I’m in Nepal, what the fuck can I say?

Awesome. Arrived at Kathmandu airport two days ago at Monday afternoon after leaving my guest-house in Bangkok at 0400 hours in the morning. Went to the weekend market in Bangkok on Sunday, and I must say it was really really good. I thought it was going to be a bunch of crap just as it is around Koh San Road. But, if you ever go to Bangkok on a weekend, be sure to give JJ Market at least half a day. I tried to do a quick count and there is around 12.000 small stalls selling everything saleable in this world of ours. Spent most of my time around the clothes, and there is literally thousands of vendors selling their own designer brands, vintage clothes, imported whatever, and its nothing short of brilliant. Actually made me like Bangkok a lot more.

Well then, Nepal. So far, having trouble finding words for it. It has been two very hectic days so far, but really nice ones. First day I arrived at the airport. Kathmandu airport is a time machine which sends you back to 1974. Being a very good year, I liked it. Bangkok’s new airport is also a time machine, but it sends you to 2143. I made a two hour stop at new Delhi, that only took me back to 1997 and didn’t really qualify as being a time-travelling capsule.

Enough about airports, what is going on in Nepal? Well, first of all, Kathmandu being the Royal Capital of this gallant nation we are blessed with a whopping 7 hours of electricity a day, most of those hours actually being at night. So the internet access is going to be somewhat restricted as compared to Thailand where I was online more than I would be in Sweden. Also, next time I travel I will make sure to bring my notebook computer or an android phone. 75% of Asia is on Wi-Fi, so that would make stuff easier having your own equipment.

Anyway, loved Nepal from the second I left the aeroplane and it was a soothing 25 degrees in the air, light breeze. Like a nice Swedish summer day. After a few minor incidents I arrived at my Hotel, and almost immediately bumped into a really nice British guy. He came back from Everest the same day, and his guide was going to take him to the monkey temple the next day. (It actually has a name but we came for the monkeys, so who cares?). So, next day we went and it was really fucking cool. Met some really cool monkeys, got tons of photos I’ll try to show the world one day. After that we went to the murkiest most disgusting place to eat I ever seen. I didn’t understand they actually served food until our guide order us some. We thought we where going to die at the spot (they where scraping huge chunks of lard from a table with a butchers knife), but we didn’t want to be rude. Our food came, but our guide didn’t get any. When we asked him what happened to his food he answered that he would never eat there because the place was filthy. Thanks Pancho. We survived.

We live in the Thamel area of Kathmandu, which is the backpacker hotspot. Being that, It is great in many ways, at the same time being a hell hole. People trying to sell you loads of stuff (most of it actually being good stuff though), a million motorbikes, cars and people. The Nepalese are funny, the three best selling arguments so far is “Please buy, it’s expensive” (a little girl trying to sell us a bag), “This one is more money because it has real Gore-Tex (shop owner answering me why one of the three Gore-Tex jackets I was looking on was 7,500 Rs when the other ones was 4,000. They all head “real” Gore-Tex tags) and last but not least, “It’s made in Romania” (Another shop owner trying to sell me another North Fake jacket. Apparently Romania stands for some kind of quality in his world. In mine, it doesn’t.

Today we rented scooters to drive around the Kathmandu valley. This being a near death experience we both signed our wills before leaving. The bikes was 400 rupees a day, being about 40SEK. With petrol it set us back about 80SEK. This money gave us a 8-9hour tour of the area around Kathmandu. We had made great plans of visiting about six different places of interest. We reached none of those. Navigation turned out t be neithers strong side, instead we stumbled upon the worlds biggest Shiva statue (who cares?) and lots of small villages around in the hills. It was spectacular and great in every way until the rain started to pour down, which it did about five times during the day, just about letting me dry up in between. But basically we just laughed our heads of for a straight 8hours, it was a good crack altogether. We even managed to get back to the shop to return the bikes and get my passport back (always feels a bit shifty to leav your passport as a deposit).

Tomorrow we are going to Chitwan national forest to do some trekking in the forest, ride elephants and hopefully do some canoeing. It’s a famous national park that have wild tigers rhinos, boars and all different of cool animals, some of we are hoping to spot. A 1,5h elephant ride costs about 40 SEK, not a lot of things will set you back a lot more than 100SEK here. For example I bought a jacket in a mountain village when I thought I would freeze to death as it rained. Being a Nepalese XL it was a very snug fit, but (even though being branded with a North Face logo) I only paid 70SEK for it…

So far I really like Nepal, and I am having a quite hectic schedule in front of me. Going to Chitwan for tree nights as from tomorrow, than back to Kathmandu to organise my Everest trek, Then I’ll trek to Mount Everest Base Camp for 2-3 weeks. After that I’ll be back in Kathmandu for maybe 2 days, taking of to Pokhara. There I’ll try to do some Paragliding before getting back to Kathmandu where I’ll be before I leave for Sweden april 15. I think I arrive in Sweden the 16. So, we’ll see how the blogging will go (as I said, 7h of electricity a day doesn’t help). But hopefully I’m all right. So take care. See y’all soon.

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