I arrived in Kathmandu after what seemed like the longest stretch of travel anyone had ever done. First I had to take a plane from Kansas City to Chicago, where I met Bob who is also coming on the IBD Adventures Everest trek. Then we got onto a plane headed for Delhi in India. When we got to Delhi after a 12 hour flight, we had an 8 hour layover in the airport. In India you can't leave the holding area between flights unless you have a visa. We didn't have one so we had to stay in this room with all sorts of other people who were waiting for flights to someplace else. It was impossible to sleep. The time came for our flight to Kathmandu and thankfully from then on it was quick traveling.
As we descended into Kathmandu I was struck by how small everything looked. The city really isn't that big and none of the buildings are very tall. We climbed down the stairs off the airplane onto the tarmac and headed inside to purchase our tourist visas, collect our bags and meet our ride into town where we'd connect with the rest of our team. Everyone in the airport seemed so nice, offering to help us with our luggage and pushing our carts. It wasn't until we got to the van that we realized they were expecting us to pay them!
Kathmandu is crazy. It's like nothing I've ever seen before. There are thousands of people everywhere. It took us almost an hour to drive from the airport to the hotel, a distance of about five miles. It was like the worst rush hour I'd ever seen with bikes, taxis, motorcycles, vans, trucks, cars and buses all fighting to get past each other and no one paying any attention to which side of the road they should be driving on. It was total chaos.
Since we arrived we've been busy touring the sites. This morning we went to the Monkey Temple. It's the New Moon festival right now so it was extremely busy - there were people and monkeys everywhere. Afterward we went to K-Too steakhouse for lunch and had a great steak served sizzling on a hot plate for about five dollars. The area where our hotel is located is full of tourist shops, restaurants and all kinds of things to see. Early tomorrow morning we fly up to Lukla to begin our trek into the mountains. I've only been here for a day and half now but I'm already having the time of my life!