Luxury before the hard trek begins!

Kathmandu is so dirty, busy and noisy in comparison to the lovely quiet villages in chitwan. The driving is just mad, everyone chancing their life by the looks of it! Those who dither lose!
My hotel however is a luxury in the middle of this madness. Comfy beds, lovely showers, tv, tea making facilities, porters carrying luggage, swimming pool, the list is endless. I have an Aussie roomy, nice girl who’s been travelling for 2 months already. However due to this her bag stinks out the room, sweaty feet smell, pretty rank not good! Although we’ll all be like that shortly, lol! My first hot shower in two weeks was a delight! Though the water colour after I had washed off the dirt was not.
The Trekkers all met up in the afternoon. 13 of us. 2 Brits, an ex pat now a kiwi, a Swiss, a Mexican, a kiwi and 8 Aussies. No potential dating prospects unfortunately although most of the men nice and tall.
The trip is becoming more and more expensive. We need to pay for all food on trek which I knew but it’s about £250. Water is another £25. Tips for porters about £45. And I’ve already paid £1500 just for the trip, which obviously includes his awesome hotel though.
The evening takes us to a local restaurant and we sit on the floor, more dal baht but other local dishes too. Dancing to entertain us. Rice wine which tastes like stroh if you’ve ever tried it.
Chatting to various Trekkers and some interesting stories. An Aussie teacher who also quit and does supply and he’s also pe. Spooky. An Aussie man who’s done the trip with his daughter before and has now brought his son to do it. The ex pat who has done Kilimanjaro. All lovely people.
Earlyish night but so nice to have a comfy bed and be clean. No mosquito net either. Yay.
My body clock must wake itself up after such early mornings at the orphanage as I’m awake at 7, but it’s been a good sleep. Breakfast I started jumping with joy literally. Cereal, pancakes, pastries, milk, tea. In heaven. It may sound sad but when you’ve had rice for brekkie for 2 weeks it’s a great joy to have a normal breakfast.
The day is a sightseeing day. Firstly a Hindu temple and watching the cremations of lots of people. Amazing scenes, they are burnt within 24 hours. All family help prepare the body, the oldest son or husband light the body and it burns until gone in 4-5 hours when it’s then swept into a river. The smell is a tad rancid but an interesting insight to their traditions of death. We see some Hindus painted and have photos taken, we can’t go in the temple as we aren’t Hindus.
Then we head to the Buddhist temple. We can go in this one. Fascinating. The prayer flags I saw at orphanage and on safari are flying here. We have to walk clockwise for good luck, we have to turn wheels of prayers clockwise. In a temple we can take photos of the statues and pictures. There are monks praying.
We see musical healing bowls. I volunteer to try it out so I have a bowl upside down on my head whilst it’s hit. Quite relaxing. Although the healing apparently takes a week of two. Bit rubbish if you’re trying to shake a headache!
We watch artists at work on intricate work, I buy a student one as master paintings are £150 and I can’t justify that. I buy some touristy t shirts for my collection, well actually to wear on the trek seeing as I’ve donated all my toos to the orphans. There’s a weird woman feeding dogs but one at a time rather than a few so they are fighting. I later hear a dog attacked a child too. The poor dogs are all manky and unkempt.
Overall a truly fascinating place. I can see how people turn to Buddhism as there are some interesting views and traditions.
A few of us girls then go shopping and have lunch on a roof top terrace. The food takes an hour to arrive so my planned swim won’t happen, but hey I can swim in many place but can’t eat on a roof top in Kathmandu again!
I buy a new water pouch, my cheap version from amazon leaks so I go back to the trusted camelback. Can’t have a leaky bag on long trek. I also get new waterproof pants got a whole £9. Purple too so I’ll be dressed all in purple if it rains. My mum said like Tinky Winky from teletubbies, I even have a red bag!
I love the randomness of the roads. You’ll be walking or in a coach and suddenly some cows will be strolling in the road. We passed a chicken, goat and dog all mooching outside one shop. A random huge hole that had been dug and left with just a sign each end in the middle of the road. Telephone lines all hanging and tied around posts looking all messed up but I’m sure organised.
When we get back we have a meeting and get our luggage bags. You’d think it was easy to pack just 10 kg but no first try 10.5 and day sack 6.2 (needs to be 5). After about an hour I’m sorted, no iPad for me as can’t fit it in. The choice was books or iPad so books win!
Seeing various people weighing their bags and sighing was funny. Everyone has too much and is carrying or wearing stuff. I’m travelling in extra trousers, waterproof jacket, wooly hat and pockets filled with gadgets!
I skype my mum. She’s not quite got the hang yet. I had a picture but I didn’t see her? But last chance to chat before I leave. Not paying for internet, it’s not important.
Most of the group have dinner outside on the veranda, (yes so posh), and it’s a lovely chilled evening. However we have all turned into wifi freaks as all check phones at some point as it’s free in communal areas. Ex pat tells us she was hammered at last nights meeting. It makes sense now as she did ask questions he’d already answered! But well hidden otherwise.
So after putting valuables in safety deposit box. Another lovely shower and maybe last shave of legs for 2 weeks, (i’ll end up looking like a hairy German from those summer holidays!) it’s time for shut eye. 6am wake up and the real adventure begins. Off to Everest, 16 days of beautiful scenery, hard work, probably tears and hopefully laughter!!

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