Saturday, March 19, 2011

Holi Kathmandu!

Well, we have arrived in Kathmandu after a very long couple of days travel.  After being delayed in Dhakar for about 2 hours due to a fuel pump problem we arrived at the Kathmandu airport at around midnight the morning of the 19th.  The airport is quite small and dirty with garbage on the floors and graffity on the walls.  Armed guards are at every door in cammo gear and you get the impression that you'd stepped back in time! 

Customs and immigration was just a couple old wooden tables set up with men sitting behind them ready to look at your paperwork.  It seems like you can't go on a trip without running into at least one glitch and so right off the bat we filled our quota!  We needed to apply for a visitors visa upon arrival but no one had mentioned that we'd need a passport photo to get stapled onto the visa application.  There were a few tense moments while we waited to see if they would let us into the counry without the photo and eventually they said we could stay!  We decided that they'd been so kind because of our charismatic charm and radiating good looks made all the more apparent after 2 days inside sardine cans with no showers. 

Our fist impressions...everyone asking for tips or money, dirty, lots of garbage laying around, noisy with horns honking and people talking loudly.  Narrow, narrow streets with cars, vans and motorbikes all vying for their space.  Only a doorstep separating the front door of a business from the street and people darting in front of careening vehicles trying to get across the road.

Morning brought a clearer picture and we watched as a lady climbed through the hole in her roof to lay out her morning laundry.  It seems that all buildings are very tall and most have terraces on the top floors where people have small shrines, gardens and laundry hanging from every concievable place.

It was the Holi festival today, a celebration of water and paint.  We were warned to wear older clothes and protect our cameras as no one comes out unscathed.  We ventured into the street like lost waifs afraid of what we would find.  We could hear laughing and loud noise down the road and headed in that direction.  Soon we heard the shouts of "happy holi" and saw arcs of paint being thrown in every direction.  Water rained down on us from high above the street and some children had bags of water that they were throwing on people.  Some rubbed our faces full of paint and others threw it in the air, some tried to get it into places they shouldn't but we're a bunch of farm girls...I don't think I need to say more.

We had a great day and are now looking forward to tomorrow.   We have re-packed all of our bags to the required 25lbs and organized ourselves as best we can.  We fly out to Lukla early in the morning and begin our trekking from there.  Apparently the air strip is quite something....sheer cliff on one side and mountian on the other with only the width of the runway separating the two...good times!  Yah okay, not really good times I'm actually trying to get phyched up for this so I don't pee my pants and have to blame it on someone else.

So, we're thinking of you all at home and missing you but the adventure has just started and we are anxious for it to begin. 

1 comment:

peggy said...

oh my .... Rhonda and crew. Take care you
farm girls. peggy