Day 21 – 26 Kathmandu, Sunday May 19 to Friday May 24, 2013

I have decided to put this past week on one page as there isn’t too much to tell.  The excitement of arriving back in Kathmandu wears off fairly quickly and now we entertain ourselves while we wait for our international flights home.

It is always wise to add at least 3 or 4 days on to the end of any trek involving Lukla as it is better to wait in Kathmandu rather than miss an international flight.  However that being said, there is only so much to do before boredom sets in.  I am enjoying my down time as I know when I get home I will have to hit the ground running as summer is busy tour season and in a short 3.5 months I am off again to climb Kilimanjaro with clients!  I love my job!

Unfortunately Charles & Spencer did not feel well for a good majority of the 4 day stay in Kathmandu.  Thankfully they had one of the nice new renovated rooms with a north american style toilet and a big screen TV!   I suffered a bit as well but seem to fair a wee bit better.  We would seem to take turns feeling poorly and many times it was shortly after a meal.  You feel good, you eat, and then you don’t feel so good any more.

We entertained ourselves wandering the streets of Thamel and watching incredible monsoon rains from the lobby.  One of the days it rained 53mm in 4 hours and totally flooded the city!

Two days before we arrived back here, they was a huge fire next door to the hotel.  Apparently there was a short (not surprisingly considering the maze of electrical wires everywhere) in the wires which started the fire and shortly after, the gas tanks they use in the kitchens exploded setting about 6 business on fire.  One of them was the oldest book store in Thamel reportedly having a book more than 100 years old.  The fire raged on and those that were here said it was incredible to watch the lack of firetrucks and high pressure hoses to put it out.  Because of huge traffic jams everywhere it took over 1/2 hour for the first firetruck to arrive and then they ran out of water, had to leave and took another 1/2 to get back here.  Needless to say we are so lucky to have the facilities we do in Canada!  It took over 9 hours to put out and thankfully there were only a few people with minor injuries.  When we arrived 2 days later the fire was still smouldering and just yesterday there is still a portion that is smouldering!  Workers are already in the ruins (looks extremely unsafe) salvaging what they can.  I don’t imagine anyone had insurance and now their whole livelihood has gone up in smoke.  Such a sad situation!

Wednesday night the guys flew out of Kathmandu home – I will miss them as I am here for 2 more days!  Yesterday Bikesh saw on Facebook that their flight in Hong Kong was delayed for 4 hours – OMG, poor guys!  I hope they are home safe & sound now.

Yesterday was another monsoon day here.  I have had the pleasure of meeting with many of the staff here at the hotel and was very lucky to be treated to a site inspection and lunch at the sister hotel, the Park Village Resort near the Shivapuri National Park.  The hotel is fantastic has more of a resort feel to it.  Once I returned to the hotel, Bikesh came and we planned to head back to visit his place to visit with his wife Anita.  It had stopped downpouring so we started on our journey only to be caught in another monsoon half way.  We purchased an umbrella and sat on some stairs for about 1/2 hour waiting for it to subside.  The streets looked like rivers and bicycles, motorbikes and cars were still attempting to manage.  We finally made it to their house and were drenched – thankfully it is so warm here.

After a lovely dinner of dahl bhat, I caught a taxi back to the hotel.  It was quite the ride and I felt sorry for the taxi driver having to manoeuver his way back.  The street in front of the burned businesses was flooded in about a foot of water!

Today I am relaxing, packing and will head to the airport around 8pm.  I pray that my flights are on time back home.

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