Part 1 – Journey, Khumbu, and Kathmandu
(Not to Sound Cliche but: At the Top of the World…Literally!)
It has been a minute since we last shared in our adventures. I apologize. Life gets busy as we all know too well. If you are just joining us welcome. The first part of this epic tale can be found here. The second part is here. And if you are searching for something new, something with some travel a little closer to home, I have started a new segment titled: This is My Culture; This is My Home. The first segment of which can be found here.
Chapter 1: Of Beginnings, Both New and Old
(Brief Meetings and Short Days)
We chase the sun as it sets in the West, perhaps faster than expected for it took some time for it to finally disappear beyond the horizon. I sat back and got into the comfortable ritual of plane flight. Wonderful stewardesses prepared wonderful in-flight meals and I sat back with my headphones in and checked out of existence for a while, diving into the realm of dreams.
As my mind and imagination evaded my control our plane rocketed on, steadily taking me west, to the lands of the Asian continent. A place where I had not been before. At that moment I still had no idea what was in store for me.
I awoke, some hours later, just before we landed in Japan. The flight was so long that, even after a full night of sleep I had time to watch a movie to pass the remaining flight time. What I watched is not important, what is important is the fact that I was awake when the first glimpses of lights, in the darkness of the night, announced my arrival to these foreign shores. Elation surged through me even though I still had quite some ground to cover. But I was here. So much closer to my destinations and dreams than I had ever been before. Adventure and amazement awaited me. Only two more short plane rides to Nepal.
We disembarked our aircraft only to return a couple of hours later, after it had been refueled. I wandered through the airport but did not have enough time to actually cross immigration and set foot on Japanese soil. My Japanese experience was short-lived, but as this was not my destination I was perfectly fine with it. Worthy of note, also, is the strange occurrence of crossing the International Date-Line. What this means is that the day of October 24, 2012 hardly ever existed in my life. After only 11 hours of flight I landed almost 25 hours after I actually took off. If that makes absolutely no sense to you, do not worry because it hardly makes sense to me and I lived it.
Anyway, my journey continues on to Singapore from Japan, a mere six-hour flight south. This was my last stop before reaching Kathmandu. After a full night of sleep on the journey from LA to Tokyo, I hardly needed anymore for this leg. Again I wasted away the hours, comfortably lost in the entertainment of cinema.
We touched down in Singapore sometime around 3, or so, in the morning if memory serves me. The early hour meant little to me as I was still refreshed and ready to go from the sleep of my initial leg. I wandered aimlessly around the airport and made my way through immigration this time. Finally I got to use my brand new passport. I received a 90 day entry into Singapore stamp. I exited the airport and was immediately assaulted by the heat and humidity. The Sun was down and the morning was too young for me to be expecting this kind on onslaught. I ventured forth to the tram ride which took me to my next terminal, from which I would board the final leg of air travel to Kathmandu.
I had about 6 hours till my plane boarded but unfortunately it was too early and the city was too far away for me to go out and actually do anything in Singapore. I do remember that this was the most decorated, clean, and beautiful airport I had ever been to. They had hanging gardens and green livery was placed and well-kept in every corner. It just smelt fresh and clean.
I went to my terminal to wait for my flight and this is where I had my first encounter with a fellow traveler of the world. I was excited as can be and sat next to a man named Hal, if memory serves me correct; a nice guy who was stopping in Singapore on his way to Malaysia to build houses. Hal was from Mississippi and apparently does this once a year. We chatted for a while about mostly small things. I do not remember the meat of the conversation but I do remember how nice and helpful Hal was to me. When dealing with and remembering people, I am just now discovering that what was said means very little in your memories. Far more important is the impressions given and received. That is what Hal has taught me a month after meeting him. He was nice, friendly and a helpful comfort to a new traveler like me.
Finally, after a good time with Hal, it became time to board my last plane to Kathmandu, Nepal. I bid my farewells and well wishes to Hal and got in the long line of people getting on this last and least comfortable flight. This was it, the last leap had begun and my first destination and the first of my adventures were nearly at hand.