what a welcome sight to see Yogatara (my college housemate) waiting for me at the airport when I arrived this morning! After so many years of hearing about nepal, it is good to finally be here!
She took me to the guest house where katherine and I are staying — it was great to have Katherine walk out to greet me — two of my favorite people in the world — right there to meet me on my first day in country. Then we walked to breakfast (brunch? lunch?) and got oriented and made a plan for the day – change some money, go get permits, take a nap, take a shower, take another nap…. 🙂
Yogatara left us and went to work – we came back to our guest house and prepared ourselves to venture out alone. we had our map and knew where we wanted to go, though we weren’t totally sure how to get back (there are no real addresses here). Katherine suggested taking a bus — but that seemed a little overwhelming since we cannot read sanskrit and did not know where the buses were going…. so we grabbed a cab, negotiated the price and headed to the Tourisum building. There we had to get our trekking permit and our annapurna permit. of course you need a gazillion passport pictures (which is two more than we had) – so we have to go back tomorrow to get the rest of the permits (we need one for each trek we are doing — each costs a little over 20$). then we will get our bus tickets and hopefully head out on our first trek on saturday — we are going to do the first half of the annapurna circuit (which has valleys and mountain passes and views of annapurna — should not suck!) . that trek will take us about 10 days and then back here before we fly to the everest region for our second trek (3 passes).
I think, having been to india before, kathmandu is not as overhwlming as it could be…. we are not in kathmandu proper, but in Patan, a suburub of Kathmandu. the streets are busy and noisy and smelly — but nothing like delhi. sure, there is a lot of honking and mopeds and bikes and people walking in the streets or on the streets or next to the streets — but there are not cows and dogs and auto-rickshaws and all the rest of the craziness of india…. this feels relatively calm.
tomorrow, our goal is to see a little more of the city — there is a walking tour that we read about in the guide book that we are going to check out. of course, that is after we visit the tourism agency _again_ and give them lots of money!
as of right now, though, this tired girl needs to go to sleep…. it’s been a long time….