So it ends…

I’m at the Pokhara airport waiting for boarding time. Nice second-story airport cafe here, choice of full view of the runway or partial view from the shade. Devendra drove me here on the scooter, saving a taxi fare but putting the fear of dying right in me. That’s my second ride on the back of a bike this trip, and at least this one was on a paved road — and we didn’t drop it this time. I just don’t sit steadily enough to be a good passenger. I warned him of that, and we made it, despite me flying up and nearly off when we hit one dip in the road.

Spent the morning packing and trying to interpret questions from the US parents of one of the other tourists here who had to spend the night in the hospital. He’s fine, it seems, but he couldn’t talk on his phone from his hospital room, and you can imagine their stress when calling his cell phone and the guesthouse staff answers. They speak English well, especially Devendra, but it takes a while to catch to the accent, especially over the phone and trying to ask medical questions.

All of my purchases fit into my main bag, and the Nepali backpack I bought here as storage during my trek makes a slightly more able carryon than the tiny one I brought. Main bag weighed in just under 20kg, so no extra fees for this trip, it seems. Of course, I jettisoned a lot of food during the trip, energy bars along with backpacking meals for my planned trek, and I left my little REI tent behind weeks ago. Since it became an unused pain in the ass swinging from the bottom of my backpack, I’ll gladly spend $100 back home to replace it. Most of my toiletries were expended, and the Tevas I bought here to rest my boots were trashed and smelly, so they stayed behind.

Just waiting now for a Yeti Airlines plane to land, then boarding, then back through security at the TIA international terminal in Kathmandu to wait for my nighttime flight to Abu Dhabi, where I’ll switch SIMs and see what’s built up in my normal mobile account. A somewhat lengthy layover there, then a final, fifteen-hour haul to flooded, Chicago, customs and immigration and the Blue Line home. Sad to be leaving…very much so…but I like the act of traveling as well, so here we go.

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