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Wednesday 25th August: Kathmandu (1300m)- Last Resort (1300m)


Hurrah! Just got an update from Harry, here's the news:

Wednesday 25th August: Kathmandu (1300m)- Last Resort (1300m)

 After breakfast I first had to finish Dan Brown's book Angels and Demons.
Since reading 'The DaVinci Code' in Pakistan, I am hooked on his style and
took his other 3 books with me to Everest. 1 down, 2 to go...

 After finishing, I hopped on my bycicle again and cruised through the
smoggy and busy city to the largest Hindu Temple in the east of the city.
ItT?s a huge complex with many separate buildings placed around the river;
as a non-hindu I was not allowed into the main temple, but after paying 250
rupees entrance fee, I could sit at the riverside and watch how the dead
bodies were burned. It's an interesting phenomenon, first of all there are
different places for the 4 main castes + one extra for the rich and
famous... The dead are placed on a pile of wood blocks and covered with
straw. They are lit and when they are completely cremated,the remains are
pushed into the river.Only the high caste and rich/famous people keep the

 Meanwhile the closest male relatives have their head shaved almost
completely, save a small spot at the back of their head. They will also wear
white clothes for the following year...

 There was no time to see all the small temples and miscellaneous 'Holy men'
that are lingering around the complex, but one holy person had an
interesting way to beg for money: he pointed at his foot,motioning pain.
When I looked at him skeptically, he reached behind him and took out a full
size Xray of his foot!

I was to meet Tendy Sherpa from Iceland Trekking for lunch so headed back
quickly. On a bike it takes less than 20 minutes to get back to the center,
a taxi would take much longer... I returned my bicycle and had a nice lunch,
discussing the last arrangements. I would be picked up at 4 so I had some
time to write a trip update in one of the many internet cafe's in Kathmandu;
unfortunately when I was about 2/3 through a power failure erased

 I packed quickly and took one last shower, might be a while before we have
that luxury again!

 We collected the visa for Tibet at the Chinese embassy and headed off to
the border, 115km away, normally this takes 3-4 hours due to heavy traffic
and a hilly road. We made good time, but at 19.00 our driver suddenly
stopped, and wanted to sleep about 30 km before th border. We had agreed to
cross the border as my Nepalese visa would expire today, but he said that
since the Maoist rebels acted up again, it was not allowed to travel after 7
in the evening. I convinced hin to give it a try and the checkpost let us
pass without a problem.

 But the next hurdle was harder to take: part of the road was washed away by
a landlside and there was no way we could pass.. We drove back to the last
place where we had seen some people,  a place which was aply named 'The Last
Resort'. We crawled up slippery stone steps and suddenly emerged onto a huge
suspension bridge, spanning the entire valley. It appeared that this was
home of the 'highest bungee jump in the world', you can jump 160m down from
the middle of the bridge, but it was out of season. Still we could sleep in
one of the safari style tents and even get some nice dinner..


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