50 things we’ve learnt during our 49 days in Nepal.

1. No one has any patience at the baggage carousel in the airport.

2. Jayne clearly has the face of a drug user… She has been offered pot, smoke, weed and hash more times than I’ve eaten momo’s.

3. It is perfectly acceptable to have a curved football pitch if it is built on a rice paddy field. 

4. Constant electricity is a luxury. 

5. The water in streams and puddles is clearer and cleaner than the sanitised water coming out of the taps in Kathmandu. 

6. Nepalese stinging nettles are evil bastards.

7. The path of least resistance is often better than the path of least distance.

8. Donkey shit is more slippery than mud. 

9. “Do you speak yak?” has replaced the Maldivian “do you speak whale?”

10. It is possible to be stuck in a traffic jam on a trekking trail behind a massive line of donkeys.

11. Yaks are rebels… They don’t walk clockwise around the shrines. 

12. Dying your hair before trekking means that by the time you finish, you have massive roots… Don’t bother (btw – it wasn’t us!!).

13 Christmas songs and jingles from 90’s TV adverts get stuck in your head for days when trekking.

14. It is perfectly acceptable to walk kilometres out of your way for a piece of chocolate cake and apple pie.

15. A freezing cold shower is better than no shower when you haven’t washed in a week. 

16. Meeting an actual ice fall doctor is pretty awesome…

17. … As is staying in the home of someone who has been on he summit of Everest 12 times!!

18. Yak poo is extremely efficient as a fuel source in a stove for keeping you warm.

19. Horizontal paths are few and far between – they require a song and a dance to recognise their presence.

20. It is the same in every language… You’re an asshole!

21. Nepalese people think the Irish are crazy for making snow angels (N.B. This may not be limited to just Nepalese people!!)

22. Sunburn on your lips is incredibly painful – especially if they get rubbed with dirt, wind and/or chilli paste!

23. Porters are the ants of the human world! 30kg at this altitude is insane!!!

24. You know when the steps on a trail are steep when you can smell your feet…

25. Hiccups at altitude aren’t helpful and they really hurt!

26. Katherine is allergic to donkeys but not to yaks.

27. We thought that trekkers would all be appropriately dressed but there are common whores everywhere!! Not sure if hot pants and mini skirts are the most suitable attire for trekking up to EBC – especially when you combine them with a thong…

28. You need to sleep with your mobile in your fleece pocket otherwise the cold drains the battery.

29. You need to pay the trolls that live under bridges with stones or pine cones.

30. You can’t have a proper tantrum with trekking poles because the wrist straps prevent you from throwing them on the ground in anger (believe me – we’ve tried!)

31. Jayne is a true princess!! She gets blisters under Comped blister plasters.

32. Sherpa children eat packets of dried noodles like British children eat crisps.

33. Live goats gets tied to the top of buses.

34. Some Nepalese people are ticklish, some aren’t – you can use the ones who are to your advantage!!

35. Nepalese wine is super strong… Shitfaced, SHITFACED!!

36. It is okay to eat momo’s at every meal (we’ve even dreamed up some breakfast concoctions to experiment with when we return home).

37. Allow an entire day for a bus journey… Even is you are only going down the road.

38. Washing an elephant for your birthday is awesome!!

39. Never assume that just because you have a hotel booking that you will actually be staying at that hotel.

40. Elephants safaris bruise your chest-icles. 

41. Playing cricket in a rarely used temple is a great use of space!!

42. Musical instrument sellers only know one song… 

43. Walking on cobbled streets with a bad back is not fun.

44. Selfie sticks can (and are) used for taking photos up ladies skirts…

45. Don’t piss off a Nepalese bus driver – their tongue lashings would make an German/Irish teaching nun with a whip look like a puppy.

46. Fights in cinemas actually happen (and I’ve been to Surrey Quays cinema plenty of times and never witnessed one!).

47. Bakeries destroy your budget as well as your waistline.

48. Post trekking feet are disgusting and getting a blister under a toenail is a guaranteed way of it falling off.

49. Kathmandu back streets are awesome. Not only are they filled with architectural gems, carved windows and loads of little markets selling everything you could ever possibly need; they never feel unsafe. 

50. Nepal – Once is not enough…

Travelling & Yangon – day 218

Woke up by an over enthusiastic air hostess turning on every single light possible on the airplane at about 1.30am, to inform us that we had about half an hour until we landed in Kuala Lumpur. A very quick connection security check and I was in heaven, browsing through books and magazines at WHSmith – eBooks aren’t the same as real books, with proper pages although I am grateful not to have to lug around paper books. Managed to restrain myself from filling up my bag with trashy magazines and books, we headed upstairs to Jayne’s version of heaven… Burger King… And it was open at 2.30am!!! Got ourselves a chicken burger meal each and enjoyed a comforting midnight snack that reminded us both of home. Jayne even treated me to a hot Milo. img_1724Sat in the airport using the super fast free wifi to keep ourselves awake whilst we waited for our connecting flight to be announced. Not being able to find a sign directing us to the right gate, we asked a man driving a buggy who then gave us a lift to the door. As the airport was still quite quiet, he drove pretending he was a race car driver, zigzagging from side to side, as we made car noises behind him (we really are big kids!!!).  img_7151 A short two hour flight and we were in Bangkok.img_1725
Slight confusion at immigration since we weren’t actually leaving the airport so the address on our form states ‘transit – stay in airport Yangon’. Sat ourselves down next to the charging points and charged up all our devices that were low in power after 6 weeks in Nepal, thinking of ways to kill our 8 hour transit. Had a breakfast of toasted sandwiches and cold fruit tea as we posted blogs and caught up with Facebook. Checked in our bags and headed up to the food court for lunch and had our second Burger King of the day… Oops!!! Guess the taste of home really needed to be had twice! Another short flight and we touched down in Yangon – feeling the intense heat. Had a free pickup from the airport so was really easy as we watched other tourists struggle to negotiate a price with taxi drivers. The 45 minute drive to the hotel was hot and sticky, even with the windows open, but it was fascinating to see the towns flash past. Dropped out bags off and, after asking a few questions, headed to the bus park to organise our transport for tomorrow. Turns out we need to go to the bus station close to the airport but we don’t need to book tickets in advance – we can just turn up. Had dinner in the only proper restaurant we saw between the hotel and the bus stand – everything else was street stalls which we are really keen to try but perhaps not the best idea for our first night, especially since we have only learnt how to say ‘hello’, ‘yes’ and ‘thank you’. Shuffled around our bags around so we could leave stuff at the hotel – definitely not going to need our fleece or down jackets over the next few weeks – and headed to bed, exhausted.

Thursday 12th May 2016