Brisbane2Bristol

On our great adventure

On Top of the World at Kathmandu….

Archive for the 13/4/2013

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After a pleasant 3-hour plane trip with Thai Airlines….

we finally landed in Kathmandu…..

Soon everyone was piling off the plane and heading for the arrivals hall, most people is seems like us needed to get their visa on arrival (not all countries do this so check) the procedure was very simple and quick.

Off next to collect our luggage, then try and find the hotel taxi driver…but first we needed some Nepalese money (you can’t get it outside of Nepal) so we headed to the ATM…Hmmm the transaction seems to have gone through, but the machines making lots of peculiar noises and taking a while…then all of a sudden it spat my card out with no money…

Welcome to Nepal…

The ATM was empty!
The Hotel driver took us to his car, which looked like it shouldn’t be on the road, oh well this is Nepal!

As we drove out of the airport to be greeted by traffic going in all directions, no one following any road rules…do they have any? Not sure!
The driver took us down some roads looked like it had been bombed…the roads were broken, potholes consumed the ‘road’, it also looked like a rubbish tip…not a very good first impression, but wait there’s more… dust and plenty of it…

It was being kicked up by the wind and other passing vehicles it was choking! so much so that we had to do the windows up in the car, so instead of getting dusty we were now suffocating from the heat…

My first thoughts were, what the hell sort of place have we come to?
Shortly we soon came to some semi decent roads as we neared the tourist area-Thamel…

The streets are narrow roads and the roads full of all sorts of traffic with people, cows and dogs all trying to get to their destination!

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The lane that leads to our guest house…

We arrived at a narrow tall building…our guest house…

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Secure parking for the bike…

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Our bathroom had a great sink and tap set…

We also got to experience the Nepalese power load shedding that happens up to three time a day lasting about three hours at a time…

After settling in we head off to explore the ‘tourist’ town…

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There was lots on offer here….

Up on the roof we made a cup of tea to watch sun go down….

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When you don’t have a clothes line to dry your shoe….

The following day we got up early, as we wanted to collect the bike from customs before the streets got too jam-packed with traffic.

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The taxi dropped us at the Thai cargo office; there we had to sign all the relevant forms, before we could collect the bike from the customs dept…

Customs also informed us that the customs collection depot doesn’t open till 10am but they won’t ‘really’ open till 11am…

Bang goes our plan to get the bike back to the guest house before the roads get busy! Plus it was only 8.30am!

As we head out of the customs offices we were approached by two shady looking men and a lady wanting to ‘help’ us get the bike out from the customs dept..
How did they know we were there to collect our bike?

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Fortunately Clive being smart!…had already read about the ‘Helpers’ from some other bikers that had got their bikes out a few days earlier, so we knew what ‘they’ were about and what was a good price for their help…

Basically you can go to customs dept. yourself but the language is a problem and it can also take longer without a ‘helper’… So after a while of hashing out ‘numbers’ we couldn’t agree…they were talking stupid amounts, so we walked away.

Seeing as we have a bit of time up our sleeves we thought we would get a SIM card.

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There weren’t any coffee shops to while away the time, so we sat on a wall planning how we were going to get the bike out, as we were talking, the girl ‘helper’ approached us and said they agree to our price…

Next thing we know we are getting in an overcrowded taxi van and rode for a couple of minutes to the customs warehouse…there we met the main ‘helper’ and the girl left!

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So we sat outside the warehouse doors for the next few hours with a few locals for company, they too were also waiting to collect their goods…

Sitting VERY close on the seat next to me made me feel a bit uneasy, suddenly I could feel I was being stared at when I turned to look at the young men they were just gawking at me, I thought it was my stunning beauty that kept them staring but I think it was my blue eyes that fascinated them really…

At least I hope it was my eyes!
After some time the roller doors of the warehouse opened…yippee… we were told to stay outside by our ‘helper’…he then wandered in to the warehouse to do the release paper work…

While he was inside a tiny old lady who worked at the customs warehouse… clearly known by all the waiting people proceeded to sing and dance and keep us entertained …she even sat in between Clive and myself and gave us both a kiss on the cheek… Lol

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After a while of wondering what was going on we went in to the warehouse to check on procedures…
A whole lot of nothing was going on and plenty of it, so many people just wondering around the warehouse doing what I’m not sure…

There didn’t seem to be any sort of system…

Well not that we saw anyway… After what seemed like a few more hours the bike was eventually released and brought out on a forklift to an area in the warehouse where we could unpack it…

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with many curious local helper’s! They couldn’t wait to see what was in the big crate..

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Eventually the bike was put together and we were ready to roll out of the customs warehouse.

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but not before it was checked over by the inspector, checking that the engine number on the bike matched the ones on his forms, also not forgetting we had to pay our ‘helper’ the grand amount of $60 that’s a lot of money for few hours work and in Nepal that’s a huge amount of money…

The helper counted the money then pulled out a massive wad of money from his pocket and combined all the notes together …
He is clearly doing alright out of this custom fixing…

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With our helmets on we head off to battle the roads of Kathmandu and to get to the nearest petrol station to fill up…

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Our clean bike is about to get a little dirty…on the road to Thamel!

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Hope he has turned the power off….

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