Doubleroo Nepal travel tip 1
Get your visa for Nepal before arrival. Although it is now possible to get one at the airport, the procedure is not exactly streamlined. It goes like this once you have figured it out. Stand in queue to change money. Instant photo booth takes Nepalese rupees only. Stand in queue to have photo taken. Stand in queue to pay for visa. All currencies except Nepalese rupee accepted. Stand in queue to have visa processed. Time taken, two and a quarter hours. I tried to avoid this by presenting my official invitation letter. I have tried this in India, Azerbaijan and Cuba previously. Same reaction. Oh very nice, good luck in the tournament, now get back in the queue :)
Doubleroo Nepal travel tip 2
Use the bathroom on the plane before getting off. There is a sign saying bathroom but the bathroom does not exist. If you have not followed tip 1 then you will have to wait until you get outside to use the temporary bathroom. I will spare you the details.
Once out of the airport I was met by the organisers of the second tournament in Ilam. They were very helpful and friendly and my mood improved immediately. It was now getting a bit late so they put me in a Car (below) and we started our 110km journey to Charikot
Our first stop was to have a Lassi at a little roadside cafe with this view. Magnificent. The Banana-Coconut and Cardamom Lassi was the best ever.
Before jumping back in the car I thought I may just follow the sign for the bathroom. Below is where I ended up. Oh well, it was very clean :-)
Roads in Nepal are potholed, unpaved and in some areas non-existent. We crossed many mountain streams, police and army checkpoints and construction sites to mention just a few obstacles. Although the plane landed on time at 2pm, we did not reach the Hotel until after 9pm. It was time to have a beer (or three)with my new friends who had given their whole day to bring me here.
I am now at a very nice Hotel with an incredible view but you will have to wait for my next post to see :)