Day 4: Crossing the Border
Sweating and tired, we heaved our belongings off the roof of the bus and schlepped to the boarder to meet the tour company. We had our passports and visas checked both at the Indian side, and over the road in Nepal. It was surreal walking from one country to the next, momentarily crossing "no man's land".
We piled on to the next coach and headed off to Kathmandu. We were given pale yellow, silk scarves called dhauni with Tibetan good luck symbols and writing, and were told that it's the Nepali custom to hand these out whenever there was a special occasion i.e. a wedding/birthday or in our case, a trek to Everest Base Camp.
We soon found out that the journey was over seven hours long. I had never smelt so bad or felt so disgusting before. We hadn't washed for nearly three days, had been literally sweating solidly the entire time, wearing the same clothes, covered in dust and dirt, sleep deprived and very hungry! But ironically, because everyone was in the same boat it didn't matter; we saw it as training for the trek!
When we finally reached Kathmandu at 4am we walked down to the hotel and we were met by a magnificent sight too good to be true. The hotel was beautiful, with wooden carvings on the walls and ceiling and gold leaf along the pillars. It was like a dream! Within 10 minutes we had our room keys and could finally get some sleep.
We found out later on that flying from Delhi to Kathmandu takes just 2 hours; two members of our group who had been unable to get Indian visas had done this and were bragging about their good fortune in comparison to ours. However, I would not have changed our journey from India to Nepal. The experience was tough but so rewarding, and it made everything in Nepal so much sweeter.