Everest Base Camp Trek - Part 2/11, Kathmandu shopping

During the night I woke up only a few times, at about 5am, then 7am, which was really unusual as I have not slept well already for a few weeks. It was nice and warm under the blanket, however, someone was working already outside as the construction sounds were quite pronounced.

Before I got up I read a couple of chapters from the book I’m currently reading on the Kindle. I also checked for any new emails and one to a company in Slovakia that I’m not able to come over for an interview as discussed a few days ago due to circumstances change. I hope they are going to be with that.

The thoughts about my sweetheart (see the part 1/11 for an explanation of this name) are still with me. She should have been here with me, sharing this adventure. I know she did make a great mistake, probably the biggest one in her life yet, but I’m not able to change it now. She might feel in content with it, but I’m not. So far I had no panic attack today, but it’s only early. My thoughts are with her. I still love her with all my heart.

For breakfast, I decided to visit Rosemary Kitchen and Coffee shop in Thamel district. It was only like 10 minutes walk from the hostel. The streets were not busy, the shops were just opening and I could see a mist going out from my mouth, due to the cold. What a striking difference to Australia!

I had marinated tofu and green tea for breakfast. The portion was not very big, the two slices of bread were very dense and I have to say it filled me up nicely. The place was not the cheapest, I had to pay like 300 ruppies, but it was clean, I sat next to the gas heater and it felt great.

I’m actually writing these words while enjoying the last sips of the green tea I ordered. Pleasant Nepalese music is playing in the background, which does not distract me at all. They have old photographs of Kathmandu on their walls and I like them a lot. I can see the sun outside spreading its rays and everything feels so peaceful.

I might go back to the hostel shortly to pick up my camera and then I need to head to the tourism board office to get my first permit for my hike. As I will using my own feet instead of taxis I need to use the opportunity and take some photos with my camera and not just with my mobile phone.

I have to say it feels good writing down words into this notepad. I have never done such a thing previously, it’s fun. And it feels great.

After my breakfast, I went back to the hostel, picked up my camera, check where the Tourist Information Board office is. It took me approx. 40 minutes to get there while taking pictures along the way. Upon arrival, I asked for the permit and was informed that the rules have changed and they don’t issue them anymore. Apparently, I now have to purchase a permit for 2000 NPR in Lukla at the checkpoint and then another for the national park for 3000 NPR. Fantastic!

I needed some gear so I went scouting local sops. I bought a lightweight down jacket, lightweight thin Goretex pants and one more thermal top layer all for 9000 NPR. I had to negotiate a bit but eventually, we have agreed on the price. You have to be careful here as the clothing labels do not always represent what the stuff is made from. There are plenty of shops with genuine clothing around but expect to pay much more. I also bought some pills - for water purification EF-CLOR (100 tables), ARAYMOL (paracetamol) - 10 tablets, AZOMIDE - for attitude sickness - 20 tablets and some blister plaster.

For the lunch, I went back to the hostel, asked for a lemon tea and for the meal I had Aloo Paratha, which is actually simple pancake filled with potatoes, onion, and chilies. It was quite tasty and I enjoyed it.

There are still a few things I needed to buy, like trekking poles, toilet paper and even some snacks. So I went out again. I made a list of what I still need to get so I won’t forget anything. After a while walking the streets of Thamel district in Kathmandu everything started to blend together.

I changed the lens on my camera to 56mm f1.2 and took some pictures on the streets. I was very pleased with this lens, the extra reach helped me to capture locals in their environment.

Eventually, I bought a set of thin gloves, extra socks and even a nice cap. I also purchased some snacks for the trek, toilet paper, sunscreen lotion and soap.

The last thing I struggled with was a set of lightweight trekking poles. I just didn’t like the cheap ones so eventually I settled on Black Diamond poles after negotiating 10% off.

As I was hungry, I actually asked some girls from the next dorm room if they wanted to join me. One of them surprisingly said yet so we went out to grab some pizza.

Her name was Yvette, she was ween 24 and came to Nepal from the Netherlands. She spoke good English, albeit with a heavy Dutch accent. It was nice to dine with someone, I did not have to think about my sweetheart for a change. We have explored different subjects, from travel to work and study. Yvette is still a student, studying for a law degree in the Netherlands. Good on her!

It’s like 22:!5 here and I desperately need a shower and to pack my things as I will be flying to Lukla early in the morning to begin my new adventure - journey to the Everest base camp!