Friday 12th January Day One
Manchester - Heathrow - Bahrain
The place, my bedroom, checking my equipment, tickets, check; passport, check; money, check; big pack, check; small pack, check. Just check the tickets again.
The first airport to go to is Manchester for a short domestic flight to London Heathrow with British Airways. When I get to Heathrow I collect my bags and make my way over to Terminal 3. I get there by following the signs for flight connections. When I arrive at Terminal 3 I am already through customs and when I check in for my flight to Bahrain with Gulf Air there is no place to check my bag. I am told that I should have checked it through all the way to Kathmandu back in Manchester, but I genuinely forgot to do so because of the different airlines involved in the process, I could always exit Heathrow completely and start from scratch by entering through the main entrance, but that idea did not appeal to me. I am told that I can check it in as I am boarding the plane at the gate, that means that I will be lugging a big heavy duffle bag around for the next 3 hours, no fun, especially when I needed the toilet.
I finally board the plane, with some funny looks from other passengers and crew due to the size of the bag.
On the first plane to Bahrain I watch some crap film with Richard Gere that I don't know the name of through an excuse for a pair of headphones that look like they belong on the side of Mr. Spocks head.
Saturday 13th January Day Two
Bahrain - KathmanduArrive at Bahrain International Airport quite early in the morning, the decent to the runway was very steep and fast which was fun.
At the airport I had a wait of about 3 hours before my onward flight to Kathmandu. I used this time to look around the duty free shop (who buys golf clubs in an airport?) and get something to eat.
Once on the next plane I had a whole row of seats by the window to myself, it was great as I was able to almost lie down and get about 30 minutes sleep.
For about the last hour of the flight we had magnificent views from the left had side of the plane of the Himalayan range with all its great peaks towering above the clouds.
At Kathmandu Airport it took 20 minutes to pass through customs, it would have taken a lot longer if I didn't have a visa and was applying for one there. It then took about 40 minutes for my case to appear on the conveyor belt and a few times I had doubts in my mind thinking that it wouldn't.
Outside I was greeted by Siran, our guide from Ama Dablam Tours who would be with us for the duration of the trip and he took us to our hotel, Hotel Manaslu in the Lazimpath area of Kathmandu.
At the hotel I met some of the others from the group and then went out for a meal to a traditional Nepalese restaurant.
At the restaurant we were entertained by dancers prancing around banging sticks, anyone who knows my type of sense of humor can understand how difficult it was for me not to laugh.
After the dancing we had a meal and a few shots of some kind of spirit which was very strong. Back at the hotel it was time for bed. The room was absolutely freezing as I had no heater (I later found out that everyone else did).
At about 11:00 pm my roommate Niklas arrived, I introduced myself, had a quick chat and them went back to sleep.
Sunday 14th January Day Three
I woke up at about 4:00 am and couldn't go back to sleep, it was so cold! I finally got out of bed at 7:30 had a quick wash and went down to breakfast.
After that we had a tour of Kathmandu, first on the itinerary was a trip to the Monkey Temple, a large white building with lots of monkeys. After that we went to Durbar Square, a large area busy with locals. We also got to see the Living Goddess, a young girl who is selected to be the city's Goddess until puberty when she is reverts back to a mere mortal.
As a group we went for lunch at Thamel, a 10 minute walk from the hotel. Whilst we where there we looked around the shops, lots of very cheap hiking equipment but also very fake.
Back at the hotel we were given our trek pack to put our equipment in, we had to keep the weight of it under 10 kg, a difficult challenge indeed.
After packing the bag it was back into Thamel to do some more shopping. I spotted a cheap pair of Koflack plastic boots for a very reasonable price which I will investigate more fully when I get back from the trek. We had dinner at a nice little Thai restaurant, I had fried noodles and vegetables which was very tasty.
Back at the hotel I had a shower (the last one for quite a while) and had an early night, ready for a very early wake up call at 5:45 am.