Monday, 27 August 2012

Namaste Nepal

From Amman we had a 12 hour stop-over in Sharjay, from which we’d hoped to get out of the airport to do a quick tour of Dubai, however the lady on the transfer desk had other ideas.  We arrived at 2am and we weren’t allowed to check-in our bags until 7am, so we looked around in vain for somewhere to ‘sleep’ for five hours.  It seemed that half of India also had the same idea as the airport was full of Indians waiting for a morning flight to Delhi, so there wasn’t a spare seat to be found and the floor was also covered in people despite being less than clean.  After a long search we finally found two seats together and tried to settle in for the next four or so hours till we could get rid of our bags and head into town.  We applied some Vicks under the nose, plugged in our iPods and attempted to find a semi-comfortable position, even so it took an eon for 7am to finally come around.  

At exactly 7am we were back at the transfer desk to check-in, except now the lady refused to do so until 9am.  We tried to press her but she said it wasn’t possible as there was an earlier flight than ours to Kathmandu and she didn’t want to confuse the bags…. We were really disappointed as this meant that we didn’t have enough time to visit Dubai as we had to be back at the airport by 12 to go through customs and three hours wasn’t enough time to get there and back.  We weren’t too thrilled about the prospect of another five hours in the small airport but with no other options we were stuck.  Since we couldn’t escape and since our tummies were growling (it had been quite some time since our feast in Amman), we decided that we’d have to fork out for some food in the expensive food court just to tide us over till we landed in Kathmandu.  We actually managed to score a seat with a power point nearby which meant we could at least edit photos as disappointingly there was no wifi.  

Finally at 12pm we went through customs and by 2pm we were on the plane and taking off, bound for Kathmandu.  Even though it was only a three hour flight, the two hour time difference meant that it was dark by the time we landed and we didn’t get to see any of the amazing Himalayan mountains as we’d hoped.  To say we were exhausted and super hungry (never a good combo) when we got off the plane was an understatement, and then when we went to get our visa we couldn’t find our passport photos.  We were sure we had put them in our carry-on but no amount of searching found them (although as soon as we got to the hostel we found them, in our carry-on as we thought, damn!).  Typically when a visa requires a photo there’s always someone with an overpriced photo booth happy to accommodate, so (as Dave did before on our honeymoon when he successful negotiated the cheapest car hire ever when he was completely out of it on anti-histamines) he bargained the guy down from his outrageous starting price of $5/per person to $4 for us both… So with our photos and visas finally sorted the next task was to collect our bags.  They took forever to come through, and then the conveyor belt broke so they just started throwing bags through the hole into a growing stack on the belt.  In the end Dave got sick of waiting and just went out the back and grabbed both of our bags off the bag trolley when no-one was looking and we finally exited the ancient airport and negotiated a taxi to our hostel, Sanu’s House Hostel.

As soon as we arrived we were warmly welcomed by Saleeta, who must’ve seen how tired and hungry we were as she told us to drop our bags, take our shoes off and join the other guests in the kitchen as dinner was still in progress.  We gratefully followed her suggestion, feeling a bit sorry for the other guests as our feet (in fact our whole bodies) didn’t smell too good after such a long transit (it had been over 40 hours since our last shower…)  We enjoyed the simple but tasty home cooked food before the thought of a shower (albeit luke-warm) and bed (extremely hard, but that must be good for our backs??) called to us and we retired for a much needed sleep.

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