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For the first time on this journey, I’m a bit stressed out.

We arrived in Kathmandu today via Bangkok.  Every time we drop into a different place, it’s a little disconcerting – new geography, new weather, new people, new language, new currency.  We take it all in, usually through very sleep-deprived eyes.  (Today, Nathan feel asleep in the car on the way to the hotel.   Aidan feel asleep in the tour operator’s office.  Me, I still need to sleep!)

Kathmandu is a much bigger city that you may think.  It’s similar to Arusha in Tanzania – lots of people, lots of motorcycles  (no real traffic lanes), and lots of trash.  The people in the urban areas are an interesting mix of Indian and Asian ethnicities.  Thankfully, there’s a more touristy area for backpackers – Thamel.  That’s where we’re staying and where we found some really good deals on trekking hats, gloves, and socks.  (Note: three pairs of hiking socks in Dubai ran us $40; in Thamel, we got 6 pairs for $17.)

We’re staying at the Thamel Eco Resort.  If you could see the place, the name would make you laugh.  But after we return from a week of trekking, it may look like a resort to us.

So here’s where the stress started… we are no longer headed on a trek to see Everest.

From Nathan:  The most disappointing thing?  We decided to go on the Annapurna trek rather than the Everest one.  I was really hoping to see Mt. Everest.  We switched because of weather conditions.  It’s monsoon season.  We could be stuck in Lukla, waiting for days for a storm to pass so we could fly back to Kathmandu.  We couldn’t take the risk of being late for our flight out of Nepal to Thailand. Anyways, Annapurna will be warmer, and we don’t have to do a lot of cultural stuff.

Ok, I wanted to do the cultural “stuff!”  But that flight Nathan is writing about hasn’t left in three days.   Even if we got out of Kathmandu, the return was really questionable.  So we had to reconfigure the trek, cancel flights, and then make new ones.  We also had to repack into two duffle bags and leave our backpacks (and some contents) here at the hotel.  I don’t like having our stuff scattered.  It makes be nervous.

So we leave on our trek tomorrow.  We’ll be without WiFi until July 17.  More from us then.

(BTW, happy anniversary, Neerav, on July 16th.  Love and miss you!)