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The Outer Limits My trek to EBC

Learning the ropes

NEPAL | Wednesday, 9 April 2014 | Views [443]

The tenement next door and track suit pants hanging to dry on curtain rod

The tenement next door and track suit pants hanging to dry on curtain rod

I really didn't mean that title as a mountaineering double entendre.  I do not believe that I gave the city much justice on my last post because I forgot to mention the scheduled power outages.  The country seems to have been naughty in not springing for dam construction that would easily provide power to the smallish population of 27 some odd million; about the size of our neighbor to the north which is actually quite shocking when one compares the living standard here with Canada.

Anyway you should be proud of yourself if you are sufficientle patient to have made it to this story.  I guess what I had in mind here was that in any third world city a few jaunts out into the thick of things toughens one up for survival mode.  So this morning, I sprung out of bed near the crack of dawn and asked at the desk for some directions whose objective I have now lost track.  The receptionist suggested a shortcut out the rear entrance which took me to the lady selling cooler size jugs of water and then down a narrow alley to what was supposed to be a main through road.   After reaching a square that should not have been there populated with a lot of sketchy looking and bedraggled crowd, and not wanting to get lost a warren of alleys, I turned around to get back to the home square.  A fellow traveler mentioned that there was a pattern to it all and not getting what that might be, it was suggested that avoiding the seemingly movements of pedestrians, motorcycles, autos and rickshaws was merely to think like one was a character in a video game.  Ah, now I get it.

The hotel breakfast buffet was a sorry excuse for my favorite meal of the day, including Nescafé for coffee and a toaster whose circuit breaker went out just in time.  From the faux pancakes to the flavorless scrambled eggs to the whiter than white yoghurt it was all put together by a chef who must have had an acute sense of humor.  for comic relief,  did make a find via the web and in time for lunch  the no. 1 rated restaurant on Tripadvisor and amazingly enough a stone's throw from my hotel.  In fact, I was so pleased that I went back for dinner.

After more work than I anticipated of playing amateur meta-cartographer of several web and paper maps, viola Shona's trekking gear shop was duly located and entered.  Thing was when I arrived at 10.30 as the odd fellow who picked up the phone when I called ahead had suggested, I found out "oh this the sales shop and you need to come back in an hour to speak to someone about a sleeping bag rental."  Returning as directed  I found Shona and her husband who had a young girl guide me through a war zone around a side alley to the rental shop.   I was asked my height and where I was going, explained the price structure (a deposit and $1 per day) and requested to come back the next day for pickup.

I was beginning to get a handle on the maze of alleys and how to get myself safely back to my hotel.  A handy trick too was to wear sunglasses because the hawkers don't want to fool with eyeless wraiths.

Tags: everest, trekking


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