Actually day 1 is slightly misleading. I never went to sleep on Friday night, so really this should be day 0 and day 1. For the last two weeks, I have been putting everything I needed for the expedition in the spare room, so I knew almost everything I needed was ready and present for packing. And so on my last day in Bahrain, I went to watch the Bahrain RFC team play Abu Dhabi in the Cup final in one of the most one sided games I have ever seen, with the dominant side losing! Bahrain had several tries disallowed, fumbled, dropped, etc with Abu Dhabi rarely getting out of their own half…and yet Bahrain lost the cup final.
Flying into Kathmandu for the first time, I was surprised by the view of the urban landscape. Rightly or wrongly, the city reminded me of the war torn city in “Full Metal Jacket”. From above there were numerous buildings that looked like burnt out shells, and some of the roads looked like they barely had tarmac. It was all very different from what I am used to and made interesting viewing. Getting through immigration was wonderfully simple for tourists. You paid a fee according to how long you were staying, but you could pay in US dollars, British pounds, Euros, Swiss Francs which made things so much simpler.
For some reason, everyone’s advice about this trip was to enjoy myself. As most of them have never been on any type of expedition, or done anything more than an hour in a gym, I’m wasn’t sure their advice was appropriate, but nevertheless, I decided to take this advice on board. Just before the trek to the North Pole, the advice that all the experts gave, was take it one step at a time, which I thought was the most useless, generic advice possible. Surely an amateur could give that type of advice? In the end, with nothing better to go on, I decided to embrace it wholeheartedly. And bizarrely it worked! Without the worry of the trials ahead, the burden was significantly lightened. And concentrating solely on the next steps focuses the mind on achievable targets. It is “kiddology”, a very simple way of fooling the mind, but if it works, it works!