I didn’t get to sleep until late as my body clock is still adjusting. I did make use of my awake time by reading and by throwing away things from my backpack that I really didn’t need, such as flip flops (I’ll buy more when required), an underwater camera and some packaging.
I got up at 07:30 then washed and packed. The taxi van dashed my across Delhi, of which I have seen enough, although I may return yet for a connection to Goa.
At the airport I speak to many people in the process of trying to find the ticket office. There are many people being friendly and helpful and I feel bad ignoring some of them, but there can be risks dawdling, and I have things to do.
In the ticket office I’m told to return after 10:00 (it’s 08:30 now) and the wicket will costs about Rs7,000 (£85) which is more than the online price, but still great value. I ask about a lounge where I can wait and I’m pointed in the right direction. It costs me Rs30 to enter which surprises me, but it’s reasonably nice inside and I’m later glad it costs to enter, as it’s tout and hassle free.
At 10:00 I return to the ticket office, loosing a overly helpful chap once inside the office. I buy the ticket and head upstairs. I check in and get through security. There are almost no facilities once through security, but I manage to buy a orange drink and a packet of crisps for breakfast.
The flight is late taking off, but the views are amazing. I nap a little, but am awake as we approach and enter Kathmandu.
Immigration, visas and customs are straight forward. I pre-pay for a cab. The guys are trying to sell me their hotel. I resist at first, but their brochure actually looks good. I am pretty resilient and see both the new and old rooms of the hotel. I settle for the cheaper older room, which is more than enough. I later check the guide book and find the hotel is well recommended. The owner seems to take over proceedings and asks me all about what tours I will be doing. I’m polite but make it clear I’m not buying anything, but If I need help I’ll ask. He seems quite deflated, but I’ve been treated well and finish my tea before going upstairs for my first shower since London.
I settle in, grab by compass and head into the streets of the backpacker area. I walk up and down the main roads, but don’t stray too far as I don’t have a map. I fend off a few touts. There are a lot of torts on offer, and a lot of trekking gear here.
Nepal is more friendly, chilled and cooler than Delhi. I’m glad I took my jumper with me. I stop at the New Orleans cafe I had heard about. It’s a pretty nice place, so I order cafe latte and a piece of chocolate cake.
I head back to the hotel, which is struggling with its mandatory power-out.