So its time to leave Tibet, we head to the airport to get our flight back to Kathmandu. It starts as always with delays, this time customs delay as this usually only opens at 10am, but today apparently the person we need is not in yet and so we don’t get through till 10.30am. Flight is supposed to be 11.35am apparently. We then head to check-in and I can see that the departure time is already moved to 12.15pm. I get the impression that its just standard practice to be delayed in this part of the world.
Tibet has a tiny airport, and its freezing. As we are delayed I take the opportunity to do a little browsing as there is some nice local jewellery. I go to try on a nice necklace with a lovely stone and the chain doesn’t work and the stone falls on the floor, immediately breaking in half!!! I can’t believe my luck, the girl manning the desk just doesn’t know what to do. Its one of those, you break it you buy it moments but at least we agree 1/2 price so I don’t feel quite so bad, and when you put it together it fits so I just need to work out how to fix it properly… will leave that till Australia I think. But lets just add this to the list of bad karma I seem to be attracting on this trip… did I do something bad in a previous (or this) life maybe??!!
Well as you can imagine 12.15pm came and went and we were still stuck in Tibet. Turns out that one of the passengers had some immigration issues transiting on to Kathmandu and so the plane waited for them, have to say I am not sure that would happen anywhere else in the world so that’s a plus, but sadly added another hour delay. Given the impending 7hr car journey awaiting us when we get into Kathmandu we are now at a point we could really do without more delays. Anyway, eventually we get out of Tibet and onward with our car journey.
I say car journey, it was a bit like being in a tumble dryer, it took 2 hours to get out of Kathmandu then we were on the main motorway from Nepal to India and well, Chris Rea thinking the M25 was the road to hell never obviously experienced this!! If I get away from this without minor whiplash I will be surprised, and trust me this is not a trip where you want to be drinking lots and needing the toilet. Its even more nerve racking when it gets dark, I simply can’t believe how there isn’t an accident as we make our way to Pokhara.
But thankfully, and a testament to the capability of our driver we make it to Pokhara and the Kantipur hotel in one piece. Can’t see much as its very dark, but as we come through the main strip its clear that the election tension in Nepal is starting to build up and the army presence is increasing!! Yes, its election time apparently and the communist vs. democrats situation is quite, shall we say tense. I think that the governments sites are giving a few warnings about Nepal at the moment!! Oh well, only a few days to go here.
Its late by the time we arrive so we settle for a basic meal in the hotel, daringly trying a chicken biryani, lets hope that chicken is ok!! I attempt a night cap of a rum and coke, the ordering doesn’t go very well…. I get a bit suspicious when the girls advises me she doesn’t have any warm coke only cold coke. I can see she is not looking at the spirits behind her as she pours the coke… so I quickly jump up and point to the captain morgan behind her, and she then realises what I asked for (despite me repeating rum about 8 times!). Reminds me of the same situation in St Maarten… when she replies back, “ah Rrrhum and coke” at least we get there in the end.
With a sunrise start tomorrow I am keen for a good sleep, but getting into bed I realise that is unlikely. The bed is like lying on a concrete slab, as is the pillow so I have a very uncomfortable night ahead. Of the places we have stayed I guess this is closer to what I would expect to be in, and we are not being quite as spoiled as we were in Tibet!!