Nepal Becomes Clear

scenic view of mountains
Photo by dnes on

This week’s been a bit random. Up until 2 days ago I was all set to make my way to Kerala as planned, but turns out that wasn’t the way it was going to go down…Visa issues meant that rather than risk being refused entry into India, the company I’m volunteering with asked if I’d mind helping out in Nepal instead. What do I know about Nepal? Everest is there and it’s big. I’ve seen photos of Yaks walking over rope bridges. There are many Buddhists and therefore many monks.

Of course I said yes, and am now sat in the Holy Himilayan Hotel, in Kathmandu, 4,500 miles from home writing what will probably turn out to be a load of garbled nonsense, given I’ve managed about 2 hours sleep in the past 36 hours…

Anyway, I now feel more of a subject matter expert, as in the 7 hours I’ve now been here, I’ve learnt a few things about Nepal;

  • The word Namaste is used a lot
  • It has jaw droppingly huge white clouds. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing on the descent to the airport
  • The roads are crazy, but not Mumbai crazy
  • They are the only country on the planet with a 15 minute time zone difference, which is making life very difficult for my jet-lagged tiny brain
  • Nepalese Gurkhas are the fiercest fighters on the planet*
  • The insect repellant band I bought with me doesn’t work – I am therefore mosquito food until further notice (not Nepal’s fault, more my blind faith and stupidity)
  • The Nepalese prefer cricket to football – evidenced by 3 people in bar one side of the road watching football, versus full bar of people watching cricket opposite
  • Momo’s are very nice, as are all the smiley Nepalese people I’ve met so far

A while ago I wrote about wondering who I would meet on my travels, this is where I get to find out! I knew 2 people who I would be sharing this adventure with would be on my flight, but I had no idea who they were. I spent my idle time in both Heathrow and Qatar airport trying to work out who these mysterious volunteers were… Turns out my Colombo skills were way off and it wasn’t the two I’d picked, who between them had the combination of hippy style trousers, many piercings, battered rucksacks, reading The Road Less Travelled and dreadlocks that I thought made it obvious. It was actually two surprisingly unassuming, but beautiful young women – one of whom is just a year older than my own daughter (I had to remind myself that today I am younger than I’ll ever be again!) and the other who’s studying Philosophy at Edinburgh university.

I also met a few other people of note, in no particular order;

  • A lovely 21-year-old New Yorker whose first time it was travelling alone, she was also volunteering, but had a three-day trek ahead of her to get where she needed to be…I hope she survives, I’m pretty sure she will
  • Three generations of intrepid travellers who told me all about their most recent adventure to Costa Rica and their plans to soak up as much of Nepal as humanly possible in three weeks
  • A man who was there every time I turned round – I’d just watched Red Sparrow so it did cross my mind I was in a bad spy movie…
  • A very smiley air hostess who was from Manchester and liked drinking vodka
  • A not so smiley air hostess who woke me up 5 minutes after I’d managed to fall asleep to ask me if I wanted an egg sandwich…
  • A very cute (with a marginal potential of becoming annoying) 7-year-old American girl wearing a cheerleader outfit, travelling in style and killing it like a boss
  • A very helpful airport worker, who thought nothing of sorting my visa out for me when I was struggling to make sense of a perfectly sensible machine

And so it begins. Not quite how I’d imagined it, same continent, just a different country. Kathmandu is begging for me to explore it tomorrow and explore it I will! I’m excited to see who else I’m going to meet – that is, unless it’s the slightly strange guy off the plane as there’ll then be no plausible denial for stalking (unless he was also thinking the same about me… ??)

Namaste beautiful people 🙂

*Not an actual fact, but an opinion voiced by a very reliable source

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