Chapter 25 The One Where Things Don’t Quite Go To Plan

I arrived into Nepal Airport’s crazy immigration room where tourists littered the floor with bags and failed immigration forms and queues sprouted out of nowhere. Of course, being the person I am and with my Dad’s vigorous research I arrived armed with a completed form, passport photo glued on, my fee for the visa in a separate neat plastic wallet and used my new found Indian disregard for queues to push to the front. Pretty sure that I had nailed Nepal already I zoomed through immigration to patiently queue again for some more pointless security and scanning of bags. By now I had spotted my Dad’s head through the crowds so was really excited to finally see him! Bored with waiting I managed to push past – not that the Nepalese security cared and grabbed my dad for a big old bear hug! We had ages to catch up just by the luggage conveyor belt because of course Nepali efficiency sent bags to the airport a few hours after the flight had landed… but eventually we managed to find our bags and car and drove through the dustiest of streets into Kathmandu.
We reached the lovely little Taleju Hotel where prayer flags flapped outside our window and after the porter had finished calling dad ‘sir’ he left us to repack and plan for our trek starting the following morning! Our proposed guide Pemba came to meet us and greeted us with lovely silk Buddhist scarves and talked us through the trek explaining his uncle Cammi would have to be our guide as he was going to be working. With our plan set out we headed back to finalise our kit for the next 5 days. Our stomachs were soon rumbling after surprisingly tiring work so we grabbed a classic Indian feast downstairs but after a mouthful I felt pretty full, full enough to explode…. well readers I hope you aren’t having breakfast right now because, to put it lightly, exploding there and then is something I definitely managed! Clearly, my final gift from India was a 24hour bout of intense sickness and I guess I was pretty lucky to have avoided it thus far but it wasn’t exactly how I had envisioned greeting my dad! 
The next day understandably I was super fragile so we decided to delay our trek as I was exhausted and still felt pretty grim. Reluctantly I agreed to get some fresh air and explore Kathmandu. I’m not gonna lie but most of this was written from notes as it was all pretty hazy under my sleepy sick brain but I do remember all of the crazy masses of electrical wires in every street and seeing a city that was so bizarrely destroyed after the 2015 earthquake. Beautiful temples were sliced in half or had crumbled to the floor leaving single roofs or lone rooms filled with bricks partially hidden by ornate wooden doors. Durbar square in the city centre famed for its towering beautiful buildings barely rose a few feet from the floor in places – so different from or guide books! A sudden wave of nausea sent us searching for the hotel where I slept AGAIN just so frustrated to feel so dead in a city buzzing with people and life. Streets of people whizzing about on mopeds wearing surgical masks to stop the dust and shops bursting with hiking gear and tourist tat. I attempted a lunch of supermarket ramen made in our hotel room which was in hindsight delicious but I just resented being that Brit abroad unable to feast on local delicious food! Determined to try something, dad and I went to the beautiful ‘Rosemary’s’ restaurant to try their (hopefully simple and nutritious) steamed momos which are like little veg filled dumplings. One bite in however it was very clear that I wasn’t going to make it through the meal and with dad having classically over ordered he was faced with a mountain of rice and veg curry and about 30 momos to wolf down before trotting home with me! I eventually fell asleep feeling unsurprisingly nervous about the upcoming trek with nothing but a half finished pot noodle to fuel a day of hiking!


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