And back to Kathmandu (1400M / 4593FT)
December 4, 2010, 8:26 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

So by the end of June our huge kora had been completed: from Nepal up to Kailash and Guge, across to Lhasa and back down to Nepal. I then returned to Kathmandu where the trip had started. Though this time there was no hiking across the border–without my Kiwi companions I took the easy route with an early morning flight from Lhasa to Kathmandu. It’s an expensive fare but it’s fast and takes you right over Everest. I was too slow to reach my camera in time for that pivotal moment. Instead, here’s a watery expanse of the Plateau I captured somewhere 31,000 feet above sea level:

 

Reaching the Nepali capital, I again went straight to the home of my lovely friend Kats. My last night in Lhasa involved no sleep and a marathon of karaoke so my first hours back in KTM were spent sound asleep in her sunny guest room. I was finally roused by the smell of warm chocolate as Kats and her son finished baking a belated birthday cake for me. They did an incredible job. (Devouring three cakes in a week really raises the bar for birthdays of the future).

Then I think I may have actually gone back to sleep. This time I’ll co-blame it on a sudden overdose of oxygen after being above 12,000+ feet for the past seven weeks. Kathmandu seems like it would be a high place–it kind of evokes that image with all its enchanted Himalayan kingdom associations–but it’s actually more or less the same height as Denver. (Now that kind of kicks the mystical frills right out of it). Also let it be known that a sudden decrease in elevation and the resulting increase in oxygen does not necessarily give you a surge of super-human strength or energy (as I have also assumed), it often just works to make you feel nothing but sleepy. 

Anyway, during my actual waking hours I readied myself to start my new position and explored some old favorite spots with Kats. We had a gorgeous afternoon in the ancient city of Patan where we strolled around a museum of art and drank lime soda overlooking the city’s royal courtyards and temples.

And onto Hong Kong!

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