Nepal Travel Stories

12 Volt Travel Power

12 Volt Travel Power
Kathmandu, Nepal Asia
February 11, 2007

A feasible solution to not having electricity, as solar charging is not much good without a way to store the electricity, the sun does not shine all night.

Chris the worlds greatest Internet researcher surfer has found an all-in-one solution that is the same as one of my ideas, and taken to finish. It is very hard to think of something that is not already made and sold.

I want to use 12 Volt Electricity Power in my room, Nepal has been a great training country on living without electricity as the country shuts the electricity off from 3 to 10 hours per day, and can be random. Therefore, are you ready, oops, no electricity now.
http://www.hobotraveler.com/2007/02/12-volt-travel-cooking.html

If I am typing on the computer, reading a book, and worst, trying to take a shower, all the world is disrupted on a random basis. The Hot Water here is electricity, they say it is Solar, yet that does not work good, not even close to adequate, so in the night, if the hotel is good, they will turn on the electricity. But some mornings they shut off the electricity at 5:30 til 8, therefore no morning showers because the heater has been off for the time needed before my shower.

To depend on the Hotel or Nepal for Hot shower, is not feasible, they are just not going to supply me with a Hot Shower.

12 Volt Travel Power

iSun BattPak 3-Way Battery Charger with 10 NiMH batteries

This product is cool, one problem. I could not find on page if I can charge with both 110 and 220 electricity. If I cannot do with 220 then not much good, better to continue on my system. On the other hand the cost of 10 rechargeable batteries is close to this, so I could buy it and dump the charger.

I do wish I could just call them and ask.

Solar energy is a great idea, however lets be real, spending 200-300 dollars to buy a charger I use for a few days a year I am without power is way to expensive. Yes, I could go hiking for a 20 day trip, and what I really want electricity for is both my computer and a reading light. Campfire do most of the normal lighting while in the brush or jungle at night.

I do not want to carry everything on the planet, I have a 40 Kilo limit.

If a person or I was in the jungle for 20 days, I would need 40 to 50 hours of battery for my computer, this is a lot of time. The problem with solar is moving, if I live in the same place for 20 days then solar become easy and very feasible, but who would stay in one place for 20 days in the jungle. I suppose I could be living on top of a mountain being the Monk thing, but still, this is probably not going to happen.

I tend to think if I was living on top of a mountain I would go for hydro power, or make a small dam, and get a couple of car alternators and charge my 12 Volt System... hehehe, just like the one here. Water flowing down a hill seems more reliable now, and I truly do believe I could make a few or many hydro chargers with parts from any junk yard in any country on the planet.

But, back to the problem, I need to store the electricity, then for me, I need to carry the batteries. Motorcycle and Car Batteries do me no good, I cannot run my Sony Camera on a Car Battery. I need AA batteries, I only buy things with AA batteries, this seems to be the best size.

The Truckers and Recreational Vehicle people are doing all the research and if I can convert my non electricity time to 12 Volt, I can I think easy handle a random 5 t0 10 days of no electricity. The problem with electricity is not a planned trip to the jungle, the problem is as here in Nepal, when they just randomly shut the electricity off for 3 days. It is the bigger problem, I have been places where they shut the electricity off for a week.

I was in Mexico and because of the corruption, the government punished the people and ME, by shutting the juice off for the week of Christmas.

No warning, no idea what is going on, there just was no electricity.

Travel is not so much planning to deal with a trip, it is planning to deal with the problems you did not plan on having.

12 Volt Travel Power


SNAFU Nepal

SNAFU Nepal
Katmandu, Nepal Asia
February 10, 2007

I will fly from Katmandu, Nepal to Delhi, India tomorrow. I cannot believe how annoyed I have become with Katmandu or Nepal in general.

I try to figure out why I am annoyed so often, I think it is because I am now wearing the same sweatshirt about 20 days in a row, it stinks. I cannot have it washed easy.

I am maybe a clean freak, compared to the other travelers, I know I shower and wash my clothes better and more often. However, in their defense, they are only on a trip for 1-3 months normally and they say to themselves.

- Not a big deal -

Then they do not wash their clothes or accept or some reasons are happy with what are sloppy or bad standards. I personally demand that poor countries give me a good value and do a great job. I think it is the only way they learn how to compete with the richer countries. Learn what is required of quality to sell products to the world.

Normally, the longer I am in a country, I find a good laundry, a good internet café, a good grocery, all the conveniences that make my Travelers Nest a happy home.

About 30 days in country of Nepal, and I am still not able to have my clothes washed at the correct price, honestly and properly. I have walked around in Thamel and tried to find a good place. The biggest problem is they are all just cheats, I know how much my clothes weight and they do not weigh 8 kilos, they weigh 3.

I doubt most travelers have washed their clothes so many times, they are almost positive of the weight before they take them to a laundry. It is cold here, or I would be doing my laundry in my room by hand.

I think the problem in Nepal is there is always one critically needed piece missing from all puzzles. If I do something, there is always one part of the trip, the idea, the need that is missing. Nothing is as good as required, this is highly unusual. I can normally find one hotel, one internet café, or one laundry that is exceptional.

I have not found exceptional persons or services in Nepal.

However, I am Pro in a way, I have purchased so many things in other countries, I and on such a regular basis, I can slice and dice my needs.

I am in a friendly hotel, I would love to recommend it, and however there are landmines all over the hotel. The one I hit today is the toilet, as normal in India and Nepal, they I think the India and Nepal people use their hand.

Southeast Asia has this water to clean system and it works. India and Nepal have this water to clean system and it does not work. I ran out of toilet paper, decided to use the water to clean method. They have the bucket, the dipper, but I have to turn on the shower nozzle to fill up the bucket. It is amazing to me, the standard systems of how to make a toilet here is not provided. I should say, the critical needs are not provide, the minimal, the absolute smallest request is always missing a critical part of the puzzle.

I do not expect to come back to Nepal for a few years, or more, I am going to skip for as long as possible. So many places are more interesting on the planet. I was doing a deal for a hotel here, and I realized, and maybe things are for a reason. I would be a hostage or prisoner in my own hotel; I would not want to leave.

The electricity just went off, SNAFU - Situation Normal, All F--cked UP.
On batteries again, as normal.

SNAFU Nepal


Skype.com

Skype.com
Katmandu Nepal Asia
February 10, 2007

Talk to people in other countries, almost free, just the cost of the internet. I can call from anywhere to the USA for two cents US per minute.
Skype.com

This is one of my choices for Top Travel Sites of 2006, a year in review for sites in the English Language. A list of needed sites for travelers, not generally for tourist, however surely encompasses their needs.

Tourist because of only going on two to four week vacations normally do not have needs, more wants. The return ticket guarantees they are programmed and hard coded in their thinking.

Skype.com
Not a new idea, however finally one that works, seems to earn money and I hope stays in business. Now, they have competition from companies like yahoo.com, and the prices shall drop.

Talking to people from internet connection to internet connection is not a new idea.

Calling a person from the internet is not a new idea, there has been many. I sent what I labeled a Hot Tip.

ISSUE: 012b
DATE: July 17, 2000
TITLE: Andy's Travel Tips HOT TIP
http://www.hobotraveler.com/newsletterhobo012b.php

There were two sites where I could call the USA and a landline free.
Dialpad.com USA
Hottelephone.com Europe, and USA

I clicked on Dialpad.com and it looks like yahoo.com purchased the site:
Yahoo.com

It also appears that Yahoo.com is cheaper than Skype.com.

Why I like Skype.com is because of a few reason, however the big reason is because they have made the words,
- Skype.com - well know, the internet cafes, the managers know these words.

They can point at a machine that has the program downloaded, and IF I am lucky it works. Skype.com requires many configurations, and everything needs to work perfect. There is no guarantee.

I would guess in ANY internet café, it would work about 10 percent of the time or less when the internet café are NOT offering Skype.com.

For the internet cafés that are offering Skype, I would say you have about a 50 - 50 chance, and better if you call in the early morning, not at 7:00 at night when every other person in the country is on the internet.

There are many problems, however this is a great service, and I can call the USA for 2 cents per minute.

I could talk all day about how to use Skype.com. I will write a tip about this in my newsletter eventually. I am leaning towards the idea of just the warnings.

Example:
Log off, or another person can call and you pay!

Yahoo.com has a good system, I am sure it would work, however the Skype.com is the trendy and regularly known system. On the internet the bigger the better is my method of choosing sites. I like big sites, that stay in business, function and I can somewhat depend on.

I remember, Dialpad.com stopped the free calls.

I hope that the computer-to-computer for free call or internet to internet will remain free. I hope, however the propensity for companies to offer dreams on the internet, then take them back is almost a standard. I almost never believe in free anymore.

Skype.com


World News No BBC or CNN for Me

World News
Pokhara, Nepal Asia
February 9, 2007

I have decided to stop watching CNN and BBC or any world new TV channel, I have discovered or learn it causes me rediculous stress. I get frustrated and angry when I watch these channels as I say to myself,
- They will lie about anything. -

It is a hobby to go to place where there is a news story just to see how much truth is there in the world of reporting.

I have now resorted to reading a page we have on the HoboTraveler site to make it easy for a traveler to read the headlines.

World News Aggregate

World News


Anna Nicole Smith

Anna Nicole Smith
Pokhara Nepal Asia
February 9, 2007

Anna Nicole Smith dies, and I am proud to say, I had no idea who or what she was, and I am annoyed this made world news. The world is just one big soap opera, and the rabble reads what the rabble wants to read, and the journalist are also doing it for money, they are reporting on one of their own.

Like kind, care about like kind.

I suppose the world is in great shape, when the big news is a topless dancer diea and they call it a war when 2 persons died.

Anna Nicole Smith


Annapurna Nepal

Annapurna Nepal
Pokhara, Nepal Asia
February 9, 2007

There is something called a - Massif of Annapūrna.

Quote from Encyclopedia Encarta:

“Annapūrna, massif of the Himalayan mountain system, north central Nepal, one of the highest massifs in the world. The massif is 56 km (35 mi) long, culminating in two peaks, Annapūrna 1 (8,091 m/26,545 ft above sea level) and Annapūrna 2 (7937 m/26,041 ft). The summit of Annapūrna 1 was reached for the first time on June 3, 1950, by an expedition under the leadership of the French mountaineer Maurice Herzog.”



This set of mountain as is starts about 20 miles away from Pokhara, as a line of site, however probably much longer by bus or taxi.

I have lived in Pokjara for six days, and finally as a good bye gesture the mountains revealed themselves last night. For the first time I understood clearly, why people come to this too-much-tourist city of Pokhara, Nepal, it is the mountains.

I think on a clear day the feeling of being on top of the world would be a clear thought in my mind. I do get a feeling when in Nepal, that I am on top of the world.

A big cloud has sit on the city for the last week and made it quiet, the weather has made all the travelers and tourist feel as if they wasted their money. I really do not care, I was living in Pokhara for a week, and next week I will live somewhere else. However, to the once in a lifetime dream trip people, this is it, they need good weather, or they think they do.

I guess I live the dream, and they want to purchase the dream.



This is good idea of how far away or the general set up of the mountains.

I need to hurry as standard situation or normalcy in February of 2007, there is no electrify, I will run out of battery soon on my computer.

There is this idea that what you see in life is obvious, and when you travel the wonder of what you will see is obvious. Everyone sits around assuming that everyone understands this set of mountains. I personally despise reading guidebooks, so I do not read them. I do read the encyclopedia daily, however only after I become curious.

Finally, I was curious, there is never an obvious moment of clarity in India or Nepal, the whole culture is a big question mark. It is not important to learn about all these ideas or facts, or why I am here, it is important I enjoy the day. I know there is not going to be a test, and I am forever aware nobody cares if I can name the mountains. However, if they decide to tell me all the names, I do need to listen attentively. I suppose the idea is to listen to the world and to its people. It is not important I understand, I will not live long enough to understand the world.

My battery will run out on the computer one day, and it will be the end. I think curiosity for all things is needed, I am not sure it is important, I learn or remember though.

Annapurna Nepal


Pokhara Nepal

Pokhara Nepal
Pokhara Nepal Asia
February 8, 2007

The city of Pokhara is on a lake; as best I can discern the name of the lake is Phewa, maybe Fewa, but is could also be a manmade lake as there is a Dam on the lake.

What is real and not real is hard to say in Nepal, I have seen at least 50 signs saying they will wash my clothes by machine, and I have yet to find one machine. The owners of the hotel called it the - Lakeside Liars. -



The Hotels of Pokhara though are not really, on the lake, there is many Rice Paddies on the lake. I do believe when sunny and green, this would be beautiful with all the water buffalos walking around.

I have been trying to see the Annapurna Mountains, I can see some big hills, but not much of snow capped mountains, the clouds are sitting on the city presently for the last week.

I do not like to Trek, however I have been doing some one-two hour people Treks around the city, or cultural Treks. Somehow, the Trekker have guides, porters, and all sorts of things. The now have to pay a 2000 Trekker fee, then about 1000 for a Taxi somewhere, then I guess 500 for the guide per day, this is not a cheap walk on the side of a mountain.

I think, or feel there is probably a very nice small village closer to the mountains that would not have the tourist and be a much better location to see the mountains than the city of Pokhara. I see Pokhara as just another in a long list of tourist cities and nothing unique about it however, it is 10-50 times better than Kathmandu, Nepal.

Nice to have the beeping of the horns stop or less here, they really should now allow India or Nepal people to touch a horn, they just have to blow it every five seconds.

I like Pokhara, I will leave tomorrow for Katmandu, and then fly to Delhi, a place that make Katmandu feel quiet and clean.

I am ready for Africa where life is quiet, there is no tourist, and travel is easier and more refreshing. I think most of the information about Africa is crazy, it is a great place, easy to travel for the most part, or West Africa is, nothing close to what the media portrays.

Pokhara Nepal


Cell Phone Roaming Cost

Cell Phone Roaming Cost
Pokjara, Nepal Asia
February 7, 2007

I have been to Iraq, I have walked down the ghetto streets of the USA, I have met many a big dog, but the cost of Cell Phone Roaming scares me.

It is like throwing money up in the air.

Quote from an explanation about Cell Phone Roaming:
- International roaming is probably the service feature that has the greatest value for international users of mobile telecommunications. -

Translation by me:
- We make more money off this feature than any other service we offer, so buy this idea, hook, line and sinker, and remember, there is no way out of your contract, you will pay! -

I believe a satellite phone is cheaper.

Cell Phone Roaming Cost