trails & tribulations

by Jakob

I arrived at midnight in Kathmandu.
I already have been in Kathmandu before and actually I didn’t have much sense in negotiating with pushy taxi drivers, but well, I can’t ignore them all.
After a lot fuss and having seen many business cards I finally got a taxi to take me to my hostel, and happily also did.
When I arrived at my hostel, the Holyland Guesthouse, I met Vincent, a Dutchman who was allready traveling for some time: with his bike he had cycled all the way from the Netherlands, and his final destination was Kyoto, Japan ….. impressive!

The next day I sightseeing Thamel, the tourist district of Kathmandu.
Quite suddenly the earth began to tremble under me and people ran in panic out of the narrow streets.
A brief earthquake with a magnitude of 4.6 struck the city, but fortunately didn’t caused many damage or casualties.

The panic in the narrow streets was justified, the houses are quite dilapidated and if a powerful earthquake would struck the city the damage could be enormous, as calculated by an inquiry.

The Thamel district is full of hotels, guesthouses, bars, restaurants, souvenir shops, travel agencies, mountaineering shops (with articles mostly of the brand “North Fake”).
Sometimes it’s annoying to walk through the Thamel district, vendors are constantly asking for attention “wanna buy?”. But really annoying are the”dealers”, unexpectedly they often come close by and ask “smoke? Hasjies?”.
But anyway, you get used to it and when you’re just out of the Thamel area the annoyings are passed.

Back from the Everest trail, I first had the intention to book a trip to Tibet, but decided not to go there: it was a little to expensive, to organized and I felt onerous to go there.
Instead, I just stayed in Kathmandu and had a great time: during the Everest trail, I met many new friends and together we enjoyed ourselves excellent in the vibrant heart of Kathmandu.
Thanks Tal, Janneke, Gili, the Canadian whose name I forgot, Cookie Walla a.m.m. for the good company!

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