Eric and I visited Nepal for a month in october/november of
2000. The rest of this page is a description of our trip,
including excerpts from my diary and photographs. For a brief
and practical description see this
page. Click on the images on the right to see the enlarged
Arrival in Kathmandu, October 10th and 11th 2000
Annapurna Base Camp trek: October 12th to October 28th 2000
Royal Chitwan National Park: October 29th to November 1st 2000
Rafting Bhote Kosi and culture in and around Kathmandu, November 2nd to November 7th 2000
|Tuesday October 10th, 2000
We arrived in Kathmandu, after a "direct" flight from Amsterdam (Transavia airlines) that took nearly 24 hours due to problems at Kathmandu airport and a nine-hour wait in New Delhi. It was around ten in the evening when we finally got through the chaos at the airport, and we were too exhausted to take the trouble of finding a good hotel for a good price - we allowed the taxi driver to take us to Hotel White Lotus, and figured it would do (it was, in fact, a rip-off at $15). Bedtime was delayed only because the hotel receptionist practically begged us to talk to Mister Raj, the manager of Gurkha Encounters - an agency that will arrange anything you want it to arrange, as so many others in Kathmandu. As we expected, Mister Raj offered us a completely arranged trek, with guide and porter, and we listened politely and agreed to think it over.
|Wednesday October 11th, 2000
Our first daylight impression of Kathmandu, or, more specifically, Thamel. What a place! A maze of colors, sounds, impressions. Signs advertising agencies, internet, and books. Colorful shops, restaurants, and cafes everywhere. Interesting souvenirs, definitely something to look into when we get back here on the way home. But also, on the down side, horrendous traffic, a sickening smell of exhaust fumes, and pushy salesmen who can't take no for an answer. We walked into an agency that actually advertised in Dutch, and found out that they charged the same as Gurkha Encounters and offered less for that price, so off we went to Mister Raj's office to arrange our trek. We agreed to the following deal: a guide plus food and lodging (also in Pokhara) plus the bus trip from Kathmandu to Pokhara and back, plus our permits, for $50 a day (for the both of us, that is $25 per person), for a total of 16 days. With two days for the bus trips, this would leave us 14 days of trekking to the Annapurna Base Camp (ABC). From what we heard lateron, on the trek, this seems to have been a fair price, and a lot cheaper than if you book a comparable trip from the Netherlands.
We walked around Thamel and over to Durbar Square in the afternoon, to get a feel for the city and culture. It all looked absolutely wonderful to me!
Click on the image on the right to enlarge the photograph of Thamel.