Leaving Pokhara

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Pokhara airport

Not long after climbing in the taxi we were at Pokhara airport.  The taxi driver stopped at a narrow gateway into the grounds and we had to produce our flight tickets for the security man to see.

We drove a few more metres to the airport entrance and the tickets had to be presented yet again to another security person. The airport is small and quite run down. It was very warm and humid in there. It seemed to take forever for us to be able to check in our bags. We were concerned about the weight of my suitcase. By itself it would have been over the limit but add the other two check-in bags to it and overall we would be under the limit for three people. When the time came nobody was worried how much it weighed really. Ian was pulled over when his rucksack was X-rayed. Turns out it was the two metal bangles we had bought the girls. Once the evidence was seen, the airport security people were happy.


Our flight to Kathmandu is delayed

Because Kathmandu airport was blanketed in fog earlier on in the day it had put all the flight schedules back by 90 minutes. Our plane was coming from Kathmandu so we to wait the extra hour and a half for it to arrive. Once the plane actually arrived there was no mucking around. We were shooed out the door and whisked onto the plane very fast. In fact they were turning off the lights in the airport lounge before we even got out onto the tarmac. Seems our flight was the last one for the day. It was a small plane and had only three seats in each row. Such was the pilot’s haste to get off the ground there was no time for any safety talk or explanations on how to put on your life jacket. The flight was really a bit boring as we just flew through cloud and pollution. The flight only took half an hour and the landing was gentle. When the plane stopped we were off-loaded onto a bus and we were driven to the “terminal” which ended up being basically a roof over our heads with some security wire around it. Collecting our luggage was a laid-back, laissez faire kind of experience. 

Little bag of goodies for the trip Little bag of goodies supplied to us by Agni Air
Having a cup of tea on the tarmac Workers sharing a thermos on the tarmac








Birendra was coming to collect us. He had rung Jeremy to say he would be delayed a few minutes as he was caught up with his next group of trekkers. He was over at the international part of the airport and had to collect 19 people off 5 different flights. He is such an organized and efficient person. He is always racing around to the extent that he worries us. Perhaps he relaxes on his treks.


We head to Norling Guest House

Birendra arrived and got us into a taxi and disappeared back to his group of trekkers.

We were originally meant to stay at Hotel Holy Himalaya. That suited us fine as they had good reviews on the Trip Advisor web site. However, a month before we left home Birendra told us that it was no longer possible for us to stay at Hotel Holy Himalaya. We had been on a waiting list but they couldn’t fit us in. That all seemed a bit strange to us but Birendra said he would get us in at the Norling Guest House. I think he knew the owner and had been promised a good deal for us. We were OK with that. However once we arrived at Norling Guest house we were not so happy!


Norling Guest House was disappointing

As soon as we arrived at Norling Guest House it was explained to us that we would need to be placed in a temporary room. It seems there were guests staying here longer than expected because there had been flight problems and they couldn’t leave Kathmandu as planned. We only intended staying here one night, then we’d be off to Bhaktapur for two nights and then a final two nights back at Norling guest House. That was the plan anyway.

The three of us were shoved into one small, dingy and dark room. Two of the single beds had been pushed up right next to each other in order to fit a third one in. There was barely room to move. I think the look of horror could be seen on our faces as the staff said it would only be for one night and that when we returned from Bhaktapur we would definitely be housed in better rooms. Twice we had to ask for a third towel – finally it arrived. The bedroom was so dark we had to use the light from Birendra’s mobile phone to be able to see to unlock the padlocks on our baggage. Twice I asked if someone could replace some of the defunct light globes. No-one ever came. The hallway outside our room troubled me. The lights weren’t working. Windows from bedrooms opened into this dark hallway. I had visions of someone not seeing the open windows and smashing into them in the dark. Twice I requested someone take a look at the problem but it was not attended to. To us that was a major safety issue but it was ignored. It was only going to be one night so we thought we’d cope with that.


Tiny stationery shop The stationery shop where we bought the masking tape

Dinner at a Chinese Restaurant

We fancied a Chinese meal so we settled on the Da Hua Chinese Restaurant which was close to our hotel. It wasn’t too bad a meal. For the three of us it cost 1195 Rs (about $15 AUD).

Birendra appeared briefly to say good bye. He was off on a trek the next morning. Before getting back to Norling we decided to buy some masking tape and use it to keep the big blue suitcase all in one piece.



The sauna at Norling Guest House

Back at Norling we thought we had better get on with our showers and get to sleep fast. We had to be up at 4:30 a.m. for our Everest flight. With nowhere for the hot steamy air to escape, the bathroom soon became a sauna. You can imagine what it was like after three of us had been in there. We climbed into our beds only to find that every slight movement of our bodies created creaking noises. The beds were very hard too. Because we were at the front of the building we had a lot of noise to contend with. A lot of it was loud music – maybe a nightclub somewhere close by?


Next page - Everest scenic flight




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