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Fun With Jet Lag

NEPAL | Saturday, 6 November 2010 | Views [600] | Comments [1]

Hello from Nepal!  About 48hrs after leaving Colorado Springs, we finally reached our bed in Kathmandu and got to work sawing logs.  Yesterday we all woke up feeling well rested and headed out into the city for our first of 180 days abroad.  What a concept, who signed me up for this after all?

For those who do not know, we have a third travel companion for our time in Nepal: Travis's mom.  She flew over here with us and even made her way from business class on the flight to come see us back in steerage to tell us about the fun drinks they were serving her and that she had problems reclining her chair such that she could COMPLETELY lay down!  Anyway, we digress...

We left San Francisco and flew to Hong Kong on a 747 (which delighted Travis to no end) and watched far too many movies to pass the time between what little sleep we could get.  15 short hours later we were finally in Hong Kong with 12 more hours to kill before yet another flight. In our attempts to get onto the right time zone we got ourselves some Starbucks and headed out on the town to explore.  The less we sat, the better off we were so we walked till we dropped.  We found Victoria Peak and circled it for a 360 view of the city; despite the fog we were able to see the towering skyscrapers and jungle like parks mixed in among the buildings.  The city is amazingly lush and hilly, it is amazing that they found room to build as many skyscrapers as they did. Despite Travis's complaints, we skipped over Disney World Hong Kong and instead took in the markets and some good food. 

Back at the airport we had two more flights to endure before our final destination.  Somehow in all of our travel reading we never encountered any notes about the timezone that Nepal chooses to be in.  They are nearly 12 hours ahead of us but for some reason that lacks any explanation we could find, they are actually 11 hours and 45 minutes ahead of us.  If anyone cares to enlighten us, please do!

Three days after we left Colorado, we are finally here.  We have had two days to explore the city, adjust, and be overwhelmed.  It is easy to repress just how terrifying the driving is in third world countries, but Nepal is no exception and with cars coming from the "wrong" way, it is easy to not look the right way before crossing...one more thing we will have to adjust to I guess.  Our explorations took us to two different Budhist temples and one Hindu temple.  As it turns out, our arrival coincided with the second most important Hindu festival so things are bustling.  The festival lasts for five days and is celebrated by drapping marigold stings everywhere, stringing Christmas lights, lighting lots of small candles, singing, parading, and exploding anything that might make a noise.  Their celebrations seem to go on into the wee hours but this is nothing Ambien can't fix.

One of the Buddhist temples we visited during the day is perched up on a hill overlooking Kathmandu.  Being the eager tourist that we are we decided to take a night walk back to the temple and climb the hundreds of steps up to it for a better view of the city and festivities.  The lights were amazing and the fireworks abundant.  The temple is better known as the "monkey temple" for a reason and as the tourists disperse from the sight at dusk, the monkeys come out in full force.  They were everywhere!  What may have seemed like a few cute monkeys during the day ended up being hundreds of slightly less cute monkeys at night that came out of the woodwork and took over.  On our way down the dark steps, we very narrowly avoided stepping on what is now the largest snake Victoria has ever seen.  She was not very pleased and checked every step after that.  We still don't know what it was but it was very long and green. 

Tomorrow we leave the dusty pollution of Kathmandu for the dusty trails of the Himalayas.  Our 16 day trek begins and we can only hope for the best.  Travis has already warned our guide that Victoria gets grumpy if she is not fed often enough, and other than that, the rest is out of our hands.  We expect headaches and difficulty breathing but certainly don't want to limit ourselves to that.  I am sure we will have lots to report back, but for now, that is all.  





Can't wait to see pictures of the festival! Trek safely!

  Rebecca Nov 7, 2010 2:59 AM

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