We made it to Nepal! We’ve spent the last two nights in Kathmandu, the capital. There are about 3 or 3.5 million people here. Most of them spend the day on the streets honking horns. I have not rented a car here, but I considered it so I could enjoy the creative driving. We did some touring today. Tomorrow morning at 4:30 we meet for breakfast, then we’re off to the airport at 5:00. We fly to Lukla and start walking toward Everest. We won’t climb Everest, but we’ll spend a few days hiking from 9,200′ to 18,000′ feet elevation.
Now is the a Hindu festival that included some animal sacrificing, such as goats, sheep, chicken, etc. I haven’t attended the ceremony, but there are a lot of goats around awaiting the fun and games.
At Kathmandu they understand the concept of car pooling. I have seen several times a van go by, smaller than the smallest minivan in the U.S., containing at least 25 people. They generally leave the door open so some people can overflow a bit.
The infrastructure in Nepal is not the best. There are few roads, no railroads, two highways, and lots of traffic. The electricity goes off fairly often. In fact, it’s off now but I found an internet cafe with a generator. Communications seem pretty good. There is internet service all over Kathmandu, and my cell phone even works here. I’m not sure what we’ll find in the Everest region, though.
Leo Le Bon is celebrating his 40th anniversary trip here. He organized his first trek here in 1967. Maybe that’s 41 years. I found out that it was not only his first trek, but THE first trek in Nepal other than Everest climbing expeditions. There were no hotels here in Kathmandu at the time. They flew to the mountains in an old military DC3. Now, with the start of the trekking season, there are groups leaving daily on scheduled flights.