When I arrived in Kathmandu from Tibet, my first order of business was to organise my Indian visa.
Actually no. That’s a lie.
My first order of business was to eat pizza and drink beer. The Indian visa came second.
Once the first order of business was out of the way, I quickly discovered it was going to take ten days to apply for and have my visa issued by the Indian embassy in Kathmandu.
Usually, Indian visas are issued in half that time but the upcoming festival of Diwali meant an extra long weekend, and an extra long wait to get my passport back.
This wasn’t exactly unwelcome news. I love Kathmandu. I’d been there a couple of years before and I know I’ll probably return many times. I knew I’d have no problems filling the ten days.
And fill them I did. Those ten days disappeared quickly as I fell into a routine that revolved around eating falafel, chocolate, pizza, scrambled eggs, real brown bread and one of the best burritos I’ve ever had, shopping for DVDs, CDs and second-hand books and of course using any and every wifi connection I could hook my laptop or iPhone up to.
Because if you hadn’t worked it out yet, Thamel is also backpacker wonderland. And it was heaving with trekkers and travellers of all ages from all over the world.
(Though sadly Thamel often lacks functioning ATMs, which you’ll need if you’re spending a fortune on Western food like I did. I like Nepalese food but after two months of living off carrots, potatoes, fried rice and 2-minute noodles in Mongolia and Tibet, pizza and imported snacks were rapture-inducing)
Bright and breezy, my 600Rs/night room in Kathmandu was the perfect place for working online, reading the Dalai Lama’s autobiography, watching Eat Pray Love and chowing down on the Australian snacks my wonderful friends from home were kind enough to send me poste restante.
I even had a window seat.
Of course, I didn’t just hang out in my room.
I did plenty of sight-seeing with some of the friends I’d made while travelling through Tibet. I took a day trip out to a village in the Kathmandu Valley and celebrated Diwali, the festival of lights, by eating Mexican food and drinking cocktails.
Truth be told, when the guesthouse owner rushed my passport up to my room at the eleventh hour on the evening before I was due to travel to my yoga retreat in Pokhara to start my diet of daal bhat and meditation, I was a little sad.
After ten days of routine, Kathmandu and my sunny room had kind of started to feel a little bit like home.
And after several months of being constantly on the move, it was exactly what I’d needed.
This is the beginning of a new series here at OnMyWayRTW.com.
My room in… will give you a glimpse into the kinds of places I stay while I’m on the road – from those dodgy railway station hotels that rent rooms by the hour, to European hostels, to the (rare!) fancy-pants five stars.