Saturday, 26 October 2013

Kathmandu to Besisahar, Nepal

We spent one and a half month in Nepal. Our goal was to trek the Annapurna Circuit. We heard about this from people we met on our trip. They all loved it and said they would love to go back. Most of them, if not all, said they did not spend enough time in this country. For this reason, we went there with only a one way ticket so we could be flexible with our plans.

We arrived from Istanbul in Turkey. The first feeling of Kathmandu was mostly chaos. It felt like Amman, Jordan, the main difference being people driving on the other side of the road which you don't notice that easily in the chaos of cars. The hotel we booked online had a "free" airport pickup service but, when we arrived at the hotel, the driver wanted 800 Rupees. In this case, the taxi could have been cheaper if negotiated. After a night in a plane, it was already hard to think so we just paid and moved on.

Our first five days in this new country were used to get ready for the trail. At this point, we arrived from a summer in Europe followed by fall in the Middle East so we didn't have any warm clothing left. We needed to find warm clothes and a sleeping bag suited to the temperature of the mountains. The Thamel district has everything a backpacker could think of, cheap and mostly fake brands. For us, the brand and quality wasn't all that important, we just wanted it to survive the trail. We also bought a good map and downloaded offline GPS maps for the phone. We decided to do this circuit without a guide, carrying our own bags, as we felt it would be more challenging, rewarding and would allow us to be more flexible.

After all the shopping and making sure we were ready for this new adventure, we bought our bus ticket from Kathmandu to Besisahar via a trekking shop. The bus station is located 2.6 km from Thamel so we started to walk early in the morning to catch the 7:30am bus. Besisahar is the small village where we started our hike. Some people are transferring from Besisahar in a Jeep to Bhulbhule or further but we wanted to walk from the beginning. The bus ride was a painful 8 hours, stopping 2 or 3 times for rest on the way. After our arrival, we decided that our original plan of starting the hike that afternoon wasn't an option and we decided to have a meal and sleep in the lodge attached to the restaurant where the bus dropped us. We had a night of rest and a good breakfast in the morning before hitting the trail. This was finally the beginning of our journey in some of the tallest mountains in the world!

Trying some of the clothes.
All of our stuff... Ready to pack!
Thamel, Kathmandu, Nepal
Thamel, Kathmandu, Nepal
Laundry time, Nepali style.
Our bus, loaded and ready to go.
The traffic jam on the "highway" because of an accident.
View from the bus on the way to Besisahar.
Besisahar, Nepal

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