kathmandu, i’ll soon be touchin’ you

Wednesday, January 16:

Katmandu, I’ll soon be touchin’ you
And your strange bewilderin’ time
Will hold me down

~ Cat Stevens: “Katmandu”

The day after my boys left Oman, on Saturday, January 12, the University of Nizwa finally announced that IF we worked REALLY hard invigilating final exams and marking papers during this week, we would get a semester break from January 17-25.  I have been waiting for this announcement and was about to give up hope that we would get a break at all.   I had researched 6 places I was thinking about going if we got a chance to escape: Sri Lanka, Prague, Kathmandu, Casablanca, Beirut and Zanzibar.  When it came to decision time, Kathmandu had the best price, the shortest flight, and the promise of cool, but not freezing, weather.  So, on Sunday, I booked a ticket to Nepal for 166 Omani Rials ($432).  I fly out tomorrow at 12:45 p.m.

I recently read one of Pico Iyer’s travel essays from Video Night in Kathmandu: Nepal: The Quest Becomes a Trek, which, inspired me to visit Nepal, much as his Lady and the Monk inspired me to visit Kyoto, Japan in January 2011.

My colleague, Mona Lisa, spent several months in Nepal and loved it.  She highly recommended the Kathmandu Guest House (Kathmandu Guest House), so I promptly arranged to stay there.  I downloaded to my Kindle the Rough Guide to Nepal and Lonely Planet Nepal and started reading.  I have not had time to do any planning, but Mona Lisa stocked me up with trekking essentials (which I’m not sure I’ll use since I don’t plan to do any long overnight treks), a city map, a walking stick, and miscellaneous other essentials.  She also sent me the link to some Tibetan incantations, music that will soothe my soul in Kathmandu, music that she says I will hear everywhere on the capital’s streets, music that captures the soul of the place.

Another colleague, Zida, told me she hated Kathmandu because of the filth, pollution and chaos, but she highly recommended Pokhara, which she says is stunning.  I think the Kathmandu Guest House will help me book a flight to Pokhara, home of Phewa Lake, Mt. Machhapuchhare and Annapurna.

I really have no plan and have no idea what to expect.  I hope to bring home lots of pictures.  Stay tuned!

8 comments on “kathmandu, i’ll soon be touchin’ you

  1. If you weren’t such a nice lady, I could really get to dislike you, Cath, as you zip around the world, ticking off all those places I’d love to see but never will. (except through your lens)
    The site’s looking pretty good too. Have fun!

    • Thanks so much, Jo! I’m glad you don’t hate me!! Don’t worry, soon I’ll be back in the USA, where it will be too expensive to travel to any of these places. I’m trying to squeeze in as much as I can see while here in Oman, because, after my Spain/Portugal/Morocco trip this summer, it could be a long time before I’m able to travel again!

  2. Hi there!!! So glad you arrived safely!! I hope you get some use out of the trekking essentials, perhaps you see now why I sent them along as everyone who goes to Nepal is always in trek mode – for good reason! Uttam wrote with a lovely note letting me know that you and the money arrived safely so thank you again so much for taking that along for him. It means a lot to both of us! I cannot wait until you get back or start blogging, and that your view of Kathmandu enables you to see past Zida’s view of the place and into the heart of its magic. Safe journey dear friend!!

    • Thanks for all the recommendations and for setting me up with Uttam. I just got back yesterday and was excited to find we have a surprise holiday today!! Now I can sort through my pictures and possibly write my first post!!

    • Hi Rosie! Thanks for joining me here in South Asia. I just returned home yesterday and am busy sorting through my photos and preparing to start posting. I never take my computer with me when I travel because I know I can easily get distracted. I’d rather be immersed in the whole experience. But something will be coming soon. I also have a LOT of catching up to do in reading all my favorite blogs. At least I won’t be going anywhere else until the end of June!!

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