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Annapurna Trek 2006


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Namaste Everyone,


7 March

Whyís it always that when you go somewhere everything is such a rush at the last minute? At least I have my bags packed, and whatís not in Iíll just have to do without. Iím sure I have far too much stuff, but Iíll take it along and sort it out when I get there.


Well, all is done and now Iíll just go over to my sister Erika and Wikus, and also say goodbye to my Mom and the crowds. Later I will pop in at the running club for a drink or two, as it is pub night tonight.


8 March

Well, I should have known better! Got to the running club at around 20h30 (which I thought was safe), but only left after midnight (Iíll blame it on Esther and Phillip - you guys are a bad influence - I have to blame someone!). Getting up at 05h00 with a hell of a hangover was no fun, but at least I got to the airport on time. The flight only left at 09h50, but traffic is bad at that time of the morning so we had to leave early. I flew via Doha, Qatar, where I arrived at about 21h30. There I met some fellow trekkers from South Africa, as we had about a 5 hr wait for a connecting flight to Kathmandu. We did last minute shopping at the airport, and I sat around with Pauline and Henriette drinking coffee. David and Joyce were also on the flight, and I would meet the others later on.


9 March

We departed from a very busy Doha airport at around 02h30, and by now I could really do with a bit of sleep. As if it isnít difficult enough to sleep on a plane, they served breakfast at 04h00 (very nice food, I must admit). I even managed to sleep a bit before we arrived in Kathmandu at 09h30.


At last magical Kathmandu! The place I have been dreaming about for so long! I could even see the snow capped mountains sticking out above the clouds! What a site! I was quite surprised at how warm it was in Kathmandu - I always thought it would be very cold, but there I was in t-shirt and jeans.


The ride to the hotel was straight from hell. For the life of me I couldnít figure out on which side of the road they drive, or if they just go wherever there is a gap. Against all odds we arrived safe and sound at the Vaishali Hotel, which turned out to be a very nice hotel right in the centre of Thamel, and close to everything (a very good choice). At the hotel we met up with the rest of the trekking group, and it was real nice to see Eddie (from Tour díAfrique) again.


The group consisted of Henriette, Pauline, Joyce, David, Jonathan, Eddie, Pat, Alfred, Heinz, and myself. Also included were Hannu and Tania who organized the trip. We all went down the road to a local restaurant for supper and then it was straight to bed, as by this time I couldnít keep my eyes open anymore.


10 March

We had a free day in Kathmandu in order to sort out the last minute trekking arrangements. Breakfast at the hotel was interesting (curried potatoes and curried veg!). Henriette, Eddie and I took a taxi to the local temples, which were very interesting. It was also an easy walk to Kathmandu Durbar Square, with a variety of temples including the House of the living Goddess and the Shiva Parvati Temple. We visited the Doudha Stupa and went to the Money Temple (no shortage of money there). Everywhere there were street sellers offering anything from jewellery to marijuana. Everything was bright and colourful, making it hard to resist a total shopping spree. We also visited the most holy Pashupati Area where there are various temples along the river (most cremations take place here). There is the distinct smell of burning human flesh, and one can see fires being made for the cremation of the deceased.


We returned to our hotel at around 17h30 to meet our guides, Ramesh and Susan.


11 March

We had to take a local bus to Besishahar where the trek would start. The bus terminus appeared to be in total chaos but at last we managed to get under way (together with a lot of very colourful decorated busses). The bus ride was rather terrifying, but extremely beautiful. The road was somewhat narrow and bumpy along the steep mountainside (a bit of a problem every time another bus came the opposite way). It was the job of the co-driver to hang out and bang on the side of the bus when the wheels started going over the edge! We even stopped at a local restaurant for an interesting lunch (rice, curried veg, and something else Ė I didnít ask any questions, just shut up and eat).


The countryside is extremely hilly (it is the Himalayas), but every bit of mountainside is being farmed extensively with terrace farming (I wondered how on earth they get up there). Eight hours and many roadblocks later, we arrived in Besishahar and found a tea house to overnight. We even had some drama with the local police, who had just enforced a curfew from 20h00 till morning. Not that we wanted to go anywhere, the place was really very small.


12 March

That morning we woke up and packed our kit. Now I felt really shit about all the clothes Iíd brought (there was one porter between 2 of us, who carried up to 30kg). It was quite something to see the porters loading the large bag with a strap around their forehead. Besides, they are quite small people and I felt like carrying the stuff myself (I may not be stronger, but at least Iím taller than them). We headed off in the direction of the daunting snow capped mountains, following the Marshyangdi River towards Ngadibazar. The road ends at Besishahar, so from there on everything must be carried into the mountains. Amazingly it wasnít very hilly, but we stopped for a tea break at around 10h00. Along the way we met many donkey caravans on their way down the mountain to pick up supplies. Now we were in the land of the swing bridges and we crossed a number of these (which I donít particularly like doing). We even came across a donkey caravan on one of these bridges and some people had to turn back (so Dave tell us, did that donkey really bite your thing off?).


We arrived in Ngadibazar around 15h00 and found a tea house for the night. The room was very small, especially with 2 people and their bags. I think they sawed off the end of the bed so the door could open, because my feet were hanging off the end. Hey, at least it was a bed and I didnít have to pitch a tent.


13 March

We were on our way again at around 08h00 on a beautiful sunny day. I was still wearing my long pants and long sleeves and only took it off at the lunch stop. The scenery was breathtaking, and the very small villages appeared hundreds of years old. The path runs along the ancient trade route between Tibet and Nepal, and the local people look more Tibetan than Indian. We continued crossing those damned swing bridges, which gave me the hibbee-jibbees. We could see snow on all the mountains around us, and it seemed to still be snowing up in the higher parts. We also met a number of trekkers coming in the opposite direction. We heard from them that it was snowing heavily in the higher regions, and although they had been waiting for a few days in Manang they were still unable to cross the pass and had decided to turn back. Now we could only hope for better weather in the next few days, but ultimately our guides had to decide whether it would be safe to cross the pass.


I was once again amazed at the large amount of terrace farming in the high mountains. The land seemed quite fertile, and there were also a few rice fields close to the river. It appeared that they were growing mostly potatoes, corn, wheat, cabbage, and tomatoes.


The path was now becoming very narrow with steep drop-offs to one side and steep mountains to the other. Also, there were many donkey caravans going in both directions (the best thing to do was to push yourself against the mountain face and let them pass). We even encountered a large herd of goats, packing the trail for hundreds of metres (with us squashed against the side of the mountain - too scared to move). At last we reached Jagat, which at 1330 m was still quite low and the walking still fairly easy (I didnít want to speak too soon).


14 March

We were up at 06h00 and had breakfast at 07h00, which consisted of pancakes, japatis or Tibetan bread with jam. On this day we would head for Dharapani (1 860 m). I must admit that the food wasnít bad at all, as I quite enjoy that type of food. In general it was fried rice with curried veg, fried noodles with veg, or spaghetti with veg. It was quite something to see the porters eat! They had "monster" meals, for which I donít blame them considering all they had to carry. Not only do they carry these huge bags up the mountain, but they were also always friendly and jovial (donít know how they do it). Because everything up there has to be carried, there are some amazing sights (we even saw a man carrying 20 sheets of corrugated iron Ė just two thin legs sticking out underneath the load). The mode of transport also affected cost, and day by day the water, beer, and coke became a bit more expensive.


The walk was once again beautiful, with the mountains towering above us. Later that day the weather closed in a bit, and we walked in the rain for the last half an hour or so. It got really cold, and by the time we reached the overnight stop I was shivering uncontrollably. However, I warmed up quickly after a hot meal of fried potatoes and cheese. Outside it was absolutely pitch dark, as by this stage there was very little, or no electricity in the villages. I just had a little wipe down before bed, as there was no way Iíd subject myself to a cold shower.


15 March

On this day we headed for Chame, altitude 2 710 m. The weather looked good (it wasnít raining Ė just a bit overcast and still very cold). We once again followed the path up the mountain, a fairly steep uphill on our way to Chame. We stopped for lunch at a village, and then descended a little again. By now it was raining and it had become extremely cold. I was wearing 2 pairs of pants under my rain pants, as well as 3 tops under my rain jacket (also gloves and a scarf). I am just not made for this type of weather! We arrived at Chame in the rain, and there was no way I would change out of those clothes that night. There was a nice wood fire going in the dining room, and we all huddled around it. There was no electricity, and due to the freezing cold weather we were all in bed at around 20h00. Once again we met trekkers coming from the opposite direction, who had turned back because of heavy snow falls and altitude sickness. It rained non stop all night, and it didnít seem as though the weather would clear. I must note that fortunately I was getting better at crossing the swing bridges.


16 March

Getting out of bed in the morning was quite a mission, but as Iíd slept in all my clothes it was a little easier. I bought a local Nepali beanie and geared with that, cloves and rain suit I ventured outside. It was a fairly short walk to Lower Pisang at 3 240m, but we still left at around 08h00 and soon reached the snow level. What a sight! Everything was a brilliant white, and then the snow started to fall! That was a first for me, and I just lapped up this great experience. We had a most beautiful walk, with the white landscape and huge mountains all around us. We reached Lower Pisang just after lunch, and after dropping off our bags we took a short walk to Upper Pisang to see a beautiful temple. It started snowing again as we left, and I found it amazing to be covered in snow. Back at the tea-house we all piled into the dining room where there was a nice wood stove on the go, around which we all huddled until supper time. Nepal is a great country in which to be a vegetarian, as the variety of food is endless and tastes really good. That day we had again met trekkers along the way who had to turn back, most had waited in Manang for a few days. We heard from these trekkers that it was snowing heavily, and there was no way to cross the pass. However, we hoped for the best, and decided to carry on and see what the situation was like when we got there.


17 March

Wow, what a morning! It was just the most brilliant morning, with all the clouds gone and the sky a brilliant blue. What a sight, everything was snow white! We had to be really careful now on the slippery swing bridges, and the path was also very narrow and slippery. Therefore it was a slow but beautiful trek to Manang, 3 560 m. I could really start feeling the altitude now, getting out of breath very quickly on the up-hills. It seemed a bit like the pictures of Everest, with people walking behind one another, bent over and moving very slowly. The middle of the day felt quite warm and I could even strip down to short sleeves, but as soon as I stopped walking it was freezing cold again. We reached Manang shortly after lunch, and because it was so cold I just jumped straight into bed. I could feel a cold coming on so I did what I could with the vitamin C, but it was probably already too late. Supper was once again a nice surprise and I had a vegetarian steak, delicious! After supper it was early to bed, as by now I was really all blocked up and coughing.


18 March


We stayed in Manang for two nights, which allowed us the opportunity to walk halfway up the mountain and meet the Lama who lives there in a cave. We had tea with him, and he blessed us for a safe trip over the pass (we had to pay 100 rupees though!). The Lama is quite old, and he lives there with his wife who is nearly totally blind, and his daughter who is a nun (wonder if thatís by choice?). After we descended I went straight to bed where I stayed for the rest of the day. It was freezing, and my cold seemed to be getting worse (I hoped to be better on the following day).




19 March

We again awoke to a brilliant morning, with blue skies and snow white mountains all around. After that we prepared to leave for Yak Khara, 4 110 m. It was a fairly short 4 hour trip, but the walking was becoming extremely slow, and our breathing was very laboured on the uphills. I was really not feeling well, and my sinuses were aching badly (the pain even spread to my ears and eyes, and the tears were running). I should have had better sunglasses, as the glare from the snow was worse than I had expected. Everyone was quite sunburnt, I never thought that could happen in the snow. The air was also very dry, making oneís skin and mouth extremely dry! At around 10h00 it became quite hot, allowing us to walk in short sleeves again. We reached Yak Khara at around lunch time, and everyone took a nap. It had become freezing cold again. Outside everything was covered in ice, and there was even frost on the inside of the windows. By this time I had not taken my clothes off for a few days - I just walked in it, slept in it, and then woke up and walked again.


20 March

After taking some medicine for my cold and sinuses given to me by Pauline, I soon felt a lot better. We set off after breakfast for Thorung Phedi Base Camp (5 350 m), climbing only about 500 m. The walk was very short, and we reached Thorung Phedi at lunch time (the going was a bit slow now.) By now some others (Jonathan, David, and Joyce) also had colds, and nearly everyone was coughing and sniffing. Eddie and Pauline were also not feeling too well, and most of us had a nap after lunch. I had to laugh at myself because at this altitude the smallest task left me out of breath (it was quite an effort just to tie my shoe laces!). Needless to say it was bloody freezing up there, and I got dressed in everything I had so I could sleep in it and just get up and leave the following morning. We would be crossing Thorung Pass the next day, so we would leave at 04h00 for the 1 000m trek over the pass. We had a good supper again (itís just amazing what those people can cook on a simple wood fire!). That night it started snowing again; which would make the next daysí hike very difficult.


21 March

We were up at 03h30 and left at 04h00 that morning. We packed very quickly, and had a small breakfast consisting of coffee and toast. I was now dressed in 4 pairs of pants, 4 tops, beanie, scarf cloves, you name it I was wearing it (quite a sight!). My day pack was fairly light because I was wearing everything (the pack contained only drinking water, as your mouth gets very dry in the thin air). The trek up the pass is 1 000m which in itself is not too bad, but at 5 000m the air is thin and the going is very slow. The slightest stumble leaves you totally out of breath! The snow from the previous night added to our difficulties, as now we couldnít see where the path was (or if there was one). Every now and then I would sink knee deep into the snow, and had to crawl out on all fours. The rest of the path was by now also very slippery, and the drop-offs were very steep. Therefore I just watched my step, and kept on going up the mountain. We reached high camp in a reasonable time, but by now my feet were absolutely frozen and as soon as everyone caught up we proceeded. The path was extremely slippery, and the wind started blowing the snow in waves across the mountain. I really felt like an arctic adventurer, bent forward, stick in hand, and gasping for air. I had my scarf tied around my face, sunglasses misting up, and my beanie pulled down over my face. My hands were so numb I couldnít feel them anymore. Even the porters were struggling, as they were sinking deep into the soft snow. One of the porters who had crossed the pass on 15 previous occasions, said that this was "the worst ever!". It was impossible to help the porters or anyone else who slipped in the snow, as the extra effort would leave one totally exhausted. All I could do was to get myself to the top at a steady pace (rather selfish, probably just my true colours coming out).


By now Pauline was really weak, and after some consultation one of our guides (Ramesh) and a porter accompanied her back to the village. When the rest of us reached the top of the pass, it looked to me as if everyone was very close to hyporthermia. Eddie even had his scarf frozen to his nose. Heinz and Alfred, from Germany, were looking worse for wear with ice sticking to their faces. Even the water in our water bottles was frozen! Eddie and I decided to head on down the mountain as everyone was there except for Joyce and David, but the other quide (Suzan), was with them.


Now for the downhill trek (and I thought the worst was over!). Little did I know what a long, hard trek that was going to be. The path was slippery, the snow soft, and the drop-offs steep - and it just carried on and on! At least by this time we were out of the wind, and Eddie and I just went down as quickly as we could. I had become very hungry, as the dayís trek had taken way longer than we had expected. The only food we had between the two of us was a spring roll from the previous night, and a dry roll from that morning. We shared the two rolls, and tried to drain some water from our frozen bottles before heading on down. We only reached the tea house at around 14h00, but at least we were below the snowline and we sat down to wait for the others. Everyone arrived within the next hour or so, except for Joyce and David (but we heard from other trekkers that they were safe and on their way).


We still had to cover one last stretch to Muktinath, which took about an hour and a half. When we arrived there I was as happy as hell to see the Bob Marley Hotel where we stayed. They even had a hot shower, and I removed my clothes for the first time in I donít know how many days. By nightfall we were all very worried about Joyce and David, but I thought they would somehow make it, as they looked pretty tough to me. Eventually at 19h30 they reached the hotel, tired but very happy to be there! I will allow Joyce to tell her own story about a very nice, young, and friendly German guy along the way (is that what took you so long, Joyce?).


22 March

We decided to stay in Muktinath for another day. Can you believe it, now that I had the chance to sleep late I was awake fairly early, typical! We had a well deserved breakfast, and there were lots of stories to tell about the previous day. The day was spent walking around the town and visiting some of the well known temples in the area. We could also do some shopping, as even there in the high mountains they sold the most beautiful jewellery. Henriette, Eddie, and I walked around and picked up bits of stuff here and there (we couldnít go wild, as things still had to be carried for a few more days).


23 March

Our last day of trekking, and we started very early as here the wind tends to pick up and howl through the valley. The wind comes straight from the snow capped mountains and is normally icy cold. We started down the mountain on a very nice road where we could even walk next to one another. The scenery had changed completely, and it was now extremely barren. We walked along a gorge, with the river way below us and steep barren cliffs rising up the sides. This was the Kali Gandaki River, where one can still find fossils of sea creatures. However, we didnít waste any time there as we were trying to beat the wind, and we arrived in Jomsom just as the wind started blowing. We stayed in the Zanadu Hotel which was extremely nice (or maybe it seemed like that after the very basic accommodation of the previous days). The Hotel is, however, known for serving excellent Jak Steak and Indian curries, which was enjoyed by all. At this point we said goodbye to our porters, as we would fly out of Jomsom to Pokhara the following day. The Hotel was conveniently located, about a 50m walk from the airport.


24 March

At 05h00 we were up again, to catch the plane to Pokhara. Take-off was at 07h00, but we had to be there at 06h00 in order to book in, as the plane only operates in the morning before the wind picks up. The runway must be the shortest in the whole world, and I held my breath hoping the little 15-seater would become airborne. Once off the runway, the plane had to gain height quickly in order to clear the mountain. There was also no time to waste boarding, as they squeeze in as many trips in the morning as possible. So, it was a case of running for the plane, after which it took off immediately. What an experience, flying over those high snow covered mountains, truly a treat! The flight lasted 30 minutes. Once in Pokhara we immediately headed off to the shops (they sell the most beautiful clothes, carpets, jewellery, etc.). I was so overwhelmed that I couldnít buy a single thing.



25 March

We always seemed to be getting up early. On this morning it was "rush, rush", as we still had to catch the bus back to Kathmandu. The roads were really narrow with numerous road blocks (due to the political situation), so the trip took nearly the whole day. But the bus stopped for lunch, and as always I enjoyed the local food. On our arrival in Kathmandu I had to start getting my stuff ready for a river rafting trip. None of the others in our trekking group wanted to come along, so I would be off on my own in the morning to see what the local rivers had to offer.


26 March

The river rafting people picked me up at around 07h00 for a 2 and a half hour trip to the river. As usual they were late, but what the heck, I had all the time in the world. The little bus was extremely slow as the traffic was terrible, the roads narrow, and again there were many road blocks. We only arrived at the rafting camp around lunch time, and after a quick bite we were on the raft. So, together with 3 Russians, 2 Mexicans, and an Australian I headed down the river.


The water level in the river was quite low, so there were lots of obstacles - needless to say, not everyone stayed in the boat. I hung on for dear life, and managed to stay inside for the rest of the day. Then it was back to the camp. The camp was quite nice, consisting of tents, as well as a large open-sided shelter with pool tables, bar and a large fireplace (a really cool place to hang out). True to tradition the Russians had a bottle of Vodka which they shared around, solving the communication problems (by now we all spoke Russian!).


27 March


The next morning it was "go, go, go", and we were up and on the river again. The river was a bit wilder than on the previous day, fast-flowing all day long. Again, not everyone stayed dry, but thatís part of the fun. Although itís not the Zambezi, it was great to be on the water. A pity itís so short, as after lunch we were back on the bus to Kathmandu. This was to be our last evening in Nepal, so it was off to the Rum Doodle for pizza and beer.






28 March

We were up at 05h30 to get all our stuff packed, but we couldnít fit all our shopping into our bags. There was no time to waste as the taxi would pick us up at 06h15 for our 08h15 flight back to Cape Town via Qatar. We arrived at the airport in good time, and I thought I may even have time to spend my last few rupees there. We booked in and collected our boarding passes, and made our way to immigration. What?! I donít have a visa?! How the hell did that happen?! So I got "the look" from the immigration officer (just like in the movies, he paged through my passport, then looked at me, then he paged again, and looked at me again). By then I knew I was in trouble. With a shake of the head he declared "no visa, no visa". Suddenly there was a whole commotion and no matter how I explained and smiled there was no way they were going to let me go through. At least they gave me the address of the Department of Immigration where I had to go and try to sort this thing out. I waved goodbye to the rest of the group (and my baggage), and took the taxi back to Kathmandu.


As if that was not enough, I discovered that in the process I had also lost my credit card - how on earth did I do that? Now I was really in the shit! All I could do was to go back to First Environmental Trekking who had organized the trip, and explain my predicament to them. I discussed the matter with Nava, the owner of the company. It seemed like no problem to them Ė "sit down have some tea, do you want something to eat?" Everyone seemed quite relaxed about the matter. Nava offered to book me back into the hotel in which we had stayed (and he paid!), and he got one of his people to take me around. So whalla, there I went on the back of a motorbike though the streets of Kathmandu, past the markets, over the tomatoes, and past pigs, and in no time we were through the traffic and at the immigration office.


Nothing is as easy as it looks, so it was a good thing I had the man from First Environmental with me. Besides solving the language problem, he also seemed to know the big boss in the office. After some explanations and discussion we were off to take photos and to make copies of my passport, etc. Then it was back to immigration for more discussion and explanations. I was very happy to have this man with me, as it appeared that other people with a similar problem were in a holding cell! Eventually, after visiting a few more offices and paying a further $75, I had my visa (this time I made sure that it was stuck in). Hallelujah! Then it was off to Qatar airlines to arrange a flight, again on the bike. At the airline office there was a lot of discussion in the local language (all I could do was stare stupidly at them). However, the next available flight was only on 2 April - what the hell was I going to do for 5 days in Kathmandu without any money?


With the bike we went back to First Environmentalís office, where they again offered me tea and food. Then I had an idea, and I e-mailed my office from there, requesting some money. Now I felt a lot better. (Little did I know that Val had to run around like crazy to organise that). Heading back to the hotel (which was just around the corner), I suddenly realised that Eddie may still be there, as his flight was only at around 16h00. After rushing to the hotel I just caught Eddie with seconds to spare, before he grabbed a taxi. At least now I could tell someone what had happened. In a split second he decided to cancel his flight, and to stay on in Kathmandu till the 2nd. I just have the best friends in the whole world. Thanks Eddie, you are great.


29 March

I was very anxious about the money situation, as I feel totally insecure living off other people. So, first thing in the morning I popped in at First Environmentalís office, but there was no one there as people only start working between 9h30 Ė 11h00. We still had to go back to the Gulf Air office so that Eddie could sort out his revised plane ticket. The office was overcrowded and hot as anything. The good news was that he didnít not have to buy a new ticket, but he still had to pay in 150 pounds. The flight was not confirmed, and we had to go back there the following day. We then walked to the supermarket to do a bit of shopping, as I had nothing with me. My luggage was on its way to Cape Town, so I didnít even have a toothbrush. I made a call to my office, and Erika told me that Val had transferred money which should be available on this day, wonderful! I went back to First Environmental for the moneygram number, which had arrived via e-mail. By this time the bank had already closed for the day, so I had to wait until the next day to get the money. But thank you to everyone involved, you saved my life!


30 March

Guess what the first thing was that I did this morning? I headed off to the bank as fast as I could, and whalla, there it was! With money in hand and a smile on my face I was ready for the next few days in Kathmandu. Now nothing could get me under, and we had a late breakfast in the hotel (included in the room price - this is really a great hotel). Then it was back to the crowded Gulf Air office to confirm Eddieís flight, but we could only pick up the ticket on the following day. After paying First Environmental back for the hotel and visa fees, I bought a skirt, pants, and top to wear (I had been in the same clothes for days). I should really have gotten some sandals as well, as I looked ridiculous in a skirt and hiking boots. I decided to rather spend the money on nicer things, so we went to Tom & Jerryís for a beer, and then off to the New Orleans for supper (good food and music). Life felt great in Kathmandu.


31 March

I was getting tired of walking to the Gulf Air office - the traffic was horrendous and the pollution very bad, most locals walk around wearing masks. So Eddie went to pick up his ticket (finally), while I chilled out in the hotel and did a bit of reading. I thought Iíd better read a bit, as I had lugged the book with me around the Annapurnas and back again. At last we both had our plane tickets, and I had my visa and money Ė all set to leave on the 2nd. So we went to celebrate in the pub and enjoyed some of the local beer (Everest, San Miguel, and Oranje Boom - where did that name come from?).


1 April

Our last day in Nepal had arrived, so we could spend whatever money was left (I didnít know if that was so wise, but what he hell!). We spent the day wandering around the streets, picking up some books, clothes, and other bits and pieces. Then we were off for our last night out in Kathmandu.


2 April

So, we tried the whole thing again! Off to the airport, and this time I successfully negotiated the officials. At last I was heading for Cape Town! I arrived back on the morning of the 3rd, just in time for my birthday. I later discovered that Eddieís flight was delayed for 12 hours, and he was transported back to Kathmandu. However, I heard from reliable sources that he made it safely back to the UK.


This was a great trip. Thanks to everyone at First Environmental Trekking, and in my office. Thanks Eddie for keeping me company (Iím sure you had your doubts about that one)


Lots of Love,



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