The Plan was to start our language course on Monday. After that, we would go to Chitwan National Park to work in the vegetable garden of RCDP’s orphanage for four weeks (or something). Before Christmas we would start to conquer Mount Everest. Well… Base camp anyway. But as you might have guessed, The Plan Has Changed.
As said, we are currently staying in RCDP’s voluntair hostel along with some ohter people. For the past days we’ve hung out with two American boys and a Canadian girl. On Friday, we went for a party in Thamel – the tourist area, the Temple Bar of Kathmandu, the Bairro Alto. Since our hostel locks up at 8.30, we stayed in a hotel two minutes away from the last bar we were in. There is a curfew there, too, but if you ask nicely they will open the doors for you if you come in later. Around one in the mornng, we were kicked out of the bar as the police was coming. They should have closed at 1…
We came to Thamel after lunch. As usual, we took some sort of public transportation. We would be staying the night so we brought some stuff. In other words, five tall foreigners and their backpakcks were cramped into a little van with 13 Nepali – Anton and I also brought are laundry bags. That is not out of the ordinary, until on came the protest. After having been stuck in traffic for ages – contrary to what you might think you’re never actually standing still in traffic here – we were kicked out the van because continuing would be pointless. So we walked in the middle of the day in the burning sun through a Nepali protest. Military police on the one side, regular police carrying tear gas guns on the other.
It was a politcal protest. We’re not quite sure what for or against. I don’t know what was said about it on the news back home, if anything, but in any case we haven’t seen any irregularities and since I’m writing this you can be asured we’re fine.
One of the reason we had to go to Thamel is that we left for Annapurna base camp, and we still needed to buy lekis. As of tomorrow (Monday) we will be off the radar, probably unreachable for the rest of the world, back to basics, for the next two weeks or so. At seven in the morning we took the bus to Pokhara for 9 days of hiking with two Sherpas and a guide. There is no snow, yet. The temperatures are already below zero at night. But we are prepared. We’ve bought gloves and as per another hiker’s advice we’ve also bought a face mask against dust, because apparently the trails have so often been walked on that breathing is quite unpleasant. So much for back to nature! At night we will be staying in huts so now camping, which I guess is a good thing as we’re not die hard survivalers yet.
In the mean time, we have done a little bit of exploring of Kathmandu: