AS I RUN OUT OF GIRL FRIENDLY COUNTRIES
I am going to slowly run out of girl friendly country and people type countries. This means I will have to travel to the places where they are not Christians, the places where I am a visitor and would never become a part of the community. So I am thinking after Eastern Europe that I will enter in the next year I will start to think more about destinations like the normal traveler. Jeff is honing my skills of destinations, as he is definitely a destination traveler. He has them all mapped out and on an itinerary. I am a little worried that he also has them micro managed to the budget price also. If he puts them little stick-em things inside the guidebook I will know for sure.
But as I travel to destinations I am thinking…
1. I would like to go take photos of Gorillas.
2. I would like to take photos of Tigers.
3. I would like to go into a Village off the Amazon River.
I am almost positive in the next year I could purchase a Mobile Phone or Cell Phone that I can carry with me. I would buy the card to pay for time in the country I am visiting. I would call the USA for Internet Access and download and upload my emails. I would need to get to an Internet café every couple of week’s maybe to publish the page. I could afford to do the emails with either a cell or satellite telephone. These refills they sell in other countries makes it easy to buy access and no contracts. There is still a HUGE problem with Cell access in the world, but they are almost there. I estimate now one year. I am not sure on Africa, but I think it is the same as here.
They do not install telephone lines in remote parts of the world they install cell towers.
But this make is possible to go photo Gorillas for me.
BACKPACK AND SLEEPING BAGS
Jeff and me found a cottage industry building full of people making backpacks and sleeping bags. He left this morning for Pohkara or something like that to see who is smoking Hash over there. Oops. I mean he went to see about trekking over there. I am making joke because in Katmandu a person tries to sell us Hash every 30 meters. It makes Varanasi look tame. So I am sure a lot of travelers go to the country to be safe and stoned.
But I am going to stay around a look at gear and look for what they call factories, but more of a few rooms with sewing machines. I am also going to buy some warmer clothes for the trip. I think for about 40 Dollars USA I can buy everything easily. Jacket, Sleeping Bag, Sweatshirt, Shirts, Mittens. Anything I want is cheap here. A good Minus 5 or 10 sleeping back cost around 10-15 Dollars USA.
I am still learning about sleeping bags. I have found that Katmandu people like to try to hit home runs on price. They are like Mexicans; they have no remorse or reluctance to ask 10 times the asking price. You MUST negotiate very hard here and ask around. But is Gear wonderland for the gadget and gear heads of the world.
I just realized that there is a lot of German here!
CHECKING - 56 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT
There is NO heat in 95 percent of rooms in Kathmandu.
I am living in a cave. The temperature is always the same. Most building in the world are made of concrete and if they sun does not bake for a long time the temperature inside will stay the same. I am in a cave with a door, bathroom, and a bed.
Jeff and me went to a restaurant the other night. He is extremely American and has itineraries and other plans, so I just sort of follow along. So on the same day that I sent a tip about “What is a clean Restaurant?” and sort of lambasted the people for using the Guidebook to choose restaurants he reads the Lonely Planet and we go to a restaurant that is recommended. It was called K- To or something like that. It was very nice, but definitely was Tourist and has nothing to do with “Shoestrings.”
They brought out our meals on them sizzler places.
I had grilled Chicken and French Fries, and Jeff has a steak.
There was a bar full stocked with a bunch of Brits watching Soccer of Football, a few other travelers that were celebrating a birthday. I knew this because they had a cake cooked and brought it to the table with candles to blow out. John Denver was singing “Rocky Mountain High,” in the background music. Candle light, and table clothes.
They had heat! This is the first heated room I have entered in Katmandu and that was wonderful. I walk around fully jacketed. I am “Full Jacketed Traveler.” I am trying to make a joke about the movie “Full Metal Jacket.”
Now you could say I am a hypocrite. But this is about thinking folks. I am not a hypocrite. I want you to think when you are just being a tourist and when you are being a budget traveler. There is nothing wrong with being a tourist, but do not say you are going on a shoestring and visit these restaurants every night. This is not a travelers restaurant it is a “Tourist Restaurant.” There was nothing NEPAL about the place, except the waiter talked English with a Nepal Accent.
There are 3 main reasons to travel to a country.
1. Destination like ruins, trekking, scenery.
2. Culture - This will include B below.
3. Entertainment and friendship.
A. Traveler and Tourist Friendship
B. Locals or Natives.
But if you are going to the country to see the “Real Nepal” or the “Real India,” or any other country and you can see other travelers. You are in the wrong place. If you see more travelers than you see locals you are in your country with different scenery.
I had a lady tell me about Safari, in Africa. A safari is for those people that do not want to see people. You could say it about those people that want to see Animals, but I would say it is probably the opposite.
So far if you just want to trek it seems that Colorado, or Switzerland or any of them mountains would be just as good, but more expensive.
LEARNING TO MOUNTAINEER
I would definitely go to the USA and learn to Mountaineer. They have great mountains here, but I have not seen anyone yet that looks like they climb mountains. I saw a few in Hampi, India.
I would love to go to a city in the USA that is full of full on, crazy, and obsessive mountain climbers. People that will instruct for free and tell you everything you ever wanted to know. Sort of like a skateboarder or someone talking about Flash. You know the type. They are Full on and a fanatical. This is who is best to learn. I am surround by weekend trekkers here, but there are some real mountains here….!
Mount Everest is here. I am definitely coming back in warm weather to walk toward Everest. I am told you can drive up on the Tibet side.
Nepal needs a couple months of my time.
Note we are heading for Tibet, then to Beijing and I have decided to hop on the Siberian Railway to go toward Norway. It really ends in Finland or Sweden, but I have a reason to end in Norway.