The ride from Bangkok to Katmandu took about three hours. As we got closer we could see
the enormous mountain peeks sticking out of the clouds. Since we were on the right side of
the plane we could just look out the window. The whole left side of the plane was missing
this incredible view, so they all got up from their seats to look out the right side. We
don't know if weight distribution is very important on an aircraft but all we could
picture was one of those old time Red Baron planes doing fifty or sixty barrel rolls into
the side of the Lang Tang mountain face. We didn't. The landing gear came down and we
prepared to embark on our Nepali adventure.
There are no catwalks that lead from the airplane to the terminal, so there we were
like a couple of JFK's standing at the top of one of those old fashioned metal staircases
on wheels that lead from the airplane door to the ground, with a light rain falling on our
heads. We were ushered into a huge hanger like room to go through immigration. One short
line for Nepalese citizens, one nonexistent line for indian citizens, one medium line for
those already holding Nepalese visa's and everyone else (including us) waiting for about
two hours to be admitted in the no-visa line. Of course none of the other immigration
officers came to help this two hundred-person line. They sat and chatted, had a smoke and
relaxed while waiting for the next airplane to arrive.
We were finally admitted and our packs were there waiting for us (thank Buddha!).
Nonchalantly chatting about our plans for getting to the hotel we casually strolled out of
the Katmandu airport. BiG MiSTAKE. We were immediately surrounded by about a hundred taxi
drivers all saying "Welcome to Nepal", "Sir, i'll take you to Thamel",
"...you going to Freak Street?", "...too the Katmandu guest house?",
"...100 rupees i'll take you my friend", "...500 rupees i'll take you my
friend" it was insane. We were forced to retreat quickly behind the police barricade.
We finally found the airport taxi hut and made it to our hotel for 200 rupees - no