Day 2 Kathmandu
My hotel room is quite nice as you would expect for $25 a night (I decided I would splash out the first couple of days until I have my plans sorted). I have a double bed but it was rather hard and I can say I have certainly had better nights sleep, mainly because they actually involved some amount of shut eye. I got up at 11.00 (05.15 GMT) still very jet lagged and had a rather pleasant brunch consisting of chapattis and dal (a traditional Nepali fare). After eating I went into the hubbub and searched to find the best money exchange in order to save money, especially after yesterday’s misfortunes I wanted to save every penny/rupee I could.
Later on in the day after some exploring I had a meeting with Ganga’s travel agent about the mountain I wanted to climb, Mera Peak which stands at 6,476 metres (21,247 ft) and is one of the tallest ‘trekking peaks’ in Nepal. I basically had to start from square one all over again explaining what I wanted to accomplish during the expedition which I’ll admit was a bit of a ball ache and a test of my patience. The initial price he asked for was $30 a day for a guide, quite cheap to a Westerner especially as this guide had both a trekking and climbing permit and was therefore very experienced however I only needed a qualified climbing guide so after a bit of negotiation we agreed on $20 a day which in my mind was much more reasonable. Finally after much discussion we agreed on a price for the whole trek and what dates it was going to happen. The trek starts on the 11th and cost roughly half what most online trekking companies are charging for exactly the same trip, I feel both pleased and proud of what I have organised and very glad that I hadn’t booked anything before I left the UK.
After all that talking I felt I needed some fresh air, but in one of the most polluted cities in the world (according to the WHO) it is a hard task to find some. Instead I found a small dingy shop to have tea, it was full of locals so I thought it must be good and I wasn’t disappointed, I had my first taste of momos (small golf ball sized dumpling type things filled with a range of meat or veg with a semi spicy sauce) and some sweet milky tea, not like my usual cuppa but very nice none the less.