Day 25: Kathmandu to Delhi

An earlyish start this morning at 6am, ready to pack our last few bits and head to the airport. No breakfast, just muched through the last of my stash of delicious coconut cookies before leaving the hotel. We managed to flag down a taxi pretty much straight away and then it was just a quick fifteen minute drive through an eerily deserted early-morning Kathmandu to the airport.

After a brief delay going through the usual security checkpoints etc, we boarded our short ninety minute flight to Delhi, where I now sit writing this. The security here is insane. It took well over an hour to go through what seemed like an unneccessary number of different checkpoints and frisks and more checkpoints, before eventually making it through to the other side. We’re sat in the departures lounge now and there seems to be wifi here so I’ll sign off this trip now with this, my final post of the trip.

As I sit here now in Delhi, almost a month after passing through in the other direction, I can’t quite believe that in another twelve hours or so i’ll be back in the UK. Its been almost ten years since I first started thinking about a trip to Nepal, and the Annapurna region in particular, and it has been a long time in the making. I finally hiked the Annapurna circuit, and we did the entire circuit, with no shortcuts or jeep rides, which I’m pretty proud of, I haven’t met a single other person here that walked as far as we did, and almost without exception the other travellers we met were using guides and porters.

From a selfish viewpoint it’s a shame that the natural modernisation of Nepal and the new improved roads have shortened the circuit and condensed the hiking part of the trail. That said, if it improves the lives of the people I have met along my journey, allowing them to transport goods, food, building materials, medicines and everything else further, easier and more quickly then the inconvenience of a shortened hiking holiday seems to pale in significance.

Nepal is in the record books as the poorest country and the highest altitude country in the world (Tibet is actually higher but since1951 is no longer technically classed as a country). I’d argue the case for adding ‘the friendliest country in the world’ string to their bow. For a country with so little, I have never experienced such a welcome, with complete strangers opening up their homes to two unfamiliar foreigners, sharing the little food they had,  eating with us around their communal family table, laughing and singing along round tiny braziers and going above and beyond to make us feel at home.

After almost a month I’m sad to be leaving such a magical place, but something tells me i’ll be back at some point. Goodbye Nepal, for now.