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First Stop, Kathmandu
Report from Nepal (21/3) to (23/3)

Left SIN via SQ 414 at 9am, SQ kindly gave us Business Class seats, though our tickets were economy. We had to check in 910 kg in 30 plastic barrels and duffel bags the day before. This eased the check-in today as 95% of the work has already been done the previous day. My sincere thanks to SATS staff who co-operated with our enormous loads.

The flight was uneventful – only a bit of excitment when we sighted Mt Everest when the plane was nearing Kathmandu (KTM). Landed in KTM at 12:30pm.

Upon landing, our loads were taken care of by the SQ’s KTM ground station staff. They helped us to ferry the loads, pass the customs, to the vans provided by “Great Escapes” – the Nepali agency who is processing our VISAs. No problems with the Nepali customs. We checked into a very nice Hotel – Manaslu, with very big rooms, at 2pm (GPS location – N 27deg, 43’09.9″, E 85deg, 19’17.2″, 1335m).

Time for bed now – very tired, because of the work done in Singapore. Now, I will rest and recharge my energy n batteries.

We spent the whole morning after breakfast in my room, glueing the sponsor’s logos on our Goretex shells. Beng Cheong and David went out to get people to stitch the sponsor’s logos on the Lafuma (Polartec) wind breakers. Lunch was with DB Cholo?? Over at the hotel side, we had a big power cut lasting for more than 4 hours – so no telephone links nor hot water was possible during this time.

A punja ceremony is scheduled for this morning with the American guys too. Unfortunately, the punja was delayed until 4pm today. So, we spend the late morning and afternoon buying the stuff in Thamel. At 4pm, we head for the Ka-ying Sherburb Ling Gompa for a date with the Lama (who had visited Singapore in 1998). It was a very simple ceremony – we placed our money for the Lama wrapped inside a “golden” scroll which the Lama merely unwrapped and wrap it around our necks, not before pocketing the money!

Tomorrow morning, we leave for Tibet.

Ting Sern

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