Hotel Red Planet, Kathmandu (Nepal)

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I just realised that I significantly overpaid both the rickshaw drivers who shuttled me from Bhairawa and Sunauli, oh well.

All I can say is: "Yes!". I’m on the bus to Kathmandu and we’re passing streams and waterfalls that are made up of glacial melt - I’m grinning so much. The hills around us are small as they’re covered in trees, but the little streams have carved rocky, boulder strewn paths and I can’t wait to get up amongst it all!

Kathmandu is quite surreal, that’s all I can say. It’s exactly like the mental picture I had in my head: clear blue skies, still cool air, near perfect silence. Many times on this trip I’ve walked down the main road of a town exhausted after just finishing a long journey with both bags on my back looking for somewhere to kip - I can honestly say this is the first time I’ve done it with a smile on my face! It’s just so mountaineering-ly twee. Thamel’s streets are narrow with half the people being foreigners wearing Tech-Ts. Gear shops line the streets with signs on the sides of buildings advertising trips and tours. It’s similar to Khao San Road, in Bangkok, just minus the majority of the hawkers and touts. The whole place has a mountaineering aura - it feels good to just let it wash over you. I can tell I’m going to like it here.

My hotel has a rooftop garden and I just sat there in the sun, not being hot for the first time in ages, looking out at the other buildings, soaking it all up with little home-made kites rustling up high above me and the prayer flags on the adjacent roof occupying my gaze.