This trip is crazy. Yesterday I was watching the sunset behind the Taj Mahal in India, today I'm in Kathmandu in Nepal, tomorrow I begin my trek to Everest Base Camp, I cannot express how fortunate I feel to be where I am doing what I'm doing... (I still wish I could pop to Glastonbury though!)
So after a brief stop in India six of us have left the truck for Nepal and some trekking. My last lengthy (that's lengthy Nicole not dull) was from Amritsar, India after visiting the Golden Palace and a few laps in the guesthouse pool we left for the outer Himalayas and the towns of Dharamshala and McLeod Ganj in Northern India. Home to the Tibetan Government in exile since 1960 and to his Holiness the Dalai Lama McLeod Ganj was stunning. Mr Lama wasn't in much to my disappointment he was in France and didn't think to tell us!
On route to the hills we caught our first glimpse of wild monkeys, we stopped for lunch which was served with a stick this I was told was to bat of monkeys with as they're not shy especially with food (Lloyd you would have loved it the monkeys that is not the food!) Now we've left the realms of Iran and Pakistan we're finally meeting other travellers which is always good after being with the same group for over two months now! I met some girls from Israel and a couple of lads from Tibet on a rooftop bar in McLeod Ganj a few drinks later I went home with a new t-shirt and my new friend Chokden went home without one, they're a generous lot those Tibetans!
After the temperate climes of the hills we then endured a 19 hour drive to Delhi and quickly found ourselves back in the heat, from there three of us caught a taxi to Agra a four hour drive away to see the Taj Mahal it was a crazy trip but one we had to take as we flew to Nepal the next day whilst the truck will go to Agra in a few days without us. We arrived to find the Mahal had closed, however after reading the Lonely Planet we knew we still had a chance to catch a glimpse before sunset. We met two entrepeneurs both 12 and complete gentlemen, they took us to the rear of the grounds onto a boat and we were able to see it in all it's splendour for sunset, an 8 hour round trip in a battered old taxi and several near misses beats the tourist trip through the front gates any day! Well worth it.
So cashcard now in possession (lost in Pakistan) we've now landed in Kathmandu. (Mum thanks again I'm very content knowing you will always assist me in those tight spots!! post restante worked but I had to go to 2 post offices and six different offices to finally retrieve it from a rusty old locker!!) We've not been here long but already Kathmandu is my favourite city thus far, the feel of it is so good and it's some comfort knowing my homies are in the green or possibly brown fields of Glastonbury today!
Tomorrow we catch a small 16 seater plane to Lukla to begin the Everest Base Camp trek. I'm extremely nervous having gone on about it for so long and being so close now I'm paranoid altitude sickness will prevent me from finishing, but I will never know until I try! I'm going to depart now and re-pack my bag I need to shed a few kg's so my porter can carry it without me feeling ashamed as he breaks his back in the process!!
I hope Glastonbury was ok for you all!! I want all the news even from the posh campers in the romany caravans (still think that's cheating!) I return to Kathmandu on the 5th of July for 6 days before we enter Tibet and China on the 11th. I will upload photos upon my hopefully safe return following some hopefully celebratory drinks back in Kathmandu!! I really don't know anyone who wouldn't love this awesome 12th century city!
Missing you all