Kathmandu – Water, Wind and Clouds

4. April 2024


When I visited Nepal for the first time in 2010, I lamented about the widespread use of wheeled suitcases. How can a country feel “far away” when the wheeled suitcases are already there? And now – I’ve packed one myself and taken it with me! And so that I can be annoyed about it, Qatar Airways broke the handle so badly that I can no longer extend it and pull on it. Apart from that, it is simply a practical piece of luggage, especially when travelling by train. By the way, everything went smoothly! No strikes, no delays, no spontaneous obstacles.


Munich Airport


So I flew with Qatar Airways, and on the first flight I thought: luxury airline! Nice screens and loads of films and OK seats. Doha airport overwhelmed me with its size and a tropical greenery inside, which I forgot to photograph due to lack of time. The second plane was somehow too cramped and I didn’t sleep. Apart from that, there’s not much else to say – everything went smoothly. And there was a cheerfully smiling gentleman with a Diamir sign at the airport!




Has anyone actually missed my beloved St Pauli travel hoodie? It was no longer good and the beautiful skull had been flattened. It’s no good like that. Now I have a new one! And it doesn’t look bad with the Diamir scarf:


St. Pauli + Diamir


There was another couple on the same plane with me who wanted to start a Diamir trip. I only got to know them in the car. Their first time in Nepal, but already experienced in India. It was a hazy blue sky over Kathmandu and the gentleman remarked that it was probably a pretty gloomy day today. The pick-up man laughed and said: not at all, today is a gloriously sunny day! That’s how it is with the permanent haze over the Kathmandu Valley. Apart from that, I realised once again on that drive: I think Kathmandu is a very ugly city. Even if it’s not as ugly as Bishkek, which is also way up there.


However, the two of them spent the night somewhere else and I sank onto my soft mattress after a warm welcome at the

Kathmandu View Hotel – and still couldn’t sleep well. There was too much on my mind. First of all, I watched the view of slightly cloudy Kathmandu from the roof terrace:




I had the feeling that I needed to do a bit more for my body to be categorised as a difficult trek. A nice massage helped against cramped feet. The previous year I had been given Tibetan medicine in Ladakh, which seemed like a doping to me – I was practically jumping through the mountains. So I went to the local Tibetan doctor, whom I already knew from the previous year. He prescribed me the same pills again. They were also for my too much of wind (rlung). That seemed to me to be a correct diagnosis. I also asked him to acupuncture my knee. In the past, it had often been aching during long downhill runs. Then a Ladakhi amchi acupunctured it many years ago and I was able to hop down many metres of altitude without any problems. I had the feeling that it was wearing off a bit. And so I came to “enjoy” needles with mechanical stimulation. If there are problems on the trek now, it’s all due to something else!






While the needles were working, another patient came in. She was beaming because she had been relieved of her kidney disease by Tibetan medicine, with which the other doctors had given her only a short time to live. But she also needed 2 years of treatment. Now she is checked every now and then.




On the way there and back, I came across small rivers. They smelled so special, as I only know it from India and Nepal (but I’m sure it exists elsewhere too). Not a nice cloacal odour, but one that strangely evokes feelings of home in me. This gentleman had some religious stuff, which he put on the water with a prayer:




There is still a lot of rubbish in the river:


rubbish, vegetation, river


And a small river is almost like a pretty small canal:




It’s good for drying washed items:


washed items


And then I was back at the hotel, had a chat with the local travel agent, my guide joined me, we discussed the tour a bit (we start on Sunday), I had a delicious dinner with the couple from the other hotel and their German-speaking guide. The hotel owner also speaks very good German. Impressive and somehow strange, these German-speaking Nepalis.


My guide looks pretty strong and I think we’ll get on well. More about him on the trek. A traveller had to be flown out of this trek yesterday due to severe diarrhoea. Oh dear. However, I have other additional trekking fears: I saw a Video from last year in April: it was really crowded there …. In contrast, there were relatively few obvious tourists on the plane.


I am firmly convinced that travellers are an increasingly smaller proportion of air passengers. Not because of flight-shame, but because of the immense globalised world of work. On the first flight, I sat next to a Vietnamese woman who came to Germany 6 years ago to study and work as in the care system. She is now visiting her grandparents with her child. The two daughters of the local agency owner have gone to Australia – as a nurse and an accountant. You definitely earn better money than at home (where you also have to deal with the fear of unemployment).


Tomorrow the hotel fills up and I’m going somewhere else for a night, where I’ll also meet someone. Curious what that will be like?