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January 13 – Mike in Nepal

Photo and Article by Contributing Author:  Michael RestivoMike in Nepal  1/13/2010

spice market

Namaste from Kathmandu!!! I’m finally here. After a marathon flight across half the world, I’m exausted but I’m happy. Let’s start with the plane. Singapore Airlines was AMAZING, I had all the on demand movies I could watch, Ben and Jerrys ice cream (cookie dough  – woohoo!) and an awesome all around flight. We got into cold and rainy Tokyo but only spent an hour there before another 8 hours to Singapore. We got there around 2 in the morning, the airport was absolutely amazing. Free foot massages, butterfly and meditation garden, and all around chill place. I’ve tried to sleep pretty much on and off but I’m just dead tired right now.

I got into Kathmandu around noon. The airport was nothing less than chaotic!!! Had to fill out a visa with a guard literally screaming at me because I didn’t have an extra picture to attach to it (I ended up ripping it off my passport copy) and then having to navigate through the broken English of customs. Got my luggage (thank god it arrived) and headed outside to meet my ride. Walked outside and was mobbed by no less than 20 taxi drivers at once all thinking they knew where I was headed. I had to break off my taxi entourage and was just lucky to find my driver. Kathmandu is insanely jammed, dirty, and the signs of the times are everywhere. You can buy just about everything on the street. Traffic laws apparently don’t exist here. My driver was going left, right, up, down…everywhere. My hotel is located in Thamel, the touristy party of the city. Here in Thamel you can find a restaurant for basically every taste, and everything is extemely cheap. My hotel room is spartan at best, just a bed and a desk. I’ve met up with two Aussies and a New Zealander and we all went out to lunch together. Had a great pizza at a really nice place, paid a total of 3 dollars and now we’re heading back to the hotel to meet up with the rest of the group. Apparently we’re 18 people in all. Tomorrow we get a proper tour of the city and everyone will be meeting up. I’ll post an update in a couple of days! Take care everyone!!!

Namaste,
Mike

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