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The arrival in the much calmer than normal Kathmandu

05/11/2021

Arriving to Dubai and getting to our connecting flight was as easy as difficult was the check-in (so... very). The airport is well signposted, plus there are people screaming at you were to go, so impossible to get lost. There were water fountains to refill our bottles, too. We had a Happy meal (mine had burger, banana and orange juice, Alex kept the fries instead of the fruit) and a coffee in Mc donalds as breakfast (the coffee and the Happy meal were the same price, lol!), and just checked the duty frees and lounged waiting for the flight. The plane was Ryanair size and quality. No screen, very very small. And full to the tops. The Nepalese guy that had the window seat left it to us, and when the time came to see the Himalayas and Alex started taking pictures, he asked for one, too. The food in that plane was the same as in the one before. We arrived, visa took long but exactly as expected. First PCR, then kiosk to fill Form, then pay, then go. The guy stamped it first and checked the things later. Alex then helped a reaaaaaally old German lady to go to the baggage claim, where someone helped her too and then we went away. We got some money, a Sim card, a tourist police gave us some map, and we got a prepaid taxi. He was very nice and took us to the hotel, and told us it was the festival of lights (everything had lights on!). We checked in in our place, the Everland Hotel, and went out to have some dinner and ended in the place in top of the Yakety Yak Hostel.

The Himalayas from the plane
A street in Kathmandu decorated with lights

06/11/2021

Well. The trip kept going according to plan... Not. We got up, showered and after visiting the Garden of Dreams, just next to our place, went to try to find something for breakfast. We found out everything was closed because of the festival... A guy came to us, started talking to us and taking us to some temples and explaining stuff... Even paying for us in a temple. And at the end he asked us to buy some food for him and took us to a shop and wanted us to pay 4500 rupees for him. Scam as fuck. We say that was too much but ended up giving 2k... He had actually really worked for it. 

Then, we walked to the Nepal Tourism Board (after a stop to see the  to get the permits and... Closed. Funny, because they say they open weekends and national holidays, too. Ooook. We walked to Thamel and found the Freak Street Cafe opened, but wasn't serving food (because, again, festival) so two shakes, a muffin and a cheesecake made the trick. We checked the Dunbar square, a guy tried to be our guide,... And we thought about asking in the NTB again if we can get the permits in Besisahar, but he said no. Then we searched for a tour operator to ask again and about if there are buses going to Besisahar in the afternoon... But again, no. We went to the Yakety Yak and asked there. The guy was the most helpful one, but still no info.

We went shortly to our room to get some water and Alex found online there should be microbuses to Besisahar in the early afternoon, so we tought we'll try that... We took a taxi to the "Monkey temple", Swayambhunath Stupa, but before going up we walked around to see if we found food and got in a place where they made us suuuuper nice vegan cheap momos. Then we went to the temple, which was full to the tops and walked back to Thamel. We got a smoothie, juice and coffee, and Alex tried -but didn't buy- a down jacket. We went extra soon to try to have dinner. A street dog fell in love with me and took us ages to make him not follow me inside a restaurant, The Little Buddha. They told us food would take a bit long. After two hours (2. TWO. Literally two hours) we paid our beer and water (that was not sealed, btw) and went away. We got a burger and a wrap in a street stand, and would have gone another one going to the room but was very full... But Alex went back to get us 2 burgers more. Lol.

The Garden of Dreams
On our way to the NTB
The Dunbar square... still in construction after the 2015 earthquake
A monkey in the Swayambhunath Stupa
Published: 17 January 2022, by susana

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In the after still during Covid times, we decided to go to the usually overcrowded Annapurna Circuit to do our first multi day trekking on our own!

Entry 2 out of the 5 from this trip