Waiting for a climbing permit

Unfortunately, we haven’t received our permit to climb Manaslu yet. Although there are already 200+ climbers in Nepal, the minister of tourism hasn’t issued any permit for any mountain so far, but there is a lot of pressure on him and the latest news is that permits will be granted as per September 1st.

As a consequence, I’m stuck in Kathmandu for the moment. The Hyatt Regency is, although old and run-down, a pretty nice hotel and the gym and pool are open. Yesterday I went for a swim. However, there is a big sign that the pool is temporarily closed due to the covid-pandemic and there were 2 police man guarding the place. Since I had seen people swimming earlier, I asked one of the officers whether it was OK to swim, and he said it was no problem… It seems to be typical for the maintenance of corona rules in Nepal. Hopefully, they will be lenient with the climbing permits as well.

This morning, Namgya and I had planned to go for a hike at 5 AM, but as it was raining heavily we decided to postpone. Around 10:30 AM Pemba came to fetch me on his motor-cycle. He had a two-person raincoat and we drove (probably at half the speed he would normally drive) through the very busy traffic of Kathmandu while he was carefully trying to avoid holes in the road, puddles with muddy water, the occasional cow on the route, and all other traffic. I was glad when we arrived at Namgya’s new house… The place is beautiful, surrounded by green and very big. During the day family popped up from every corner of the house (in-laws, cousins and, to my surprise, even Namgya’s mother). Yangkeela and Tashi were pleased with the gifts I brought them and Wongmu had prepared an incredible nice lunch with dal bath and chicken, and – since Namgya knows I like potatoes – a lot of fried potatoes as well. After a copious lunch, Namgya took me for a hike just outside Kathmandu. For him Kathmandu is a village: he knows everyone and everyone knows him. We made a nice tour along three buddhist monasteries on the hill outside Kathmandu and – to my surprise – ran into Landuk, our cook from the Dutch Everest 2012 expedition. Of course, we sat down, drank lots of milk-tea, and memorised the past. Later we also ran into Dawa Finjok, who was with me when I summitted Everest in 2016. Namgya said I would meet him again tomorrow…

Namgya and I happened to run into Landuk

Landuk, our famous cook at the Dutch Everest 2012 Expedition