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Kathmandu, Nepal

The flight to Kathmandu is only a stone's throw from Paro. In just over an hour we wanted to be there. Shortly before Kathmandu came then the message that the runway is closed due to a hole in the runway for an indefinite period. All planes were sent into "holdings" for at least 30 minutes. Lucky us, that we had refueled more than needed for the trip. After 30 minutes, the runway was opened again and we were finally able to land after another half hour. The short "jump" from Paro to Kathmandu turned into a longer flight. Kathmandu lies as always in a smog-haze. It is the second airport on our journey that requires a "Special Pilot Qualification". In addition, Nepal demands an increased liability insurance of 60 million US dollars. We had to ensure both before the trip. We completed the special pilot qualification in Frankfurt at Lufthansa Training on a Boeing 737 simulator. With the insurance upgrade and the simulator confirmation we received our "Landing Permit" after just 4 weeks. The landing in Kathmandu is not difficult. The glide path is a bit steeper and the city is in a valley. So you have to fly very precisely.

 

After landing, we had a big crowd around our plane. Such a small plane is rarely seen here. There were certainly 25 people around us. Everyone wanted to take a selfie with us and the plane. The landing fee and handling costs were cashed in cash directly at the aircraft: -)

We refuel the plane and decide to take the bikes through the city. Time to experience the traffic of a big indian city! At the customs we have the first question regarding our bikes. Bicycles may be officially introduced, not motorized devices. What is an ebike? After a short discussion, the customs officers decide that they are bicycles. So we can just take these with us. To be on the safe side, our handler Rohit informs the customs chief, not that ebikes suddenly become motorcycles the next day.

 

Kathmandu is like an Indian city. Very chaotic traffic, very bad air and bad dirty roads. We try to ride with the "flow" and drive through the city to our hotel. The air is so dirty that we have bought a mouth mask.

 

The next day we explore the city and the sights with our wheels. It's fun to "play along" in this chaos. The horn seems to be an indispensable communication tool. Everyone honks in every situation :-)

We were particularly impressed by the Shree Pashupatinath Temple. Different places or buildings come together in this place. A place is for couples who are childless and pray for fertility. Right next to it is a retirement home, coupled with a hospice and on the river are the combustion platforms for those just died. Thus the origin of life and the end are united in one place. During our stay several burns were carried out. The cycle of life ...

We imagined Kathmandu differently. We expected a bigger Nepalese mountain village. But it is more like a big Indian city.

 

We are happy to fly on. Next, it's off to Pakistan.

 

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