After a month of hitting the giant reset button in Rishikesh, it was time to move on. Once again we packed our backpaks and took the early morning train from Haridwar to Delhi, from where we flew to Kathmandu. We got our 30 day visa on arrival and headed for the taxi stand, where the first person we meet is a retired Nepalese UN soldier who served in Bosnia. A bit of an odd coincidence, at least this guy gave us a fair(ish) price in to the city.
We stayed at probably the shittiest hotel on our journey so far – The Trekkers Inn (the name should really have told us all), where I woke up in the middle of the night with another Delhi belly. See, being on the road for a while you start craving certain foods, which makes you slightly delusional and you start thinking that something like Fish & Chips is perfectly normal to order in India. And that my friends, is how you end up with the shits for two weeks straight. Speaking of shits, the first morning at breakfast I got shat on by a bird. The shit was so huge and the sound of it hitting my shoulder so loud that the whole restaurant turned around to see what just happened… so that was great.
One thing we noticed fairly quickly is how incredibly hospitable the Nepalese are, they seem a lot more liberated than the Indians and where some Indians choose to simply stare at you out of curiosity, the Nepalese are a bit more inclined to have a chat instead. Kathmandu is nice, but really dusty so we only stayed a day then moved on to Pokhara from where most people start their treks. Though the journey is only 210km it seemed to take forever, due to landslides, road building and the bus stopping frequently to take breaks.
Still after a while we arrived in Pokhara and our lovely guest house – The Global Inn. The next day we woke up and it was my BIRTHDAY! I always imagined having a huge party with all my friends and family for my 30th birthday, never thought I’d be on the road and definitely not in Nepal. It was actually the perfect place to celebrate and as Arlie mentioned, next year I’ll probably look back and wish I was where I am now. Though I still had food poisoning and technically should not have been drinking or eating anything other than boiled to death veggies, it still turned into a great day, got loads of nice pressies and spent the day shopping and having lunch at one of the nicer spots in town. Then in the after afternoon Mat took me for a boat ride on Fewa Lake, where we popped the bottle of bubbles we’d bought in Delhi Airport. Bubbles yay!
With my birthday over and done with, it was time to start planning The Trek. We quickly decided that we’d go somewhere in the Annapurna region and after researching online and talking to loads of people who had done it, we decided it should be up to the Annapurna Base Camp. We also decided to make The Trek without a guide or porter. The owner of our hotel confirmed we’d be fine going on our own and helped us create a route and obtain the necessary permits, two days later we were on the road.
More about The Trek coming shortly in a separate post.