Friday, April 15, 2011

Makalu 2011: Not my usual Kathmandu - but way better!

As the title of the blog goes, this is not my usual start to an expedition. After 2 nights without much legroom, an the usual fun of getting a visa on arrival here, thanks to Citroen Motors Kinga Baranowska - my climbing parnter for Makalu ( and I stayed at the Dwarika - the best hotel in town, with all antique woodwork collected over 50 years from derelict buildings, it has so much charm. We have been busy running around getting all of our cargo for Makalu packed up and Cho Oyu Trekking has done an amazing job helping us with everything! We had a presentation for the president of both Citroen Motors and the president of Citroen Bank - along with a few of the best dealers. They are here to fly into the Khumbu with us and spend a night, then continue on to the Maldives for a bit of relaxation. What a contrast to us. What would I rather be doing, sitting on a beautiful beach letting the water lap onto my feet as I run sand through my fingers or don a pair of heavy boots and walk up hill? It is close, but the boots win every time.
I will be phone casting very regularly from the Makalu expedition, please follow along here!

Dwarika's 8 course welcome dinner, we ate with Sangita who is the owner, and her son and really enjoyed ourselves. We traded stories of one very famous mountaineer who regularly stays here for a good portion of the night.

The usual fun of getting your visa on arrival in Kathmandu airpoprt.

Our presentation at the Garden of Dreams, a little oasis in Thamel. A beautiful dinner for 50 was organized, amazing food and some fun as well.

I went to see Miss Hawley, she asked me to come back to work and help her with the rounding up of climbers at the end of the season again, I helped her out last October and really enjoyed it. Miss Hawley was as sharp as ever, I love to sit in her office and listen to stories from the golden age of Himalayan climbing.

Handing over our life savings, in my case this is not a joke.

The Reception area of the Dwarika in Kathmandu.

Statue in the Dwarika Garden.