Saturday, December 3, 2016

My Amazing Journey To Annapurna Base Camp -Day 1

Namaste! This word was frequently utter from my mouth and overly heard during my amazing journey of trekking to Annapurna Base Camp just few weeks ago. I was in Nepal from 5th Nov 2016 until 14th Nov 2016 and as much as I am always thankful  & grateful with all the gifts, talents, skills and every good things that God have given to me, I am still over the moon with my recent winning prize. All thanks to Allianz for this all expenses paid trip to the land of the most friendliest people with craziness imaginary landscape of the sacred snowcapped mountains. I am at this very minute while writing this post, is still at the state of disbelief. I might have done something really noble to deserve this because it was an eye-opener, life-changing, surreal, inspiringly ignite every cells in my body and soul to absorb this powerful cosmic energy and feed into my brain that flow gently and willingly into my veins. As if the fresh air of that Himalayan range that I breath during that moment was carefully preserved in a storage tank in my aorta and it never will fade unless my time in this world are up.

So what really happen there in the remote wilderness of the holy mountain and the birthplace of Buddha? Well if you are in the mood for something interesting in your life, then walk with me in this journey because I can be your storyteller..and this is my #devijourney2annapurna story. :) . Ready? 
some of the items that i brought along but was filtered by my guide upon arrival in Pokhara and ended up most of the items are left behind at the hotel.

Slept at 2am the night before my flight as I was doing last minute packing and managed to submit last minute contests entry.. hahaha.. woke up at 645am on 5th Nov 2016 (Saturday) and initially I wanted to take Putra LRT to KLsentral but since I check the traffic was smooth and I have almost 15kg load to carry, so i was thinking why not just Grab a taxi. Book a Grabtaxi and that rm17 ride to KLsentral with a friendly driver was an ease. Since I have prebooked the Skybus via AirAsia portal (slightly cheaper too or else it will be RM12 one way now from KLSENTRAL to KLIA2. As I ride on that bus, my mind was filled with anticipation and curiosity. I am afterall was mentally & physically prepared of what I`ve signed up for. I must admit that I was little worried as the time to depart getting nearer...many have asked me 1001 questions of me going there all by myself. I am fine going there without any company because I used to travel alone and I love meeting new friends but I did ask myself..what if after all the training and preparations, but at the end if mother nature didnt allow i going to disappoint a lot of people out there? especially to the sponsors, my PT, my family or even myself... Lucky that I didnt allow that pressure to haunt me for long. I kept myself occupy with other important things and perhaps that was the whole idea to keep myself distracted with all this elements of 'what-if'. The fact that my knees was in pain and I've been resting for the past 3 weeks before my departure date had also added the worry pills even more. 

I reached KLIA2 at 930am but to my horror, the queue for the baggage drop was crazy. As I was lining up and waiting, I've noticed that the queue are not moving and tourists group from China was everywhere on each lanes. I met a teacher from America, Cole who happen to have the same frustration and thank god after 45 minutes of waiting, we managed to slip into another lane that was opened for us to drop our check-in luggage. ok sigh of relief and I went to check out the Premium Lounge as my UOB credit card entitled me for a complimentary access. Nothing special so i just chilled for a while before entering the international departure hall. Here adventures has finally begun...
let's go.. you may check out #devijourney2annapurna in my instagram feed for all the preparations, training and hiking before embark on this amazing journey!
Oh ya, Malaysians who plan to visit Nepal must obtain a tourist visa. You may opt to apply earlier at the Embassy of Nepal in Kuala Lumpur or upon arrival at the Kathmandu International Aiport. I've applied earlier as I have a domestic flight to catch from Kathmandu to Pokhara on the same day. I am quite skeptical if i could make it on time as I only have 1 hour time frame upon touch down. read further, because there were infact some drama upon arrival at Kathmandu..hahaha. Put that aside, to apply for a visa is quite simple-just download the form from this LINK , print and complete the form and bring along your original passport, 1 passport sized photo with cash payment of RM95 (depends on currency rate) to apply. I applied for 15 days tourist entry visa and it was ready within 2 working days.

So as I entered the International Departure Hall, I bumped into Cole again with another 2 Nepalese. We were chatting and it was really sad to hear their unfortunate stories of how they have to run away and back to their homeland due to corruption, abuse and being bullied here in Malaysia.

Well, I am all set and then guess what..flight was delayed..(GREAT!) , so my 4 hours 25 minutes flight time was filled with listening to music, eating, dozing, drawing and thinking if i could make it for my domestic flight to Pokhara that afternoon. Once a while, I did peep by the window for some amazing snow-capped mountains view such as below :

The Himalayan range from few thousand feet above

All white and blue

The separation of snow capped mountains and the green depicts the difference of the 2 zone significantly.

AirAsia flight also has been known for delayed flights recently...👀😛

my notebook are filled colorfully.
The flight touched down at Tribhuvan International Airport, Kathmandu at 230pm. First thing first, I head straight to the baggage carousel and I waited and waited and waited for almost 1 freaking hour for my backpack to finally decided to 'show up'. My domestic flight to POkhara by Yeti Airlines would be at 340pm. 
my e-ticket for the domestic flights which was also sponsored by Allianz.
I still remembered to this very minute how the place get really crowded and people start swarming the place. All i could see was boxes of flat screen television and huge brown boxes wrapped with transparent tapes..either tv in Malaysia are selling way cheaper than in Nepal or am I missing something here? Anyway, while waiting, i tried asking around where is the domestic flight entrance and most of them told me that it will be on another building and need a little walking.. ok i kept looking at my watch and this is really not good. I am pretty sure I am going to miss my flight unless the flight are also delayed. Mind you that that will be the last flight of the day so if I really couldnt make it, I have to start thinking of Plan B, which to purchase the next available flight (only next morning) before taking a taxi to town and stayed for one night there. oh my..$$$ .. so i prayed hard that please there'll be miracle for me on that day. True enough, finally after an hour (3.30pm!!!!), my backpack arrived and I quickly ran toward the exit door only to be held by the guards as they will be checking our boarding pass and luggage tag to see if its a match. Probably because a lot cases of people taking someone else televisions ..i think so.

everyone are swarming the area at the baggage carousel
I did asked the guards where was the domestic flight building only to have a disappointed reply so I just walked out and realized there was this one old man stood there asking me 'taxi?'. i asked him "where's the domestic flight entrance as I have a flight to Pokhara" . So he asked what time is my flight. I said now 340pm. He then straight away said " Girl, you have to run as fast as you can as it will takes about 5-7 min distance and he then waved his hand forth and back (a sign which I understood pretty well), i said thank you before running as fast as i could with my 2 bagpacks and my eyes were wandering for that domestic flight departure building. I was panting, thirsty and tired. My mind was kept hoping and praying at the same time. Please god, let me catch this flight. As i was wandering and looking lost to look for that building, i kept a positive mind and asked around so that I didnt missed the path. Finally from afar i saw the domestic flight building and ran across a short cut, crossing over a fence at the parking lot and upon reaching the entrance, I just mentioned to the guard that I have a domestic flight to Pokhara now and placed my backpacks on the baggage scanning machine. As I carried my backpacks and looking for Yeti Airlines counter in that quite small airport. The minute I saw that counter, I quickly drop my bags on the floor and head towards the counter and while panting, I said I have a flight to Pokhara now. The counter lady was really helpful and thank god for that. She asked me to show my e-ticket and that was the only time that I couldnt search it in my organized document folder..Pffttttt...but she was quick to reach out the walkie talkie and told the other side to HOLD THE FLIGHT while she prepared the boarding pass for me. It happened so quickly that I didnt know if luck was really on my side or there was really an angel taking care of me. Apparently, the flight has not take off and she told me to carry my bags as handcarry and run straight to gate counter 2 and handover the boarding pass to me. I could only repeat the word thank you to her many times as i quickly took my bags and rush to the boarding gate. Oh man, another baggage scanner machine..the guard found out something and told me to explain what was it. I said that was my monopod and i am sorry but I am catching my already delayed flight to Pokhara now. He just looked at me..paused and then said oh may go. As I reached the gate after got my boarding pass stamped, I was told by the security there to hop on a charter bus. What a relief and I am really thankful that I managed to finally catch my domestic flight as I hop on the bus with 30 not so happy passangers looking back at me. Hey..i literally felt that i was part of a tamil/bollywood drama wei..and it is just my first day in Nepal!

The plane was small but enough to place my backpacks at the legroom and it was about 45 minutes time of self reflection i had in that place. Looking back, I could have missed the flight and on my way to Thamel town with USD140 gone for the next flight ticket purchased. Yeah I am forever grateful that it turned out to be just fine just like the view that i captured during that flight.

seductively dangrous.
Relief face expression hahaha

They served salted peanuts, soft drinks and mineral in this flight. only 1 stewardess with 2 pilots. take off and landing was smooth. :)
Upon landing, I was welcomed with amazing view of the Himalayan Range of snow capped mountains and slightly chilling at the Pokhara airport. I searched for the exit and there stood a guy holding a place card with my full name written on it.. aahhh must be my guide Himal. After brief introduction, he told me that the hotel will be just few minutes away and that I have another lady joining me for this trek. cool!

I will be staying just 1 night in Pokhara and will start my trekking the next day from Nayapul (2 hours drive from Pokhara). Himal introduced me to Alana (girl from Australia) at the hotel. Then, he told us that he need to explain and filter some of our stuff that we will bring during the trek as light and only important warmers are the key of this trek. And since i didnt have any passport sized photo to apply for my permit, he told me that he will show me the nearest photo shop after settling down all my stuff. Didnt want to waste any time, we unpack and repack our stuff. we combine into 1 bag all our important stuff for our next 7 days trek while the rest we just kept into another bagpack to be kept at the hotel.

After that I went with Himal to the nearest shop to get my passport sized photos taken. Then, I decided to walk around alone to get some postcards before taking my dinner at this cosy restaurant just opposite the famous lake. I starting to love Pokhara for its calm and tranquility but I will save this as I will be back to Pokhara after my last day of trekking.  
my parents received the postcard on the day I arrived KL while another postcard to myself was not fault..i didnt state Malaysia in the address. pfffttt...
my dhal bhat...check out at the amount of rice that  I eat almost daily for lunch during this trip..hahaha..time for wifi weeeeeeee... hehehe

the room in Fewa Inn, Pokhara.
Then I went back to the hotel room, took my shower and went to bed as it has been quite a lot to digest today. Tomorrow will be the beginning of my trekking to Annapurna Base Camp.
So stay tune for my next update! it going to be amazing! till then, Namaste!


Ericka Abdullah said...

Woowww glaaddd you are back on blogging beibeeeh! I love the post :D .. just like I sit beside you and listen to your impassioned storytelling ! I would love to have another adventure with you someday! xoxoxo

Devi da Lil' DeviL said...

yeah Ericka! im back hahah..thank you! yeah we should make a plan and have another adventure at different place after this.


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