Kathmandu, Nepal

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I arrived in the capital of Nepal 43 hours after leaving Alabama, essentially traveling into the future and halfway round the planet. I originally planned for my time in Kathmandu to be brief and just be the entryway for my Annapurna Circuit trek, the reason for traveling to Nepal. However, my body decided to rebel against those plans and proceeded to evacuate everything I had consumed the previous day. That's a nice way to say that I must have gotten food poisoning and spent a day puking, etc. while staying in a basic hotel room with a squat toilet. The adjustment and beginner's awkwardness of using a squat toilet couldn't have come at a worse time. And I'll go on by saying that there's little worse than being in a foreign country halfway across the world by yourself where you don't know anyone and being sick. Especially when you're staying in a $5 room, laying on your sleeping bag liner because you don't want to touch the bedding, not being able to sleep because you're still adjusting to the time difference and the walls of your room are paperthin and you can hear the ruckus of the locals celebrating their New Year outside, and not having a toilet you can sit on. Plus you feel so alone because you literally don't know anyone within tens of thousands of miles, and you have no one to comfort you or talk to you. Even after facetiming my parents (at least I had wifi) sobbing cause I was having such a tough time, I was lying there on the bed feeling really low and having several mental breakdowns one after another. I was debating whether or not I would ever feel better again in life not to mention if I would even be able to hike. I thought about flying back to be wrapped up in the safety and comforts of home, but thought what a waste of a trip and money besides how shitty I would feel for failing at this hike. SO, to wrap this monologue up, I eventually stopped puking and checked into a better hotel where I could rest and recuperate. Then after 48 hours of not eating I finally was able to digest some food, regain strength, and go for a walk around town.

On my walk I went to the UNESCO world heritage site of Durbar Square, enlisted a guide and learned about Nepal's Hindu religion, witnessed the living goddess Kumari, and photographed the falling temples held up by supports following the devastating 2015 earthquake. Determined to get out of the city and on to my hike, I went to the Nepal Tourism Office to obtain my two permits needed for the trek: TIMS (Trekker's Information Management System) and ACAP (Annapurna Conservation Area Project). With those in possession I decided to take the bus the following day to the start of the trail. My next post will focus on my trek. (You can find it HERE).

Enjoy these photos taken around Kathmandu!

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Sara Leibold