Dhulikhel to Kathmandu 42km
Rode out of Dhulikhel pretty excited about heading into Kathmandu. The road was busy, with trucks belching black smoke, (apparently some of the petrol stations add something like kerosene to the petrol....cheaper), but the road was really good. The way did not seem familiar, even though we had ridden into Kathmandu from Tibet a few years ago. Perhaps the guides had taken up a different way. Did spot the odd marijuana plant growing at the road side, so that hadn't changed. The biggest threat was yet again the buses, pulling out into traffic without looking, and they travel at the same pace as me, so the same ones kept almost knocking me off......
Anyway, 30km doesn't take long, and even with stops to navigate, it wasn't long before I was turning into Thamel. .. .and crying. It felt sooo great to be here, almost like being home....familiar and safe. I needed to go to the Kathmandu Guest House, to get directions to Nick and Belinda Cowie's. They've been over here for three months, working for Intrepid, and have invited me to stay. KGH was easy to find, but getting out of Thamel
was not as easy. I saw a Mexican Restaurant, and was totally distracted, until I'd finished my breakfast burrito. Oh my goodness. Yummy, yummy, yummy.
The Cowies live 8km out of the central city, at Park Estate Hotel. It's fantastic. Gives them a break from Asia, their own space, room for the boys to play, and a secure base. Great to see them all. They're really enjoying their family adventure. Belinda immediately set out on her goal of putting at least 1kg of weight back on my body....and I've got to admit, I'm loving it. Home made bread, with marmite, mashed potatoes, spaghetti and pasta meals, chocolate Easter Eggs, apple juice. Bliss.
We all went for an adventure, to buy a TV, washing machine and fridge for their apartment. This involved getting on a bus down into the city. The bus, a Toyota van, with a very keen 12 year old conductor, keen to get as many people on board as possible. I counted 20, but couldn't really see, as I had a lady sitting on my knees. We went 8km, five of us, for $1. Now that's cheap, even if a bit squashed and smelly.
Over the last couple of days I've managed to get a
lot sorted.....well sort of sorted..... The Pakistan Embassy....no way can I get a Pakistan visa. It has to be done in NZ. But NZ Embassy should have contacted you. Nope, and even then it would be against policy. Cricket talk....... Get NZ Pakistan Embassy to email us, and we will see what we can do...... Thanks Black Caps.
Fiona is booked in for a 10,000km service at Dawn to Dusk. Hotel bookings have been confirmed for when Ju and Pricey arrive in two weeks. Arrangements are being sorted for the First Aid courses we are running for local guides. I'm resting in an environment where I don't have to cope with language, food, traffic, finding hotels. A sanctuary. I'm pretty sure I'm putting some weight on...already. I'm looking forward to catching up with Tessa. I've been able to skype Ju and the family. Everything is awesome.