After more than 6 weeks away, it's time to head home.
Sunday – Leaving Kathmandu for Singapore.
I’ve saved the first hangover from this six-week holiday until today.
Partook of the buffet breakfast carefully before we packed our bags and grabbed a taxi to the airport. My backpack is SO FULL it took all my packing skills to make it fit.
The taxi to the airport was quick. With Dashain Festival in full swing and most people in the middle of 3 days off, the streets were empty but there were queues at the temples.
Our flight isn’t until 1pm, but we’d been told to get there 3 hours early because “everything is done by hand”. Not quite true. Kathmandu is a quaint old airport, but they did still have x-rays, metal detectors and other modern devices including a newfangled device called a computer to check us in.
Passing the ‘gate’ we boarded the waiting airport bus. Not unusual, especially at older airports without a ‘bridge’. What was unusual was that it then proceeded to drive 50m and stop. The plane was right there. I’ve walked much longer paths lined with orange cones at Perth airport without getting the service of a bus. If you can’t walk 50m you should seriously reconsider your ability to travel.
We arrived in Singapore and caught a taxi to the hotel. Not the ‘airport hotel’ we deliberately chose somewhere close to the airport rather than the city, because not only are we only here for one night, it is the night of the F1 Grand Prix. Dropping our bags, we headed straight out for some dinner as it was nearly 9pm local time. Finding Thai place nearby, we sat and enjoyed Seafood Pad Thai and some super spicy Tom Yum soup. Washing it down with Tiger beer we watched the second half of the GP on a big screen. So, here we were in Singapore, watching what happens in Singapore on TV. Tonight was a lovely 29 deg C and not too humid.
Monday 28th September – Return home.
Up and go! I’d planned not to open my big backpack on route. Took the hotel shuttle to the airport and waited for our 9:30 flight. There might have been some machines at Kathmandu, but there were no scales. I was curious how much my bag weighed and if I was over. Amanda suggested we could pool our 2x20 KG allowance, but when hers weighed in at 19.8 KG she didn’t have much to offer. Mine was 20.0 KG. Not a gram overweight.
All good and before you could say, “I was enjoying that music.” The pleasant Singapore airlines staff were collecting headsets and Perth was below us.
My sister, her husband and their three children were waiting to meet us, which was a nice surprise.
So, 6 weeks in China (mostly) and between the two of us; not an illness, loss through either carelessness or theft or anything at all that soured this holiday. It’s been fantastic. (With traffic you won’t believe I can’t believe we never got run over.) As a bit of a solo traveller normally, it was so nice to have not just a travel companion, but a good friend with me the whole way. Looking out for each other might be part of the reason Amanda and I kept safe and sound.
I trust you’ve enjoyed my writings, photos and the odd video of my adventures in China and got to travel vicariously with me.
I recommend you go and experience China for yourself. It is a big and interesting place and there’s no better time than now. Plan YOUR next trip and go for it. I look forward to hearing YOUR stories when you do. Enjoy.
The Wandera AKA Malcolm Roberts
(Adventures in China August 14th – September 28th 2009)