Namaste Kathmandu, reminiscing, krypton factor toilet moves and greeting my fat dog!!

So I’m completely alone in Kathmandu for the first time. No roomy to chat to or meet with! I wander around for my last afternoon, off shopping to get the last few items. I buy a blue and purple yak rug for my campervan, I get a cd of the monks chanting to music that will remind me of Nepal and then stop for lunch on a roof top restaurant just so I can watch the hustle and bustle below. Now as I have said it’s not my favourite place due to the noise etc but it is unique, and it has been great to experience it. Even the wiring of tv and electricity cables is a mele of madness, hanging in hug bundles, no seemingly order to them but all works well enough! I enjoy my last afternoon and head back to the hotel to pack and chill for the evening.
Wake up at 6am nothing new there! Try and dose then bloody realise I haven’t checked in on line!!! Damn it. Go to website and no window seats for long plane ride left, do get extra leg room though so bonus. Wide awake now so go down for brekkie. Try the hotel special. Not that impressive to be honest! Sausages cut like cheese string advert, fried potatoes a bit raw, nice eggs though! Realise this morning after just five weeks that milk tea is actually a cup or pot of hot milk with a tea bag in. I’d thought it was so weak due to milk going in first. What a plonker!! Lucky I don’t mind milky tea. Nothing beats the chai tea from the orphanage though. There’s a stray cat wandering around so I feed it the delightful sausage, happy catty! Feeling a bit lethargic and end up sleeping for two hours. Body must be shutting down after hectic five weeks. So decide no monkey temple which is what I had planned to do today, but one last stroll through the noisy, dusty, narrow streets of kathmandus thamel region. I will find my way there and back today without a rickshaw!
Buy a couple of tops, trying to be more girlie. Well I do need to find a bloody man!! Now I know the ex hubby has a new girlie I’m kind of jealous I haven’t. Not that when I saw the picture of them as a couple it bothered me, in fact surprisingly quite pleased and intrigued!
Whilst wandering the narrow streets I pass some men playing a game on the steps of a shop, chalked markings and some pebbles. The simple life, love it.
So after wandering the streets, in the non prostitute way, a few wrong turns it’s time to head back to hotel. I only bloody manage it! After 4 days of walking getting lost I now know my way around, stupidly proud of myself!! Did get begged for money from a local boy mind, he’s chatting to me saying hello, I ask why aren’t you at school he tells me it’s Mother’s Day here. Well after a bit more chitter chatter he then gets onto his task of saying he needs money, he can’t eat. To be honest didn’t look dirty enough to be that hard up but I gave him my bottle of water and 5 rupees which is nothing but better than nothing! Little scally.
Sit in the courtyard chilling, eating my last meal and it had to be momos just because, and finish another book, the one roomy started on the trek and got bored!! Eat, pray, love. I’ve seen the movie so knew what to expect, is a slow read though. I sit and reminisce the last five and a half weeks, what an awesome time I have had. And although I am ready to go home I would not change the travelling for all the money in the world, an absolutely amazing time that I will never forget. So after the memories it’s time to pack.
I managed to get a late check out, they call it half a day but it’s actually a whole 3 1/2 hours for the brain price of half a day! Still worth it though to relax in the room.
Hotels website very misleading. Says complimentary airport transfers but when I asked for my free taxi ride to the airport they say it means pick up, they never drop off. I do argue and say I’ve stayed here twice and neither time did I get a hotel pick up, but it doesn’t work so lucky I’d saved enough cash for emergencies!
I end up sharing a cab with German man so it is cheaper at least! Half way there though he realises he left his laptop back at hotel. In no rush so we head back. I quite like the traffic madness. There are no traffic lights just police men with their white gloves at major junctions. And I’m sure there’s more bikes than cars on the roads? Just a mele of noise.
German man starts to talk more on second effort at airport. He hates Kathmandu, too aggressive and dirty. He told me that money is smuggled out of the capital to Las Vegas, Europe, anywhere they can. Smuggled on flights cargo holds and then the rich people head out and spend it on casinos or lavish trips, instead of helping their home city and pumping cash back into the country! Interesting to hear. He learnt this from a friend in the mountains he’s stayed with for three weeks.
When we arrive at airport he pays most of the fare seeing as we did it twice! A man with a trolley tries to help German man but he shoos him away after some effort and wheels the trolley himself! He has to stay outside to smoke so I say farewell and head inside. It’s fairly small and simple enough check in, although in front of me is a family who clearly have too much luggage, so they no have to unpack, pack, move items around and it takes forever so I change lines. Then there’s a woman who has no print out of her boarding or booking so they have to search by name and that takes forever so I move again! Finally a quick queue. Small and simple airport. One shop, I get a coke and snack (should of stocked up in Kathmandu really, much cheaper!) was going to sit on internet but no wifi working so just read, chill, and wait. Nearly find myself using a squat toilet for one last time but fortunately if you checked the cubicles there was actually a choice of western too, how novel! Flights half hour late but otherwise all fine. I have the biggest grin on my face, so looking forward to going home. Have had an epic time but am tired and in need of some home comforts!!
Have a window seat on first flight, small plane, get dinner, watch the rest of the movie the Queen, the Mary poppins movie and then it’s time to change planes. Now the check in for plane two was bloody ridiculous! Had to queue three times (if you bothered to queue rather than wait that is) for probably half hour before finally being let on the plane. One staff member checking tickets for 400 people, stupid!! Have a lovely leg room seat, just harder to sleep without window to lean against. Get about three hours sleep, watch another movie, chat to Aussies next to me which was nice, they are touring the UK. So I land at Heathrow, hooray. Baggage claim all good, there is a tube strike today so it will be a slow journey across London. I’ve picked a route I think will work though. I get a cuppa and then wait for limited Heathrow express. Lots of people trying to get across the capital, fortunately one kiwi girl has brought her tube map so we can all check our routes. It’s easy to start with, get to terminal four then get on jubilee line but when I have to get off at hammersmith it becomes hard. I wait 15 mins for a tube and then it’s packed when it arrives. I can’t squeeze on with my huge suitcase! Not waiting another 20 minutes to not get on the train again, getting a bit annoyed now!! So I ask train man for help and he says circle line is working so try that. I head over to the other station and lo and behold I get on within ten minutes, straight around to Liverpool street, doesn’t go to tower hill which I wanted but I can at least get home. I need the toilet and at Liverpool street you have to pay. It’s ok, luxury comes at a cost! Not easy as a single traveller as I have my suitcase and backpack to squeeze into a cubicle. It’s like a krypton factor task! So I head for the train, it’s a more expensive route from Liverpool street but my parents will pick me up at station near them. That was less stressy than I’d thought and quicker!
As I arrive at the platform I see my mum in the car park and as I get off the train I see my dad and dog! Yay, however my dog is sooooo fat, can’t believe it, he’s just got a square body. So pleased to see him and parents though. Neither say I look skinny or tanned, blow rude! I’m sure I am both??
So back in sunny England. After some food, a cuppa and a chat I head home to a clean house thanks to the lodger, my cats pleased to see me and some home comforts. I still can’t believe how fat my dog bloody well is, I’m embarrassed! So straight out for a long walk this afternoon, get him moving again. Everyone I meet on the walk is in shock at the state of him!! Chilled out evening, get washing on, watch crap tv which I haven’t missed to be honest. One day off tomorrow then work hopefully Friday to start earning some money again, home sweet home though!

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31 hour commute cusco to essex

First challenge, was my suitcase within baggage allowance! Yes, bang on. Although that meant I did indeed leave nearly 40kg of stuff for the orphans! The problem with booking connecting flights through an agency is timings don’t always match up! So after flight one I had 8 hours at an airport to kill. Was planning on checking baggage in them sightseeing in Lima. You walk out of arrivals to a gaggle of Peruvians……
Taxi taxi Madame! I is official, look, see!!! Gggrrrrrr!! Anyway over to check in, noooooo inertia not open for 4 hours! Can’t cart luggage into Lima so airport for the day it is! Off for some lunch but more harassment trying to sit in a cafe, every man and his friend try to convince you what you should be doing! Well I sit down and start people watching to amuse myself!
There’s a lady stuck on carpet mat they have at escalators, heavy box falling off noone helps, just walk around her, then there’s a woman pushing trolley in platforms and leopard print leggings….really! Backpackers with everything but the kitchen sink hanging from rucksack, looking rather unclean from the travelling. Newbies being caught out by taxi harassers en route out of airport. Going to be costly. Business class do have a snobbishness walk about them, no queuing and knowing they’ll have a bed! Lucky them!
Peruvian pair of ladies, one with the biggest muffin top her jeans are buckling under the weight and her mate in bright pink leggings and tight top, see through too. No idea where they’re going, walk last four times!
Sat between a gay British man and an Adolph hitler look a like, now that’s a mix!! A British man asks if we’re waiting for Madrid flight then his Peruvian wife turns up, huge age gap!! Internet wife maybe? The man then asks if there’s many people in the queue, there is no queue it’s not bloody open! Then as soon as a few bodies appear at check in area about 15 go and queue. The flights in 4 hours what is the bloody rush!!!
Random ‘cool dudes’ walking past in sunglasses, it’s not sunny outside let alone inside sados!
Gay man trotted off to business class, didn’t gauge that!! After 4 1/2 hours of waiting check in opened yay! Which also meant I could go for a wee. Daren’t leave my luggage before. After heading through passport control I looked for the phone shop to return hired phone. Nowhere. Start panicking. I have this bloody phone what do I do. No information desk so finally find an English speaking security guy who sorts it. They pick it up from my gate. Phew! Loving the toilets with seats, toilet roll and a flush. Luxury!!
See the odd couple again at passport control, he’s called into immigration office.
I’m looking forward to my movie time on the plane. As I get on I’m right at the back, next to a man. He then asks to move. Wow, I offended quickly! The planes half empty so he heads in a free row. Fair enough. Just settled in and the disappointment hits. No tv on chair in front, no movies to choose from. Gutted! Shitty airbus! Then work out why man moved, he can sleep on the row of 4 chairs and get comfy. Missed a trick there! But I have 2 seats to myself. Have a fat Peruvian child behind me, can tell I’m tired as I’m ready to shout at the annoying child for her constant banging the chair. Weird couple get on plane so clearly immigration freed him!
Load of crappy documentaries on generic tv! So crap. Food good though, metal cutlery! Although the dried milk in the tea looks all lumpy, interesting!
Flight pretty good in the end, got some sleep.
Second connecting flight was a half hour walk. So time passed quickly. Again the plane wasn’t full so space next to me, although a very arrogant looking Spanish woman with her guggi bag plonks it down in the spare seat, cheeky cow. I fall asleep and wake up to find her spread out even more, using the table as well.
Weird couple on this plane too, just keep seeing them. It’s just an odd set up I can’t but look at them!
My fear of flying I had for a few years seems to be cured after about 13 flights this year, however the landing at London was a bit hairy, must be the fog!
Waiting at baggage claim I pop to the loo, not only are they posh looking and clean but Christmas songs playing. Made me smile! ‘Driving home for Christmas yeah’. Very apt!
I now have the joy of travelling across the capital to get picked up. Love the tube. Forgot it was rush hour! Firstly there’s people having an argument down one end, then a drunk rasta man mumbling. I hop off at hammersmith to change tubes, didn’t realise you have to trek across the busy road in the rain! Mistake! Head back on tube. Drunks at tower hill, and that’s the older generation! Christmas jumpers around. Great fun. An hour and a half later I get to my pick up and there’s my mum and pooch greeting me, what an excellent greeting!!
Shame the roads were an issue and it takes nearly 2 hours to do a 30 min drive. Some of that’s due yo my mums snail like driving but most due to the national car park!
31 hours later I’m home!!

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The fun thing about this volunteering is that you have a Social circle every night if you want. Unlike Australia when I stayed in hostels and not everyone speaks to each other, here you are thrown together and therefore can go out or stay in whatever is going on. And unlike my life where my social circles are dog walkers and sports friends who have young families.
So returning from the inca trail I decided I’d like a change of scenery, so we headed into town. Aussie sister hadn’t seen much of cusco so I text her and invited her too. Most volunteers are back at orphanages so all came out. Met new girls, frizzy and flirty both from London.
As there’s no internet due to a local fault at girls orphanage posh Essex girl and I headed to a coffee outlet to get free wifi and check messages etc. I had a pisco sour now I like them! Then we headed to a tourist pub to meet the other volunteers only expecting to stay for one. Some random English nutters started talking to me. One was a Phil Mitchell look a like and the other a cross between some mothers do have em and Rodney trotter! Very funny blokes so had a laugh, both from London. Frizzy then popped into conversation and was from same area as one of the funnies, small world. Aussies sister and posh Essex girl had a good chat, started talking baking careers so felt I’d leave them to it! Really nice atmosphere so stayed longer. Posh Essex girl was on large beers and was repeating the same stories over and over. Alcohol affecting her! Aussie sister knackered by 11.30 so headed home. Great to see her again though. I hope we keep in contact as have thoroughly enjoyed meeting her and her sister. Amazing people you meet here! And bless her she text on way home to say she thinks I’m an inspiration. How lovely! Hope to visit her new bistro next time I’m in Oz!
Essex akon had the flirtatious attention from flirty. Very obvious and amusing to watch. Playing darts but so bad that it took half hour for one to get the double to finish on. Had started to fall asleep watching! Found out lazy posh girl and model boy had a bit of a romance over the last few weeks. Bless the youngsters! Grandad knackered from
His week of travelling so headed home early. The rest of us went on to shark territory of the inca team. Frizzy asked me what it was like, I thought she meant the trek so off I went chatting before she went no I mean the club. Oops. Lol
Headed through the maze of touts offering free drink from every bar. Free drinks offered for our bar so in we go, rum and coke delightful! Good music though. English nutters followed us so more in group. Posh Essex girl and lazy posh girl having great chat and then head off to dance. Frizzy, ginger and Essex akon also head to dance so left alone again bit just head off to dance! Loving the sharks around the edge again! None approach is this time mind. Think the presence of men in our group puts them off. Posh Essex girl looking drunker by the minute. Kind of swaying to music with eyes shutting. You can tell when she’s had a few drinks as she’s more confident on the dance floor. Time for another drink, feeling too sober! There’s some girls helping behind the bar. Lazy posh girl wants to have a go so we start chatting to bar men. They ask for a tip either money or affection. I head in for a kiss and he shuns me saying no her, pointing at lazy posh girl. How rude, lol! So then it begins she gets to head behind the bar and serve us all. Free mohito thank you! She does very well and looks like she’s enjoying the male bartenders attention. Oh to be young. Free shots from the bottle for herself, not bad. Leave her to it for a bit and go to dance. Suddenly posh Essex girl heads off to bathroom. Upon return looks awful, think she’s been sick? Buy her a water but she’s swaying! She says it’s ok I’ll stay and finish water, but she just looks crap so I say let’s finish outside! Looks like I’m mum so head off to get taxi. Half way home she says I need window open but they are all locked shut. Driver starts to unlock but to late sick on her scarf. It’s a fab sick bag though! Taxi stops and I think he’s going to chuck us out so I get out, posh Essex girl lies on seat and manages to project sick out the taxi. Very impressive and hilarious to see. Taxi allows us to carry on for a whole 20p extra. Get back to orphanage and send her to clean teeth and drink water. She’s so funny!! Nice being soberish and laughing at situation. I’m not bothered by it at all, we all have nights like that!
2.30am not too late and had fun!
Next morning tired but ok. Posh Essex girl fine but embarrassed. Have to be up by 9.30 as boss man coming to take me to police station to report my thefts. Look really touristy as put on my Xmas jumper today as it’s the festive season! After 2 police stations we have the rudest man looking at me like a piece of dirt. 3 officers take my statement and boss man is not allowed in. He has a word with rude one as he knows his boss! Rude one not so rude all of a sudden. Takes 2 hours! And I have to leave my finger print on my statement. Who’s the criminal!! Have to go see a fiscal man Tuesday for follow up? No idea what that means? Very confusing! Glad boss man came. He’s so funny. He took a picture of rude man to show the boss police friend!! Ha ha.
When we catch up with other volunteers after long police morning lazy posh girl says the bar thing sounded fun but actually she was just harassed for 4 hours! They’re all wel jel they didn’t bring their Xmas jumpers! Im such a fashion guru…not!
I’m off to titikaka so won’t be out 2 nights on the bounce. The youngsters are planning it though! Posh Essex girl and I walk back to girls from boys, I have to remember way from when I did it with polish nutter. Pressure! Due to the bag slashing etc I am now travelling like a tourist with money belt and bag on chest. Look like a complete weirdo! Safe though! And I remember it, yay!

Social circles and miserable coppers!

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