around 1500NRS/day for the both of us. This would pay for accommodation and some meals for the whole trek. This is considerably cheaper than what you would normally spend but we were taking allot of food with us. When I packed my bag and put it on I guessed a weight of 15kg, I would later find out how wrong the estimation was. I caught up with Sam that night that had only just got back from trekking the same trek we were going to do. He left for Everest the same time we left for Pokhara. It was great to pick his brain on what we needed and what not to do. He warned us about Cho-la pass and we will soon learn that the Cho La Pass was the hardest and most dangerous place to cross.
Everest tomorrow cant wait.
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