I would like to preface everything about Nepal by saying that Nepal was my favorite place that I've ever been. It has stolen my heart and I want to return as soon as possible. It is one of the most physically beautiful places I've ever been and the people are wonderful.
The morning I flew to Kathmandu from Bangkok, I woke up bright and early and headed to the airport. I wanted to arrive early just in case there were long lines. I also hadn't been to the airport yet, so I wanted to make sure I left myself enough time to wander the airport lost and confused. This proved to be unnecessary because there was no line and the airport was extremely easy to navigate. I walked up to the desk with no one in front of me. I believe this was due to the fact that there were maybe 50 people on the flight, even though it was in an enormous plane (one of those with the 3-5-3 seat arrangements). I was surprised it even took off!
|The sketchy tourist visa|
The flight into Kathmandu airport was beautiful as well! The mountains and the weather were perfect!
I'd done a lot of research about what to do when I arrived in Kathmandu's airport. Everything I read said that it was confusing, difficult to navigate and your baggage might be thrown around by strangers. This meant that I stressed about my arrival for weeks. I arrived, put my information into the computer and had my travel visa (which looked extremely sketchy and unofficial) within 20 minutes. I then walked to the baggage claim, picked up my bag immediately and headed outside. It was an extremely easy process.
I had arranged with my hotel a pick up, since the first place I was staying was about an hour outside of Kathmandu and up in the mountains. I went outside the airport to the pickup spot and it was complete chaos!!! It took a few minutes to find the taxi holding my name, but I finally did. A man who was associated with my taxi driver grabbed my suitcase and wouldn't give it back. I wasn't concerned he would steal it, but I knew he would want me to give him money when he handed it back to me. I was annoyed. Unfortunately, that is exactly what happened. I didn't have any Nepalese rupees yet, however, so I couldn't give him any money anyway. But still.
It would seem he was a sketchy taxi driver, because he had me pay him directly, but the hotel later was completely unaware that he'd done that. He called the taxi driver and there was a bit of yelling. Luckily, they didn't make me pay for the taxi a second time! Not the best entrance into Nepal, but I wasn't traumatized.
The sunset was quite beautiful! There was a rickety staircase you could climb to the roof of the hotel to get a full 360 degree view around the hotel. It was incredible. I spent much of my stay on that roof!
The rolling hills around the hotel!
I went to bed that evening. Good heavens it was unbelievably cold! I slept with my hat, gloves, winter coat and several pairs of socks on and was still freezing! I discovered the next day I could ask for hot water bottles at night. I made great use of those the following two nights. But, for one night, I froze completely.
It was like camping in a comfortable bed.
I went back to sleep for a little bit, ate breakfast and headed into town! But that will be for the next blog!