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Kathmandu, Nepal

Well it has been over a month since my last post, and how the time has flown. I will start from the beginning. Nepal is one place that I have wanted to visit from the start, when I first started thinking about this trip and with a little extra cash saved up, I was able to make that happen. Upon going to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to get my Indian visa so I could transfer through on my flight (most flights to Nepal are through India) I was shocked to find out that as of a year ago, the government mostly refuses giving Indian visas to non-locals. (I guess I should check the dates on those online forum posts a little closer) Slight panic ensued. The tickets were already booked and all I could think about was being turned around once I got to India and possibly even worse, being thrown in Indian jail for not having the proper visa (a bit dramatic I know). Upon doing more research, I decided to change my flight from Kuala Lumpur to Delhi so that there was only a 10 hour layover in Delhi rather than a 24 hour, emailed the US consulate in Delhi and asked there advice and hoped for the best….Only so much you can do right? I arrived at the airport in KL and upon waiting for an hour in the check in lines, the young man at the counter looked at me with a reserved indignance, exclaiming I had to show my Indian transit visa or I wouldn’t be allowed to board. This time a little more advanced stage of panic ensued…”There has to be someone I can speak with!” After much deliberation and careful debate with the manager of Asian Airlines at the ticket counter (so as not to make her angry, she looked a bit temperamental) as well as producing the torn itinerary of my flight from Delhi to Kathmandu, she stamped the ticket, marked my bag and let me through. This was only the beginning of a LONG 2 days. The flight to Delhi was relatively uneventful and didn’t take longer than a few hours. I informed one of the flight attendants of my issues with getting my checked bag in luggage (have to have a visa to pass immigration to get to baggage claim) and she helped me work things out. Apparently, this happens all of the time, but it sounds like they are trying to change the rules so that this is no longer normal procedure. Upon landing, I was escorted to the Transit area, an area with 30-40 seats mostly filled with other travelers in the same predicament, and told to wait until the morning. My flight wasn’t until about 8 am the next day and I spent the 12 hours reading and trying to doze a bit. After a long night of an hour or so of sleep, another attendant brought my new Itinerary and boarding passes and I was allowed to filter through to the main terminal, eat some much needed breakfast of Dominoes breadsticks (missed those) and waited the few hours until my plane. I arrived in the hustling bustling city of Kathmandu about midday and met up with the Nepali guy I was going to be couch surfing with, Krishna. I followed him to his apartment outside of the main touristic part of Kathmandu known as Thamel in order to shower and get some food. At this point, I have come to accept the fact that I will only get a hot shower one out of every ten showers I take as generally the facilities don’t offer a water heater, or because there is something wrong with it, and this was no different. Using a bucket of water that was stored in the bathroom from the morning when the running water is turned on for its short period of time, I “showered” with only minor difficulties,certainly much needed after the 35 plus hours of travel time. Exploring the city with Krishna a bit over the next few days was great, cuisine always one of my favorite aspects. We got along well and getting to see the “real side” of Kathmandu was amazing.

permalink written by  Alex Basaraba on March 3, 2011 from Kathmandu, Nepal
from the travel blog: What could possibly be next?
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