Those of you who have read my book from my first trip to Nepal will remember very well how much I hassled AC about the plan. You’ll be proud of me for not asking at all today. Except maybe once or twice. But it was a 36 hour day, so cut me some slack. Here is a window into why I ask and why I try to keep on top of the plan:
You packed 2 bags about 50 pounds each, right? One for the high country and one for Kathmandu and Chitwan. The local flights allow one 50 pound bag. (I pack a 40 pound and a 42 pound bag.)
Arriving in Kathmandu at noon, no, 2 PM. Flying out to Phaplu airport tomorrow first thing. No, the Phaplu airport closed the other day for construction. Have to fly to another airport all together. Kangel, perhaps. But they don’t fly on Tuesday. But Phaplu is open now. I ask Dilli how it is open now when it was closed already for paving. “I called Yeti Airlines and told them to open it for you.” So it’s open. For me (ahem). Miraculous. But we’re flying out Wednesday not tomorrow. No flights tomorrow. But maybe a chopper. Depends on how many people. We’d chopper direct to Tapting instead of flight and 2 days walk. Hmmm… No, definitely Phaplu on Wednesday. Maybe. But for now just fill out the customs paperwork, apply for visa and report goods before we land. Here it is in 4 different ways. Fill them all out, you’ll need all of them. And 2 passport photos. No 4. I only packed 2 because the magic number was 2 before. You need four, 2 for the visa guy, 2 for the national parks. We get to visa guy and he needs one. For now. And you don’t need half of that paper you filled out. Good thing I wrote my passport number a bazillion times all over all of them then. Here, throw these 2 away. Now fill out this one instead. Go stand in the visa line. Wait, you should come to the customs claim line. Oh, no, no, visa line first, can’t claim customs without a visa first. We amble to the longest line. AC and Karma slip through the “special treatment” gate since AC holds status and was recognized by the visa officer. The line of 150 people all standing in the visa line make us comfortable to go over there. The visa agent approaches us and hands us another form. We oblige and he expedites us through the customs line, saving an hour of wait time.
Phaplu airport only allows one 15 kilo bag (about 35 pounds), not 50 pounds. Shed some gear. Leave it in Kathmandu. But maybe if it is too much, one of the porters is driving from Kathmandu to Salleri and can take a bag with him. If you are over. No, just one 35 pound bag. Or maybe 50 will work.
You’re staying at Hotel Tibet. Or Hotel Manaslu. They are right across the street from each other, so either way you are fine. Definitely Hotel Tibet (Yay, I liked that one best.) We pull up to Hotel Shakti. Here is where you are staying for these 2 nights, but Hotel Tibet on the way back after the high country. Hotel Tibet had no good rooms.
Dinner tonight at Nanglo. No, The Garden place instead. It’s walking distance. But Nanglo is nice. AC will meet us there, Dilli will drive. Or AC won’t make it. Or he’ll try if I ask another time. No, The Garden place.
Keep in mind no one person is changing the plan. Most of it is a reflection of how things operate in Nepal. Between the visa guy, the closed airport in Phaplu (AC knows the owner of Yeti Airlines) and the hotel thing, I am all good. Any semblance of control freak has been dissolved.
Still haven’t really slept since Saturday at 7 AM Seattle time. Maybe while I crash and don’t ask, this will all sort itself out. Going for a walk and to take some photos.