The alarm bell sounded at 8:15am and I felt like I’d only just fell asleep. Between the thumping base from the nearby Ibyza dance bar, loud honkings from vehicles passing through Thamel and strange animal-type sounds, it was difficult to drift off into sleep mode. Nevertheless, I forced myself out of our clammy bed and into the shower.
We decided last night that getting the 6.30am bus to Besi Sahar wasn’t very likely, seen as we arrived so late at night. There was an element of haste to our trip this time around. Sure we’d had more time and less funds last time which meant we could shop around and get a good price for taxis, accommodation etc. Now we just needed to get to Besi Sahar and begin walking.
So we ate our breakfast, packed our bags and headed out of Thamel to get get our TIMS (Trekking Information Management System) and ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Project). These are compulsory to hike in Nepal, some tours organise it for you but it’s pretty simple to do on your own. We were going get both documents at Besi Sahar, but after reading about Nepali Officials pocketing the TIMS money and not logging your hike data we thought it wasn’t worth the risk. If anything happened then we could at least be traced to a specific route and timeframe.
We enquired about a local bus to Besi Sahar, and had been assured by three separate sources now that there were no buses until the following morning at 6:30am. We couldn’t risk losing a hiking day so we organised a car to take us. It worked out at 12500rs, ($125 for us both). It was a bit expensive but we needed to get there.
We had to buy a map and withdraw some cash for our hike (always a struggle in Nepal), but firstly we had to grab some lunch. Momos from Momo Hut, Thamel. They do a great lunch deal where you can try 4 different types of momo and get French fries too for 400rs. I have missed momos so much, and masala tea. If there was a chain back home that made them I would be a valued customer. Note to self: gap in the market.
I love how crazy this place is. Cars beeping their horns, impatiently pushing past each other coming at you from all angles, there was a certain charm to the chaos. It took us 2 hours to travel 10km out of Kathmandu, the traffic was bumper to bumper, with roadworks and construction happening on the outskirts.
Our driver didn’t know how to drive properly either. Allan had to show him how to use the blower to clear windscreen of steam. To be fair he only looked about 15, but still he should know what the blowers are for? He kept stopping and wiping the screen clear haha.
We arrived in Besi Sahar at 20:30, checked into Guangapurna Guesthouse 600rs for a double room. Ordered some more momos and a pot of masala tea and sat in the dark wood dining area among the sherpas, Nepali staff and one western lady and her guide. In the background our entertainment was a Bollywood flick. Everything is so bright and colourful in Bollywood, I always think this whenever I see a Bollywood film playing. If only life could be so cheerful all of the time. Tomorrow our hike begins at 07:30.