The flight from Hong Kong to Nepal was seriously painful. Genius over here (yes, that’s me!) thought it was only going to be a quick two-hour flight. I should have looked it up before because when I found out it was a four and a half hour flight with a stop in Bangladesh, I almost cried. Did I mention that I was tired? I was so tired in fact that I fell asleep with a full cup of water in hand after take off. I can only assume that I was mid sip or something, and just fell asleep. Brian said he was pretty wowed by my new-found talent of balancing a full cup of water and sleeping until I jerked and threw the whole cup on him.
The only good thing about this packed, thankless, freezing, loud flight was…at least I can say that I’ve been to Bangladesh now!
When we landed at the Kathmandu International Airport, it was 10:30 pm and I was ready to climb into bed. We had arranged transportation through the hotel and were supposed to meet them outside. A BED WAS AROUND THE CORNER! We breezed through customs while staring at the other poor fools waiting in a long line because we had taken care of our visa’s before departing LA. Yeah, that would be my future husband’s doing. I could almost feel the cozy warm bed at this point.
When we got outside the airport doors, I was immediately hit with the energy of Kathmandu and it was chaotic. There were people hustling everywhere. Signs for various hotels were waved in front of my face at a frenetic pace. A stray dog scratching himself by my feet. It was quite a scene.
We finally found the sign for our hotel and were led to a large van. There was a young couple, roughly in their mid 30’s, waiting by the van. It was colder than I thought it would be. The hotel employee announced we’d be waiting on a few other guests and to stay put. We introduced ourselves to the young couple. Enter, Sue and Adrian from Australia, Melbourne to be exact, and they had been traveling the world for the last six months. Nepal was the last stop on their tour and they would be there for 52 days. Thirty of them they would spend separated while Sue was at a buddhist retreat and Adrian was trekking through the Himalayas. Coolest couple ever. I immediately loved them and envied them.
The four of us waited in the cold for an hour chatting as the parking lot started to empty out. Where were these other people we were waiting for?! What was the point of getting our visa’s early if it just meant waiting in the cold?! Finally, after an hour and a half, our driver came back and apologized saying the others never came.
So we piled into the van and took off into the night.
This was my first taste of driving in Nepal and it woke my ass right up.
Why are we going so fast?! Why aren’t we driving in a lane?!? Are the lanes here?? There’s so much honking and swerving and dust and fumes and holy shit, was that a yak we almost hit?!
I’m still not sure how we made it to the hotel alive because I closed my eyes after the yak situation and before I heard someone scream monkey!
When we finally made it to the room, it was 1 am and I wasn’t sure if I was ready for a stiff drink or a sedative.
I climbed into bed clutching a hot water bladder for warmth and wondered…what the hell is tomorrow going to bring?
I was terrified and thrilled. Overwhelmed and excited.