Our driver in Tibet let us out at the China/ Nepal border where we would have to walk through immigration and then find a ride to Kathmandu. We got out of China and started walking. There is a bridge you have to pass before you can officially enter Nepal. We had been walking for a while and finally ran into some drivers. We soon realized that we had completely missed the Nepal immigration office and had to walk back a bit to officially enter the country. We paid our visa fees (which physically went straight into the pocket of the border agent), and were on our way.
We found a guy to drive us and after much debate about the price, we were off in a very rocky 4x4 SUV. We drove for a while and ran straight into dead traffic. But it wasn’t for a wreck or anything of that sort. The whole side of the mountain has slid down and mud and boulders were blocking the route.
We sat in the traffic jam for several hours as different groups tried to clear the road. We walked around and explored, walked up to the mess, helped move some rocks out of the way, etc. It wasn’t looking hopeful. We were all getting frustrated and had just about decided to start walking and find another ride on the other side, but the road finally cleared up. We eventually got through the mess after about another hour of traffic and were back on the road. We stopped at a gas station to get some food. There was an 8 foot tall marijuana plant growing in the ditch by the gas station. Seriously, it was way taller than me.
We made our way to Kathmandu and found a decent hotel in a quieter part of town. We had plans to stay a night or two and then fly to Pokhara, a nice mountain town farther west in Nepal. We arrived in Pokhara, exhausted from the journey. We found a lovely hotel room with three beds and crashed hard. We spent almost a week in Pokhara enjoying the beautiful mountains and slow lifestyle. A torrential downpour of rain came one night, which caused flash flooding like I have never seen before. We were walking in water almost up to our knees to get dinner that night. I often tell people I wouldn’t have been wetter if I had jumped in a pool.
Pokhara is where we would part ways with Brett, his time in Macau had come to an end. He would go on to hike then Annapurna circuit for two weeks and we would go back to Macau. It was hard to even imagine going back to work after an adventure like this. But by this point, all three of us had limited time left. I would be leaving in November, and Ben not too long after me.
Ben and I arrived at the airport to catch our flight back to Kathmandu. It was cancelled due to bad weather, and we ended up on a 9 hour taxi ride back to Kathmandu. I’m pretty glad it happened, because the drive was beautiful, despite the drivers constant warnings to be careful when we stepped out of the car as we were driving through Maoist country. The Maoists are a rebel political group that control a large part of Nepal. They are often a violent group and aren’t above killing and kidnapping, and while we made a safe journey, we were on the edges of our seats.
We arrived in Kathmandu with some time to kill. We saw the city a bit more and then finally headed to the airport. (on the way, our taxi driver got a flat tire, it seemed like the gods didn’t want us back in Macau either) The end to a fantastic adventure.