Friday, May 6, 2011

Nepal-Kathmandu (Day 81)

We had a few things to get done in Kathmandu before we departed for the Canyon Gathering; get cash, rent sleeping bags, buy warmer clothes, get an Annapurna map, get our trekking permits, get a cell phone SIM card, get our plane tickets back from the trek, figuring out luggage storage, and meet with Raj to square everything for the canyon gathering. 


We enjoyed the complimentary breakfast at the hotel.


And I posed for a photo with one of the managers of the hotel.  The manager said it would be no problem to store our luggage while we were trekking.  I was really nervous about this as we had about $4,000 in laptops and electronics we’d be leaving in our bags.  We’d been advised stuff your laptops in a non-descript suitcase and don’t flash your laptop around the hotel before you leave. 

Anja had a ton of work to clear off her plate to be offline for a month so I headed out for the errands.  I went out for a walk in Thamel.


The streets were CRAZY!  So busy people, cars, bikes, motorcycles, and ricshaws!  HONK! HONK! SQUEEK! SQUEEK! BEEP! BEEP!  The shops were crazy too.  Only about six types of shops; restaurants, gear shops, money exchange, trekking guides, book store, and local nepal good shop.  I found an ATM and it rejected my card so I found walked around and found a different one it rejected it too.  I walked around and tried three others but no dice.  Oh boy, what was going on.  Also in the process of looking for ATMs, I’d gotten myself lost.  Luckily, I had a map and reoriented.

Doing anything in Kathmandu can be difficult as they have black outs due to load sharing.  The black outs are at different times of day given the day of the week.  Anja came back out with me to try her ATM card and do some shopping.  Anja loved it in Thamel; gear shops and bead stores everywhere!  Her ATM card worked and we got some cash.  We went and got the NCell cell phone SIM card for 450 rupees and a 200 rupee recharge card.  (This it turns out was a mistake and we should have gotten a different company which works on the Annapurna Circuit; NCell did not) 

I have to warn these clothes are made in Kathmandu and may say Gore-Tex or and all down is “Super down” forget rating the down.  Also you have to be your our quality control for anything you buy; inspect every stitch and run every zipper up and down at least a dozen times.  We also did some shopping and Anja bought a “Marmot” down jacket for $50 US.  It was definitely not Marmot but seemed good.  We also bought liner gloves 400 rupees, fleece gloves 1050 rupees, trekking poles 1350 rupees, light weight fleece jacket 850, down mittens 850, 2 pairs of fleece pants 400 each, and a stretch rip-t top 650 rupees.

No comments: