...the car/motorcycle horn! I found out today that Kathmandu now proudly boasts over five million motorcycles. Couple that with all of the car and truck traffic, the general absence of sidewalks and all of the people walking around and you have a symphony of many different horn sounds as all the people go in a myriad of directions. I am certain that people honk just because everyone else is and not because they are trying to make their presence known. I specifically make a mental note of my general feelings toward the endless honking. I remember from past trips to Nepal that the first day or two in Kathmandu I am accepting of this sound and even smile inside as I am so glad to be back here. I also remember how at the end of each trip, with a strong desire to get home, how the sounds of all the honking is nothing more than a big nuisance.
My first full day in Kathmandu has been a busy one. I started the day off with breakfast and then walked into Thamel to get a shave. I love getting a straight razor shave in each and every country I visit. I then walked back to my hotel for breakfast number two. I met my first two team mates and we enjoyed swapping climbing stories over a freshly prepared omelette. Jon, whom I remember from Everest in 2010, is back again and is giving Manaslu an attempt. After breakfast I went to Durbar Square to survey some of the harder hit earthquake areas. Wow! What a difference from last time I was here. The historic area has been almost completely leveled. Evidence of the recent earthquake is visible all over Kathmandu. Over 9,000 people died and it is amazing that there was not more casualties.
After walking around some more, having lunch #1, I went back to my hotel for lunch #2. It is extremely exhausting walking around all day! :)
This evening the entire team is to meet and then enjoy a team dinner. All of our climbing gear will make its way to Arugat tomorrow and then on to Manaslu basecamp. We have one more day in Kathmandu and then early on the morning of the 29th we take a helicopter to Sama Goen where we stay for three days to acclimate and then it is onto basecamp.
I promise pictures will be coming soon. I'm off to have dinner #1...