Day 3 Kathmandu
After another questionable night’s sleep I got myself out of bed at 08.00 and had some toast and tea on the sunny rooftop restaurant, a very pleasant way to start the day, listening to the rumble of traffic and searching for a glimpse of the Himalayas through the smog. Black tea is the way forward as it is a whole 10 rupees (Rs) cheaper than its milk counterpart. A trip to the famous Durbar Square (which is a mix of the old royal palace and various other monuments) was on the cards and after about 10 minutes of wandering around, enjoying the area and taking pictures like every other tourist there I notice a kiosk with prices of entry on it, I’m still not sure how I had got around the security but I suddenly realised that you had to pay 750Rs (£8.50) for entry. Not wanting to pay (backpackers aren’t made of money) and not wanting to get caught I made an extremely hasty retreat (ironically down a street which said no entry to tourists…). I continued to wander the streets and found a museum which I was looking for which is apparently really quite good but after seeing the prices I decided I would give it a miss, Nepali students pay 1/25th of the price of a tourist (500Rs).
Back at the hotel I met my climbing guide (Aashman) for the first time, a man who has climbed Mera Peak 26 times already; I think I am in safe hands. I did however have a small problem withdrawing money to pay for the trek as after trailing round the city trying 4 different ATMs I still only had 1/3 of the total money required, something I will have to sort out tomorrow. Another delicious dinner of Dal Bhat was followed by my latest night yet (19.30), it seems like my jet lag is slowly wearing off.
P.S. Nepalis run on their own time schedule, we now depart for the mountains on the 12th (in theory at least).