Needless to say, we were both quite edgy flying out of Brisbane airport – bound for Nepal, where we were about to undertake one of the most grueling challenges of our lives – a trek to Everest Base Camp. We knew it was going to be extremely tough, but we’d done the research and done the prep, so we were very excited to be commencing the adventure of a lifetime!
We slept in bits and pieces on the first leg of our flight to Singapore, which left us feeling a little drowsy for our stop over. Thankfully, Singapore Airport is huge and there was plenty to do to amuse ourselves. We made the most of free wifi, abused the leg and foot massage chairs, played games on the PlayStation and ate our body-weight in Duty-Free Cadbury chocolate. We also did a bit of napping on the floor like homeless people, but it wasn’t long before our flight to Kathmandu was finally called over the speaker.
The second leg of our flight went quickly and before we knew it, we were landing at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu – and what a hectic place it was! Getting through Customs and grabbing a bit of local currency was fine, but it was elbows out at the baggage claim terminal, where we had to barge through trolleys and people just to get to the carousel. It was about an hour-long wait before our luggage finally appeared, which had both of us feeling a little nervous that we’d lost our bags!
Once we had our luggage in hand, we dropped a few more shoulders and palmed a few locals out of the way, and ventured outside the terminal. Just when we thought the baggage claim area was mental, the airport carpark was an even bigger chaotic scene, with herds of taxi drivers screaming for our business and local fellas offering to take our luggage for us. You have to be pretty blunt with the locals and tell them to politely piss off to get them out of your hair.
We eventually found our name on a sign, held by a quiet French girl who took us to the Radisson Hotel to check in. The traffic from the airport to the hotel was absolutely insane! Gridlocked for miles and not a single road rule being followed. Thankfully our driver knew a few back streets, so he got us off the main road and finally into our hotel.
From the hotel, Tim went in to Thamel (the City centre of Kathmandu) to meet Chaatra from Nepal Eco Adventure to discuss our trip. He loaded Tim up with bags, trekking poles and sleeping bags before sending him on his way.
That evening, we both got a cab for Rs200 back into Thamel. It was an exciting area full of skinny little streets and hundreds of shops selling pretty much the same stuff of cheap souvenirs and trekking gear. It was awesome fun exploring the area and getting lost in the maze of noisy streets.
For dinner, we ate a delicious (and extremely filling) tasting menu dinner at Thamel House. with the highlight being the Wild Boar and Momos. The staff were lovely and the cold Everest Beers went down a treat!
After dinner, we headed back to the hotel for a catch up on lost sleep!