Last night in Kathmandu

Tomorrow I head to Pokhara on a noon flight. I will be back in Kathmandu later in April on my way home, but for the next couple weeks I will be based further west in Pokhara.

I spent the morning getting a croissant and chai at Pumpernickel and buying the ticket for tomorrow’s flight. I got that from a randomly chosen travel/trekking agent on one of the less crowded streets of Thamel. Apparently they get a 15% commission on domestic flights, and we split that, bringing the price down a little.

I wandered the busy part of Thamel a little, then was chosen as a subject on which a few school kids could practice their English. They were out of school today for a Buddhist holiday, and they pointed me in the direction of the stupa down the street where the festival was happening. Didn’t see much festival — just a lot of school kids hanging around playing a game involving throwing coins on the ground. Probably I missed most of it, since this was nearly noon by now. Walked around the stupa and took pictures, got some Indian lunch at KC’s Restaurant on their third-floor deck, then headed back here with a mildly upset stomach that had started earlier in the morning.

After a taxi ride from hell — all rutted, unpaved back roads for twice as long since the main road was blocked — I decided the best thing for my stomach was some of the local rum. I drank that and read for a while, took a nap a woke up feeling better, if not 100%. That took me up to dinner, which was lovely (I’m not at all sick of it so far) dal bhat.

After dinner I sat around with a couple of the volunteers based here, then Scott from the Mountain Fund came back. We stayed up talking outside for a couple of hours about the fun/challenges of running an NGO here, some of the alpine climbers he knows and some of the other NGOs in Asia that have had publicized troubles of late. Fascinating stuff that I’ve only read in books til now.

Time to get some rest so I can wake up and repack before heading to the airport. This has been a good few days, and I can see returning to stay with the Mountain Fund (AAC Clubhouse) either later this trip or on another.

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