So we are here in Kathmandu. I thought that I would blog but I now realise that as I take time to process things this could be a slow process. However I have also realised, as I have prepared this post, that it’s helpful to reflect and relive things. Somehow this very process brings some order to the confusion and chaos . . . so here we go.
So our journey was about to end and the adventure begin. Over the cotton wool clouds we see snowy mountains peaks poking through and then as we drop through the clouds there’s buildings and glimpses of the steep wooded slopes to that border the north side of Kathmandu and then the beautiful picture of green fields with bright painted flat roofed houses with balcony’s and water tanks on roofs and snaking Bagmati river all muddy and full of monsoon rains. Everything speeds up as you come in to land and then the door opens on the whole new world of Kathmandu and this where I start to struggle for words.
Its hot and humid but not as bad as I expected. Everything’s chaotic but somehow works – planes are parked close by each other, one lands behind us and then busses dodge tractors and people pushing trolleys and we get to the arrivals hall. A bare brick building, no shops, no duty free just swarming desks of people trying to fill in the entry forms, searching for pens and then rushing for the baggage collection. We negotiate our way through the line of would be taxi drivers and spot the sign Andy and Eva after greetings we enter the car park dusty and full of horns beeping beaten up cars that look like they should not be on the road at all, painted trucks from the 1960s, tricycles and people walking in the traffic. Our driver reaches through his window to open the back doors and we pack ourselves and our already obviously far to much luggage into a typical micro car taxi leaving the biggest of our suitcases balanced on the roof rack. The engine starts like its running on two cylinders and we move off passed the military guard post and the scene just carries on. The next forty minutes will never leave me! we beep and jostle and dodge our way pass all manner of vehicles, cows and people who all seem to be able to miraculously avoid colliding. We see close up the houses that looked so pretty interspersed by half finished inhabited buildings and old, extremely old, wood carved window shutters over tiny dark holes of shops of all manner and three goats tied up. You can’t capture this experience . . . the smells of petrol and exhaust fumes and incense and corn being roasted by the road side and dust, everywhere there’s dust and the new world of Kathmandu begins.