For a while now the idea that we have left our ordinary lives behind had seemed completely surreal. But it was on our way to Nepal, after a tearful farewell at Dhaka airport, that the reality of travelling began to sink in. We have left our families and friends, work and our home, now it is just us and the big world ahead. It felt very lonely but at the same time liberating, the chance to dictate our own time. For the first time we feel like real travellers.
Seeing the majestic peaks of the Himalayas from the cabin window was just awe inspiring. To think that people travel from all over the world to conquer these mountains is unbelievable.
You could say our first day was somewhat interesting. We planned to head out early and do some food shopping before going off to explore the city. Let’s say our plans got a bit delayed by someone’s bowl issues…. It happened when we first arrived in Bangladesh and now again on our first day in Nepal with Ava getting really constipated. Ru really wanted me to post a picture of Ava crying on the toilet seat (can you believe?!), instead I’m opting for a picture of the suppository pack. Someone needs to guard my daughters’ dignity.
The Airbnb apartment we’re staying at is just perfect and we’d definitely say it’s the best way forward for families. We’re on the 12th floor of an apartment block, with a superb view of Kathmandu valley and the surrounding mountains. There’s tonnes of space for Ava to run about, we can cook meals, there’s a gym, pool and even a playground on site. A real home away from home, with added extra’s! After dealing with Ava’s issue, a quick lunch at home we head off on our first adventure, to Thamel, the heart of town and backpacker central.
Thamel is busy with young, hippy, bearded folk and locals alike, motorbikes and cars zooming through the narrow roads. There are no pavements to speak of which of course meant lots of piggy backs.
There is so much dust everywhere and we thought Syhlet was bad. Sitting in the back of a taxi, the strong smell of petrol fumes hurts your lungs, it’s no wonder so many people are walking around with masks. Thamel is buzzing with great souvenir shops selling colourful scarves, Nepalese art, and shop after shop of trekking gear. The signs of the recent 2015 earthquake are at every turn. Buildings damaged and some completely destroyed, piles of bricks and rubble line the streets and homes kept standing by thick wooden beams. Despite this there is a strong sense of peace and tranquillity in the air. People are happy although some are really struggling.
On our stroll through Thamel we bumped into a friend we made on the flight from Dhaka, a photographer from LA who is visiting children’s shelters. A hello in the streets turned into an impromptu dinner together talking about our travels, our lives and sharing stories over momos (Nepalese dumplings – yummy!). This is one of the wonderful things about travel, you open yourself up to meeting wonderful and inspiring new people, like Elizabeth.