Je bekijkt de reis...
Reisverslag Flying past Everest, on a Wednesday
15 oktober 2016
Flying past Everest, on a Wednesday
I woke up at 6, got my stuff together and left the hotel. There was a bus going to the airport, taking 2 of the Israelis I’d met earlier and a woman from Singapore who was on the same tour I was in addition to myself. We left Lhasa and all was going well, with plenty time to spare. But then I realized something. I’d left my passport, money and cards at the hotel…
We all quickly went into problem solving mode and figured out that the easiest and fastest way of getting me my passport would be to contact the last Israeli, Hillel, who’d have a later flight, so was still at the hotel. When we couldn’t reach him, the guide called the hotel (who didn’t pick up) and then one of the staff of the other hotel, who went to my hotel to pick up the passport and figure out a way to get it to the airport. While this was happening, Hillel responded and he went to the airport slightly earlier, so I got my passport plenty early to check in and fly to Nepal! Actually, the check in counter opened about 20 minutes after I’d gotten my passport, so there really was no problem… Except the stress of course.
But anyway, I boarded my flight (asking for a window seat on the right side of the plane – you’ll figure out why in a minute). So I sat down in 23L, turning down the request of the Bhutanese guy who wanted to switch. We reached an altitude of 10km, flew for a while above the clouds, and then… Well, you can see it in the pictures. Mount Everest, looking incredible and beautiful, sticking up almost as high as where the plane was flying. I have plenty more pictures on https://goo.gl/photos/VPFwKMAruBJp6sGq9 if you are interested.
After this, a quick descent, and after an hour and 20 minutes, I’d landed in Nepal an hour earlier than I left Tibet. Nepal has the GMT+5.45-time zone, after all (which is still weird, by the way). I got through the border security with minimal effort (I already had my visa, and for some reason was the first one at passport control) so I was at the luggage belt way before the luggage arrival. While I was waiting, literally 5 Nepali’s came up to me to help me find my luggage, and every time I had to tell them I got in on the China Airlines flight, and the luggage hadn’t arrived yet. Amazing service, especially when you’re used to China.
I went out and although the touts for the hotels (and taxis) tried to convince me, I’d arranged for a hotel pickup this time, so I kept looking for my name in the crowd. After I’d gone to the bathroom (mostly in order to get rid of the touts), I came back to see my name – spelled correctly, I might add – on a sign! I got into the car and we drove to the hotel. Now, this was not a normal drive. In Nepal, they drive on the left… Well, mostly. If there’s more room on the right, they use that lane too. And the motorcycles and mopeds use any space available.
Speaking about the motorcycles… WOW! So many of them, I’ve never seen. Good looking ones too. Makes me think about buying one here and just riding it throughout the rest of Asia…
Also, the streets are colorful, busy, and just so completely different from China’s! All that divides these countries is one mountain range, and this divides cultures, races, animals, trees, plants, climates… everything. It’s truly stunning.
Since it was only 12 when I arrived at the hostel, I had plenty of time to check out the town. I got some cash (100 rupees – about 0,85 euro) from the owner of the hostel to get the bus into the Thamel tourist area, where I could get both money and food, and back, and he also explained how to get to the bus, and to wave my hand and ask for Thamel, since any bus that would go to my left hand side would go there. So I left the hostel, immediately took a wrong turn and was too stubborn to head back and try again, so I wandered through the area instead. Eventually I got to the big road he described. Or so I thought. I waved to a bus and when it stopped I asked for Thamel, and he said “no, other side”. So I decided to just walk into town instead. It turned out I was at the wrong street… An hour later, I arrived. It was great! I saw foreigners everywhere, to the point where I didn’t even nod at them anymore like I’d done in China. I changed my Chinese Yuan, had some lunch, went into a store, and when I walked out, there were the Israelis.
I thought it was so incredibly coincidental, but the girl, who’d been there before, said that it really isn’t since the Thamel isn’t that big and every tourist goes in there so eventually you see everyone there. We walked around town, looking at stores and talking, and eventually went to the Chabad House, a place where Jews can go to exchange experiences. Since it was Jom Kippur, I saw a lot of them praying and not eating or drinking while I was there. It was an interesting experience.
I eventually went home and went to sleep. In the middle of the night, the lights were turned on and some people came in…
The next day I spent with these Americans. They’d traveled most of South East Asia already, so I got some useful tips from them. We ate breakfast at 11, then lunch at 2, then the best pita and hummus I’ve ever had at 4, then some more food at 6. We ate and ate some more, and then finally went back to the hostel.
The next few days were largely about getting a massage (4 hands, one hour, 22 euro), eating, sleeping, and traveling the bus. That’s actually an interesting experience here… You wave your hand, yell at the guy handling the money where you want to go, he says yes or no (usually yes), you get in and sit or stand with 12 other people in an 8 person minivan (or with 25 people in a 12 person minivan), and the guy handling the money tells you when to get out, charges you 15 rupee – 12 cents – and you’re on your way. I had fun.
Oh, and I’ve decided. Tomorrow I’m going rafting!
Foto's bij verslag (7)
19 oktober 2016 15:35 | Door: Pap
Spannend allemaal, mooie foto`s.
Wel gek dat je daar een paspoort en geld nodig hebt :-)
De moraal van dit verhaal: wie zijn hoofd niet gebruikt moet zijn voeten gebruiken :-)