Gear shopping and getting organised in Kathmandu
Woman carrying more than 1000 eggs.
Chris and Bridget feeling very puffy wearing their new down jackets!
Local Time: 9:30pm
Weather: 23C, fine
Hi its Paul here,
Our first full day in Kathmandu has been spent buying gear and repacking our bags. Some of our bags are going to be taken straight into base camp and others will accompany us on the trek. All our high altitude climbing gear; down suits, boots, gloves etc will go straight to base camp, so this needed to be packed into separate bags.
Great bargains in Thamel
After a breakfast of crossiants, toast, fried eggs, juice, cereal, and coffee (we are not going hungry) we set off to the Thamel district to buy gear. Chris and Bridget needed to get a good sleeping bag and down jacket each, and we needed some more duffel bags. There are so many shops selling gear here, its just mind boggling. Everything you can buy at home is available here, at about 20% of the price. We found some great down jackets for AUD$60 and the sleeping bags were AUD$100 and are rated to -25C, although they felt more like -15C to me. Obviously the quality is not as good and its not suitable for climbers, but for trekking and staying at base camp its fine. We got good duffel bags for AUD$16 each. We also bought a face mask, which will be used if we get sore throats from the dry air in the mountains.
Our hotel is great
IMG have put us up in a really good hotel called Hotel Tibet - in fact we are a little worried that we might get too used to this luxury. It has a lovely foyer, decorated with Tibetan carvings and furniture, a rooftop garden with deck chairs and a good view, and another garden with an intricate mural that is at least 25m long and 5m high.
At 5pm we had a team meeting and met Eric Simonson, the owner of IMG. Afterwards we went to a team dinner at the Shangri La Hotel - great food, serene gardens - a real oasis. I think its the stuff we will be dreaming about when we have been in the mountains for a month.
There was a message posted about the political situation. From what we can tell there doesn't seem to be anything to be concerned about in Kathmandu. There are no armed personel on the streets, other than security guards for some hotels and businesses. There are very few tourists, but otherwise everyone seems to be going about their normal daily business.
Off to the mountains tomorrow
Tomorrow we are having breakfast at 4:30am and leaving the hotel at 5:00am to catch the plane into Lukla for the start of our trek into base camp. Hopefully the weather is good and the plane is not delayed. The last time we were here, we waited for three days for good weather. After our second day of going to the airport, waiting all day and then having to go back into Kathmandu and find a hotel, I remember asking an airport staff member why they don't fly when its cloudy, and the answer I got back explained it very clearly. "We don't fly when its cloudy, because the clouds in Nepal have rocks in them." I got the message.
Till next time,
Posted by: Emily on March 23, 2006 04:25 AM AEST
Hi Fi and Paul,
Glad to hear that you arrived safely!
It sounds like you are enjoying the luxury before setting off to base camp!
Have a safe plane trip, and enjoy the start of your adventure...
Kisses and hugs to Chris and Bridge as well.
Em and Marc
Posted by: Mary Clare on March 23, 2006 04:27 AM AEST
Beautiful photo of the woman carrying all the eggs. That's a National Geographic moment. The hotel sounds very nice. Nothing better than a rooftop garden with a view!
I loved the explaination from the airport staff member during your last visit in Katmandu...those darn clouds with the rocks in them!
Posted by: Kylie Atkins on March 23, 2006 05:23 AM AEST
Hello my little Puff Balls,
Take care up there, guys. This trek is so impressive, I've much admiration for you all. I'm very happy you have photos updates as from my comfortable, boring couch I cannot begin imagine what it's really going to be like. Have a blast!
Hi to Fi and Paul,
Posted by: Alan Arnette on March 23, 2006 06:01 AM AEST
Hi Paul and Fi,
Well, so far so good! Glad to hear that KTM is calm. I was a little worried about that. Enjoy the flight to Lukla and lift you feet as you land!
All the best,
Posted by: Janet Fearnley on March 23, 2006 07:58 AM AEST
Hi Fi and Paul,
Thanks for the daily updates, will be with you all the way! All the best wishes in the world to you both. Have a great journey.
Posted by: Neil Harrington on March 23, 2006 10:38 AM AEST
Hi Fiona & Paul,
Glad all is well, and that you have your tent beds to make life a little easier.
The good news is that, at 1380 metres altitude, you're about one-sixth of your journey up!!!
Posted by: Orhan on March 23, 2006 03:30 PM AEST
Fiona & Paul,
Glad to see everything is going as planned. Like to see more photo's as your journey progress..
All the best,
Posted by: Katherine Cary on March 23, 2006 04:23 PM AEST
Hi Fiona and Paul,
Not sure if you remember me. I worked with Fiona for a summer at Accenture in 1999/2000 and played netball with you a few times after that.
I just came across your website and am so impressed and excited for you both as you embark on such an amazing journey.
Best wishes for the climb. I'm looking forward to following your progress, seeing the photos and hearing all about it.
Posted by: Gabe on March 23, 2006 06:07 PM AEST
Loving the puff daddy look Bridge and Chris!
Hi to Paul and Fiona
Posted by: GOUZENES Nicole on March 23, 2006 07:38 PM AEST
Félicitations. Nous pensons à vous de tout coeur. (I'm Jean-Pierre Genton wife)