After merely setting foot on the continent in Istanbul, I am now firmly in Asia. On Kathmandu airport I got a visa on arrival and after collecting my baggage in the chaotic department hall, I found a ramshackle taxi that brought me to Thamel.
In the morning I went out to find some breakfast and settled for an ‘American breakfast’, which, frankly, would leave a lot Americans puzzled.
In the afternoon I got my trekking permits arranged. The whole process went remarkably painless and within twenty minutes I got both my TIMS card and the Annapurna permit.
My hotel has an intermittent electricity supply, but the management has posted a schedule in the lobby:
The schedule is important when you want to charge your devices or if you want to know when the 18 year old hippies down the hall will stop listening to Jefferson Airplane..
In preparation of the trekking I was planning to do, I set out to buy a small backpack of some 40 liters. At first I was charmed of a Chinese made North Face copy that had the text Keep wlaking (sic) stitched on it. Eventually I opted for a Nepali made Deuter copy where I broke off a zipper of one of its compartments. As for the quality, I had no illusions that the other models would be better and it gave me an edge in my bargaining position.
In Kathmandu I did little sightseeing as I’ve been there before and wasn’t that keen on spending longer in this city than necessary. These days, tourists are supposed to pay a whopping 1000 rupees to visit the Durbar Square, but it’s easy to walk around and follow some back alleys to get on the square.
Close to Durbar Square is the Danteshwari Devi Shrine (see photo above), which means: The shrine of the goddess who alleviates toothache. People nailed coins to a block of wood in the hope that the goddess might help sooth their pain. In the immediate vicinity of the shrine there are several practices of dentists for those whose faith is feeble…