Travel insurance was purchased through World Nomads, the whole process couldn’t be any more simpler! In total, it cost $122 CAD including tax.. not bad since the policy cover’s high altitudes, evacuation or transportation, medical etc. Just because you might have travel covered under your credit card you NEED to check if high altitudes are covered! Most CC companies do not cover that.
Ram from Nepal Gateway Trekking also told us that we would need passport photos and also a copy of our passport. This was required for the TIMS card. I overpaid way too much by going to Blacks! Lesson learned hah.
October 12th, we depart for the long flight from YYZ > BRU > DEL > KTM via Jet Airways. Surprisingly I was very impressed with Jet Airways, seats were comfy and the meals were pretty good – I would fly with them again.
Some 7 hours later, we land in Brussels where we have a 2-3 hour layover. Apparently on the way to the gate, a fire broke out which caused some confusion, good thing the flight was not delayed or cancelled!
We prepare for our long flight to Delhi where we would have a 9 hour layover. DEL is nuts… With all the high end shops and what not! It was a pretty long walk to the gate so we browsed and browsed and tried to get some sleep too.
Finally! We land in Kathmandu after a pretty wild landing due to the rain – that was fun! As soon as we enter the airport, we need to fill out tourist visas. The process was pretty simple since they had kiosks available which would also take our picture. We also had to pay a tax of I believe $40 USD. That done, there was a currency exchange counter so I decided to prepare for Kathmandu and exchange $200USD, that translated to 19240Rs.
After getting our luggage, we head out and almost immediately I see Ram holding up a sign. He was waiting in the rain so he was glad we finally made it. Car packed, we head to our hotel which is just 2 minutes outside of Thamel called Hotel Moon Light.
The hotel itself was pretty good – I wasn’t expecting anything grand after all the videos and reviews of other hotels I read but this was decent and clean, had WiFi, working washrooms and a nice view – not to mention it was quiet which was pleasant.
After some rest we walk around in the rain, in the dark scoping the area out. Being the first time visiting anywhere in the East, it was exactly as pictured in videos, grimy with so many scooters – the honking never stopped!
After a nice night of sleep we wake up around 7:30AM and head for breakfast before exploring the area again. Kind of wish I brought my Therm-a-Rest mattress since the bed’s were pretty hard all the way along the trek.
Breakfast – pretty good with fresh made omelettes, fresh fruit. It was a meatless diet all the way till the end when we came back from EBC.
After a morning stroll through the near by area, we were off to the airport to head to Lukla to commence the start of the hike, or so we thought. After waiting for what felt like ages, we got the no-go due to bad weather in Lukla. We had to postpone till the next day. Kind of worried we had nothing booked for a place to say, Raj took care off it! He got our tickets rebooked and another room as well at Hotel Moonlight. We took another walk to see the area and had dinner at Bamboo Club. On the menu, the first Dal Bhat in Nepal, it was delicious! For being the first time in Asia, seeing the crazy power lines was crazy. A rats nest! Where ya at OSHA!