Well it’s be an eye-opening couple of days. My flights to Kathmandu were routine but everything after that has been quite an assault on the senses. Naively, I had been imagining this trip purely as a trek in the mountains but in order to get to Lukla where the trek will begin you have to go through Kathmandu. And boy was I completely unprepared for Kathmandu.
This city is vibrant chaotic squalor. It is also utterly fascinating. It’s a curious contradiction of impoverishment and richness (as in spirit; everyone here is super destitute). We are staying in the “tourist” Thamel district, a warren of narrow streets swarming with motorbikes flanked by hundreds of hawkers peddling no end of knock-offs and ethnic trinkets. Getting around can be a little tiresome as you fend off their incessant badgering. The road rules are wonderful. There aren’t any. It’s so chaotic but the liberal use of car horns is enough to make it work. I’ll try to get some video of what we’re witnessing here and post that soon. Kait has also been taking some dynamite GoPro footage which she is editing currently. Hopefully that should be up soon too. Internet is rather woeful though, so fingers crossed.
Other titbits: Trevor’s five pelican cases full of gear have failed to materialise, which has caused some consternation. Fortunately the airline has tracked them down and everything (including PowerLabs) is due to land tomorrow. Then it will be all hands to the pump to get set up and get some baseline measurements before we head up the hill.
We have rolling power outages here too. Right now I’m typing this in the dark. It’s making the research teams really think hard about when and what experiments they can conduct – ironically, it may be easier to find power once we get up the valley.
There is plenty more to post but the jet lag is kicking in! I’ve been snapping quite a few photos so I’ll try to get these up in the morning…