Fiordland to Thamel – Adventures in Nepal (Part Two)

“On a Mish” #130 Fiordland to Thamel – Adventures in Nepal (Part Two). Port Craig to Kathmandu. Aotearoa to Kathmandu. 28.10.2015. A passport is rather important when travelling overseas and without one you cannot go anywhere. In 2015 I faced a challenge before my real challenge as I was on the South Coast in Fiordland National Park and I was dealing with the case of the vanishing passport…

I’m sure everyone out there will have a tale of an item disappearing like it was some form of evil magic. This was what happened with my passport. I had given it to my parents for safe keeping and now it was gone. There was no time for searching as I was flying in a couple of days and solutions were needed.

First issue was getting me to Internal Affairs to get a new passport, and I was deep in Fiordland.

Knowing we had items for the track that were due to be flown in the next day, I sent a text to the track’s chopper pilot to see if he could do an afternoon / evening drop-off? Luckily he was available and with some careful organisation I managed to sort out a lift out without upsetting the normal ways of the track. However, this only got me to the track end. My original plan was to drive up to Christchurch, but now there wasn’t enough time so I had to hitchhike to Invercargill in the back of a plumber’s van!

I managed to get a seat on the last flight from Invercargill to Christchurch (not cheap!) and then came the next challenge.

Sagarmartha / Mt Everest from the Air

Normally it takes up to four weeks to get a passport, I only had one and a half. I nervously stood in the line waiting and contemplating what I was going to say. I don’t think many people require a passport processed so quickly. I got to the front of the queue and began to grovel. The lady’s face remained disgruntled until I got to the part when I explained my trip was for a charity and we were going to be bringing aid to an earthquake ravished land. Long story short, I think due to karma I got my passport and now it was time to restore the good karma by trekking. Pretty good deal, I think!

With passport in hand I bid my whanau farewell (after a couple of very nerve racking days) and I began my first adventure to nepal.

Many flights later I was standing in Tribhuvan International airport getting ready for my next challenge, customs. I hadn’t travelled to a place like Nepal before so I was incredibly grateful for the tips I was given by our expeditions leader Dan, as the airport can be the most difficult part of anyone’s trip to the land of massive mountains. The very basic airport offers very little help to the first time visitor and it took a couple of back and forths before I had all the paperwork needed to escape the chaos.

While I was getting processed by immigration I realised I didn’t have my phone with me. It had slipped out of my pocket on the plane and now I had a problem.

The fella that was sent to pick me up said he would wait while I searched for my missing mobile device. I asked around for some help and was sent to a small office in a strangely quiet part of the airport. The office was empty as to the others around it, oh well it looks like I won’t be getting my phone back. Or at least I thought that was the case.

Not the best start, but I was in the right country and the real adventure was about to begin. So I went back out to the car park and began the wild drive into Kathmandu City…

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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