The day to travel to Nepal had arrived, quicker than I would have liked. I had signed up to spend a week in Dulikel, a village just outside of Kathmandu, helping to build a house as part of the Habitat for Humanity Everest II Big Build volunteer project.

Unfortunately for the kids I had to wake them so they could join me as I was dropped off at the airport. I really wanted to say goodbye. It was the first time I had been away for an extended time on my own. I was very glad to have them join me and say goodbye, I am going to miss them terribly.

At the airport I ran into a good friend Gus who was going through Perth on his way to do some customs work near Cocos Keeling Island.  It was nice to share my excitement about my departure with someone.

I was flying the Chinese budget airline China Southern, but it did not seem too budget-like in quality and service. There were meals and movies, and I got to see a movie I had been meaning to watch for a while, the Descendants. The food was ok too, Chinese of course. The chicken and rice for breakfast was wrapped in leaves. I also watched on my tablet a couple of TV shows given to me by my friend Adam, which was great until the battery ran low. A funny thing, near the end of the flight they played a video of Tai Chi and surprisingly most people joined in, including me. It helps the energy flow apparently.

passing through Guangzhou Airport in China
passing through Guangzhou Airport in China

I had a couple of hours in transit in Guangzhou airport. I assume that as I was in China, that the prices would be cheap. Once I worked out the exchange rate I was shocked to discover that a coffee was to set me back $8. I had to redo my calculations to check. At least the wifi was free, though it required a little haggling. I was able to access free internet and Skype Clare and Olive, I am missing them already.

On the next leg of my journey to Kathmandu it was fish and rice for dinner, of course everything comes with rice in China. I was picked up from the airport, an arrangement with the hotel I had booked to stay with. The driver took me through the narrow streets of Kathmandu. If I had not been a seasoned traveller, I would have been a bit worried going down these back alleys in the dark with a couple of strangers. They took me to a hotel, but not the one I had booked. It was just around the corner from the one that I had booked, my hotel was not available apparently. I was not surprised by that turn of events. The room was as expected though, pretty simple and fortunately it had a western toilet. I was just happy to have a place to sleep after a long day’s flight.

My bedroom for the first night in Kathmandu Nepal
My bedroom for the first night in Kathmandu Nepal

It was hard getting to sleep, on my own in a new country, and lots of different noises. The bed was a little hard, and not long enough for my western legs! A bell kept ringing throughout the night, and it wasn’t until I got up (at 6 am!) that I worked out that just outside my window is a Hindu shrine that worshipers walk around and ring a bell each time. I am not even out of bed, and I am being introduced to the culture of Nepal.

Hindu Ceremony Kathmandu Nepal
The scene from outside my bedroom window on my first morning in Kathmandu Nepal

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