Day 1 - Travel from Sydney to Kathmandu
Welcome to the beginning of my month long daily diary entries recalling moments from each day along the Nepalese mountain trail of the Annapurna Circuit.
Our month long trip away from all communication begins. Feels amazing.
We arrive at Sydney airport to prepare for a long plane trip to Kathmandu, Nepal.
First stop is to check our luggage in. Fingers crossed my luggage weights in under the weight limit. This time around our limit is 30kgs each.
We had to wait close to an hour just to drop our bags off, thanks to people who didn’t understand that our line was for bag drop off only.
After months of packing and repacking our bags make it well under the limit. Perfect!
Next comes the emotional farewell of your loved ones before we pass through the passenger only doors.
It’s at this stage it hits me that I won’t be able to ask my loved one each morning how they are or chat about how their day was. One month without hearing from them will be hard. The farewell was full of hugs and tears. But I will return. I’m not going forever.
After clearing immigration it’s tradition for dad to make his way to the Duty Free cologne section where he pretends to browse for a new scent. After a brief interaction with a hard to find sales assistant, who asks him what his after, the scents he wants in a cologne and smell a handful of spritzed pieces of paper. Dad sprays the nicest smelling one on himself, declines any sort of sale with “I will keep looking thanks.”.
So much for flying with his favourite scent Andy by Hamish that his loving children bought him for Fathers Day.
The plane was scheduled to depart Sydney at 10:10pm, so we had a boarding time at 9:10pm. We tried to wait in a quiet location away from the gate and the large groups of families with young screaming kids, lets hope they don’t sit near us on the plane.
Our flight departed Sydney on time with no issues. Entertainment on the flight would have been good, if I hadn’t already seen all the movies.
Due to our flight being a night flight I tried my hardest to sleep. The cabin lights had been turned off but an annoying little bright blue light shining from the headphones of the person sitting next to me kept me from sleep. Thanks dad. Plus my seat didn’t recline.
The 18 hour layover begins
We arrived into KL International Airport ahead of schedule at 4:50am local time. After disembarking the plane we headed to our day hotel Sama Sama Express, which is connected to the airport, meaning we don’t have to line up in long lines to exit the airport or find a chair or space on the floor around sleep for the next 18 hours while we wait for our next flight.
View from Sama Sama Express room
After checking into the hotel for the next 12 hours it was nice to have a shower, lay down in an actual bed to sleep and even brush my teeth. We also got lunch thrown in which was nice. Lunch was a nice buffet with hot and cold foods. Let’s just say the cold foods look more appetising than the hot food.
We checked out of the hotel at 5pm. Still hours till we are required to make our way to the departure gate. We wandered through the main terminal looking for a place to eat. It was a toss up between Starbucks or OldTown White Coffee, the only two places open. OldTown is was, only due to the fact they also served meals, rather than overpriced cold food heated up. The main terminal requires more food outlet options like the satellite terminal does. Oh well, OldTown was a great place for us to setup camp and wait for our next flight.
View from OldTown White Coffee Restaurant
Our flight departed KL on time at 8pm. They served dinner on the flight. Not all that appetising compared to the breakfast we had on the flight before.
We finally make it to our destination
We arrived 20 mins early, but due to no spots to park our bus with wings we had to wait. So we actual arrived in Kathmandu on time at 10:30pm.
The weather is great. It’s a nice temperature, not humid and sweaty.
On exiting the airport where we were met by Govinda from By Mountain People Tours. Pleasant way to be welcomed to this amazing country again.
Tomorrow we will be meeting our guide to go over the trip and ask any questions we may have. But for now it’s time to get some sleep.
When flying I personally like to dress comfortably. That doesn’t mean wearing shorts and thongs.
When selection your comfortable travel clothes keep in mind the less items of clothing you wear containing metal the easier life will be passing through security. At the moment Apple Watches are still required to be taken off when passing through the security scanners. Avoid wearing a belt or any shoes that may contain metal elements, stuck with comfortable runners.