Thursday, 22 December 2011

I'm leaving on a jet plane

Kinga, Doris, Jacek and myself. Already in March/April we've planned this trekking in the Himalayas. We've planned to do Annapurna Circuit. Actually there was not too much planning done: we've bought tickets, Lonely Planet guide book - Trekking in the Nepal Himalaya, replenished broken or missing trekking equipment and that's it.
We've met once more to take a look at the map, which Doris got from one of her friends who did that trek last year (otherwise we would probably fly there without even a map) and even tried to do some more planning but somehow we let it go.
In fact when I think about it from the perspective of time - after the trek - more planning was not necessary.
Sadly just before the trip Kinga found out that due to the health problems she is not allowed to fly. Actually not the flying was the problem but the place and the type of the holidays. So instead of three different ideas Jacek had to listen only to two ;-)

We flew to Delhi via Moscow with Aeroflot airlines. Very interesting flight, especially one very specific Russian guy. Tattooed, dressed like viking or member of some Germanic tribe going for war. I just wonder how did they let him through security on the airport (especially in Moscow where you are even checked when you transfer) or how long does it take him to go through. For sure he had to take off all his bandages, leather, buckles and cords. And his leash (sic!) that his friend was using to lead him on.
In Delhi we were supposed to fly at 7.30 a.m, but couple of days before our flight was moved to 8.40 p.m. causing us 13 hours delay. That pissed us off, but even though I've managed to use all my charm to convince the man at the JetAir airlines sales desk to find us earlier flight and change it although we were told before by other guy at the another counter that there are not tickets and flights available. That everyone has the same problem in fact. That was of course bull shit as the mas easily made the change and we flew at 12.40. And what's more the flight was half empty.
My charm by then got exhausted and all day I must have been annoying, wound up, hungry, tired and sleepy. Big apologises to Jacek and Doris ;-)

Time in Kathmandu was short and we've spent it organising permits:
  • ACAP - Annapurna Conservation Area Project: launched in 1986 to protect the environment with sustainable community development in Annapurna area by the local people.
  • TIMS - Trekkers' Information Management System: implemented to ensure safety and security of the trekkers and to control illegal trekking operations
For ACAP we had to apply in Tourist Center in Kathmandu. It's a place where you can get your TIMS too, but then we were there it was closed and we had to go to TAAN (Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal) at the end of the city. We also had to return to Tourist Center cause Doris did not have her photos which you need for the permits. Two for each.
After we had all organised the only thing which we had to do was to change money and we've screwed it up. The easiest thing you can imagine to do in Thamel - tourist district in Kathmandu where we were staying. But we've met father and son from Poland, had beer with them and by the time we went back to our hotel all the x-change  spots were closed and they were not opened till 7.30 (or so) in the morning so instead of taking bus early in the morning to Besi Sahar we've taken bus only at 8.45 but even though we've made it to Besi Sahar on 13th of November already.

On a plane from Delhi to Kathmandu

Kathmandu from the air

Kathmandu from the air

Everest - our first beer in Kathmandu. Although I prefer Ghorka.

Nepalese must be very tolerant in terms of gender. Check this out. When filling in the form to get TIMS there are three choices available: Female, Male, Third

If you've forgotten trekking shoes you can buy them on the local market.

The same applies for water resistant watches. Make sure to notice this sophisticated model of proving the resistance.

Entrance to Thamel. Kathmandu's tourist district.

Kathmandu at 6.30 in the morning. This is when we were trying to find any open money x-change store.

Finally. On the bus to Besi Sahar.

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