Monday, January 21: After seeing the sunrise at Sarangkot, we head back to the hotel where I have some hot coffee and an omelet. I’m tired from waking up so early, so I take a hot bath, since ~ surprise, surprise! ~ there is hot water this morning. Sadly, I’m still not able to wash my hair because there’s no electricity for the blow-dryer! On my balcony, I admire my last stunning, and unclouded, views of the Himalayas. I put my pajamas back on and climb back into bed. I read What I Loved for a good long time and then nap for a bit longer.
When I get up again, I go out into town to continue the shopping spree I started yesterday. I buy a necklace of silver, coral, turquoise and shell, some silver rectangular earrings with inlaid turquoise and coral, an amazing wooden Nepali mask to hang on a wall, and a book of short stories by Nepali writers. I also buy a backpack for the hike I will do the day after tomorrow from Nagarkot to Changu Narayan.
I go back to my favorite restaurant, Love Kush, and order the same sizzling grilled fish I had for dinner last night. Some things are just that good. Then I walk back to the hotel to pack up all my newly purchased goods so I can fly back to Kathmandu.
I’m scheduled for a flight on Yeti Airlines at 1:15, but there is not a single airplane in evidence at the airport. They tell us the flight is delayed and they’re not sure when it will arrive. They do make the wait quite comfortable, as they invite passengers to go to the outdoor rooftop cafe for a snack. I’m still engrossed in my book, so I take a seat, order an orange Fanta, and read my book in the warm sun while I wait patiently for the plane to arrive.
Travel can sometimes be a daunting challenge. In my early days of traveling, I used to get upset if things didn’t go exactly as planned. However, I have learned the slow and hard way that I must just LET GO!! I have to just shrug off inconveniences, otherwise I will ruin my vacation! Once my peace of mind is thrown off kilter, I may as well write off an experience. I think the biggest endurance test for me was my 3-week trip to India in March of 2011. My friend Jayne and I encountered so many hardships and irritations and problems, that we found ourselves wishing we were in Europe, Italy in particular, sitting at outdoor cafes and enjoying the easy life. We were NOT enamored of India and its trials and challenges, though we found the country and the culture fascinating on many levels.
In Nepal, I’ve often been cold, especially at night, with little reprieve, no place to go to warm up. I’ve endured no electricity, bad roads, lack of internet services, and flight delays. Either Nepal is not the hardship that India was, OR I’m just getting used to these inconveniences. I think that’s a good thing if I am learning to shrug things off and not get too upset by them.
The plane finally arrives at 1:45, at which time everyone piles into the aircraft. This time I make sure I’m one of the first onboard because I want a left seat, so I can see the Himalayas from the air this time. I find one and I get some great views, although the mountains are hugged by puffy clouds at this time of day.
When I arrive back to Kathmandu Guest House, the first thing I do is take a long hot bath, wash my hair, and read my book again. Later, I go out to dinner at New Orleans restaurant. This restaurant, like all others I’ve encountered in Nepal, has an outdoor courtyard dining area. In addition it has a heated room, partially open to the courtyard but with space heaters. I sit inside by the heater. I just have a light snack and an Everest beer, and then go back into my room, where I get warm under the covers and dive back into my book. I have an early day tomorrow, as I’m going to Bhaktapur and then up to Nagarkot to spend the night.