1.2.5: Back to Kathmandu

Day 52: Lukla to Kathmandu

This morning Kanchha woke me up at 5:30 and I got packed and had a quick breakfast before we headed down to the airport. We checked in and had tea with a friend of Kanchha’s who worked for the police at the airport. He then got us past all the security at the airport which was nice but it didn’t make much difference though as we were delayed by about an hour due to fog in the Kathmandu valley. When the plane arrived we were on the first departure and I was able to get a seat on the right hand side for the mountain views.

52.1. Views from the plane on the flight from Lukla to Kathmandu.

When we arrived in Kathmandu we got a taxi to the Tibet guesthouse and after I checked in I met Roj at the reception. Kanchha had to leave to go on a sightseeing tour around Kathmandu with a Latvian couple who he was going to guide around the Annapurna circuit tomorrow. Roj and I went to use the computers and I selected the photos that I would print and send to Laximi, Bhoj and Sabita Brahmin in Jhinu Danda. We went for a walk around Thamel and went for lunch. It was Roj’s first time in Thamel and I didn’t realize it so we ended up getting a bit lost. After lunch I went to a photo shop and got my prints in about 15 minutes. I met Kanchha later in the afternoon and we prepared the photos and envelopes. I wrote another letter for Laximi and gave it to Kanchha to give to her when he arrived in Landruk on his next trek. I will post the others with the photos tomorrow; I wonder which will arrive first. In the evening I went to Kanchha’s room for dinner. He lives near to the International guesthouse on the edge of Thamel. Kanchha’s wife cooked chicken curry and Dal Bhat and we had a couple of beers with some of Kanchha’s friends who had come around. I gave Kanchha some baksheesh as well as my windstopper jacket and my trekking boots. I went back to the hotel but slept poorly as there was a very loud water boiler or something similar outside my room.

Day 53: Kathmandu

This morning I met with Kanchha just before 7:00 and he helped me arrange a change of room. We then went for breakfast at a Thamel bakery and then came back. We met with the Latvian couple and Kanchha gave each of us a kata scarf similar to the one that Chet had given me on my first day in Kathmandu. We then said our final goodbye and Kanchha got in a taxi with the Latvians to the bus park.

53.1. With Kanchha and the Latvians about to go on the Annapurna Circuit trek with Kanchha.

My new room wouldn’t be ready until 11:00 so I took a walk to the post office. I walked south of Thamel to Durbar square with its many pagodas and wondered the streets nearby. When I came to the post office I gave the envelopes to a man who was sitting behind bars in what looked like a prison cell. He gave me some stamps and I stuck them and gave back the envelopes. I hope they arrive safely.

53.2. Around Kathmandu as I walked to the post office.

I came back to Thamel and went to a bookshop. I part exchanged my lonely planet trekking guide and got a Rough guide for Thailand. In the evening I went for dinner at the Northfield café before coming back to the guesthouse and reading about Thailand.

Day 54: Kathmandu

In the morning I went out for breakfast and then came back to meet Roj at 10:00. We went to visit Patan, a town 8 km to the south. We got out of the taxi at the Patan Durbar square which is similar to the one in Kathmandu but even more ornate and beautiful. We walked around Patan and visited many temples including the Golden temple and a terracotta Buddhist temple with over 1000 images of the Buddha on it. We then went for lunch at a café with a nice rooftop terrace overlooking Durbar square. After lunch we walked about for a bit more before getting a taxi back to Thamel.

54.1. Patan Durbar Square.

54.2. Temples around Patan.

Day 55: Kathmandu

This morning I woke up feeling not very well and with no energy. I got up and took my laundry to be washed at a place just down the road and then went to Present travel to confirm my flight for Bangkok. I called Roj to postpone meeting him until tomorrow and slept for the rest of the afternoon.

Day 56: Kathmandu

I was still feeling ill so I called Roj and postponed meeting him for another day. I stayed in my room and watched Discovery Channel, Pink Panther and Mr. Bean on the TV. In the afternoon I got out and went to an internet café to burn CDs of my photos for Roj and Kanchha. I also booked a hotel in Bangkok called the Sawasdee Krungthep. It is in the tourist region of Banglamphu but hopefully far enough away from Khao San Road for it not to be too loud at night.

Day 57: Kathmandu

I was still ill this morning and had come to the conclusion that I probably had traveler’s diarrhea, so this morning I went to the supermarket and got some ciprofloxacin antibiotic. I came back to the hotel and had some banana porridge. I hadn’t been eating properly in the last couple of days as I’d completely lost my appetite. I sat around in my room until 14:00 and then met Roj. I showed him the photos from the Khumbu region and then we went to the Nepali kitchen restaurant nearby for tea. I also had some soup. I gave Roj the CD’s and also gave him a chess set as I’d taught him to play in the Annapurna region.

57.1. The courtyard at the Tibet Guesthouse.

Day 58: Kathmandu to Bangkok

I woke up today feeling a little better but still quite ill. I got up and had some more banana porridge and then went to buy postcards. I also picked up a Lonely Planet for Laos and traded in my Everest trekking guide and my Nepali phrasebook. I came back and packed my bags, checked out and changed my remaining Nepalese rupees for US dollars. At midday Roj arrived with Chet’s wife and daughter and we went for lunch. I had mixed fried rice and a lemon tea and was able to eat about half of it, which was good compared to the last couple of days. We got a taxi to the airport and they each gave me a kata scarf. The one from Roj was very colourful. I checked in OK and on the plane I was sat next to an Englishman and a Nepali man. The English guy was sad to be leaving Nepal but hoped to return soon to do some charity work. I was sorry to be leaving Nepal myself but I wasn’t going home just yet.

58.1. The sun setting on the flight from Nepal.

We landed safely in Bangkok and I got a bus to Khao San Road. After I got off the bus I got a tuk-tuk to the hotel for 100 Baht. A total rip off as it was just around the corner. I felt a bit sick in the hotel and threw up my ciprofloxacin pill, probably because I hadn’t eaten since lunch and it was now about midnight.