Busy, expensive morning

At the Rum Doodle for lunch with the famous feet.

Spent the morning running around. Took a cab to Thamel, promptly got lost, found my way to the Pumpernickel for a croissant with yak cheese and chai. Found a local SIM for my phone, then a camera store and replaced the lens security broke running the xray belt backward in Abu Dhabi yesterday (yesterday? Yeah, I think it was).

From there I thought I’d get reacquainted with Thamel, so I walked around a bit and found the hotels at which we stayed in ’99 — then promptly got really lost wandering out of Thamel. Emerged next to a giant pool of water big enough to appear on Google Maps and found my way to where the Annapurna Conservation Area Project (ACAP) office was supposed to be so I could pay my entry fee.

It wasn’t there. Went into the Mountain Hardwear store (yes, they have one now, right next to The North Face) and got directions. It was back past the giant pool of water and a smoky bus stop.

My three remaining passport photos were insufficient to get the ACAP and TIMS (general trekking) permits. God knows why they need so many fucking pictures of me. I even had to give a picture and both thumb prints to get the SIM card! Wandered for a half hour with a similarly confused Canadian couple until we found a photo store, where the minimum order was 8 more photos — I needed one.

Back to the Tourist Board to finish the ACAP entry permit, and I think I’m done. Truly an expensive morning between permit fees, the mobile service and the lens. On the other hand, I think I’m done with the hard part now…except arranging transport to Pokhara.

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