Gear Night in Kathmandu

Rain increased. Tourists ran and hid. Locals covered goods with tarps and plastic bags. They retreated into open store fronts, rain streaming in curtains, roaring off roofs and awnings to sequester with water and seal off the sellers’ yellow-lit stalls.

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Bike taxi, waiting for the rain

We leaped puddles. Ran on the dark, slimy sidewalks. Under trees and down an alley, back to the hotel.

Keys at the front desk. We changed clothes when we got to our rooms. The Yak & Yeti, our hotel, is a lux and grand place, an old-world feel conjured by its stone floors, statues, murals, and incense wafting in the halls. A cricket match played on a big-screen TV in the bar. We had dinner in the dining room. Rain pounded outside, lightning struck, and the electricity was killed for a minute in the hotel. All the rooms went dark. But the diners didn’t mind. We sat and listened to the wind and the thunder. Windows were cracked to let the cool air in. Water washed the rooftop and shot off in a spout. Birds flew to hide on balcony stoops, ducking and cooing once out of the rain.

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Scott Simper and guide Min Magar moving fast in Thamel

Scott and I toasted to the city as the lights came back on, life inside waking up again in a yellow glow. I walked to the buffet for some food — rice, noodles, steak, steamed vegetables, cheese, bread, and dessert. Scott was falling asleep sitting up as we ate. We were both tired and beat, time-zone agnostic on the other side of the world. It was 7pm in Kathmandu and early morning at home in the United States. Was it Tuesday or Wednesday, we weren’t exactly sure? We ate and drank and drifted to our rooms. I sank into sleep without clearing the gear off my bed, eyes shut, fading on a sheet for a few hours’ rest before another day in Kathmandu, in this other world.

—Stephen Regenold will blog live from Kathmandu and the Everest Trail this week and through the month of April. Monitor Expedition Hanesbrands’ progress at http://climbwithus.com and on Gear Junkie at our Everest Blog.

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Regenold in front of a Thamel gear shop

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Mom and kids on a motorbike ride

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Worker in Thamel

Commenting on post : Gear Night in Kathmandu
Posted by liquid astronaut - 03/31/2010 08:27 PM

what it god’s name are you wearing? was there some sort of flood that necessitated that outfit?

Posted by stephen regenold - 04/01/2010 09:37 AM

Them be “man capris” and a biker cap paired with flip-flops and my fav adventure-racing pack. High style in KTM!

Posted by BOB - 04/01/2010 10:12 AM

High Water- run !! Oh well- you look comfy

Posted by jason wade heflin - 04/01/2010 10:17 AM

Style goes out the window when you’re traveling overseas. :)

Posted by Hiking Lady - 04/01/2010 10:21 AM

haha, the man capris look stylish :)

I am looking forward to hearing more about the Everest trek :)

Posted by brett french - 04/01/2010 10:31 AM

I like the way the mom on the scooter is wearing high heels and a helmet while her kids are helmetless. Actually surprised at how many scooter riders are wearing helmets.

Posted by Sara - 04/01/2010 11:24 AM

Safe travels, Stephen, and regards to the whole team over there. If you haven’t already left the Yak and Yeti, savor a little chana masala for me next breakfast…

Posted by Melissa - 04/01/2010 05:26 PM

Ahhhh….Thamel. This brings back great memories! Enjoy every second!

Posted by Bfeltovi - 04/01/2010 06:44 PM

Some of the gear is real. Expeditions are required to give Sherpas equipment (provided by sponsors) and much of it gets sold in Thamel as income supplement.

Posted by roy Wallack - 04/01/2010 10:14 PM

Stephen—
Everest will be a warm-up for Iceland. See you there!
-Roy

Posted by Tomer Ullmann - 04/02/2010 02:28 PM

most of the gear you’ll find there is made by “The North FAKE”, but for many one-time trekkers in the more travelled treks in Nepal it’s good enough. My Father still uses a Fleece Jacket I Bought in Pokhara Back in 2004.

Posted by brenda - 04/04/2010 11:06 AM

if feel as tho i’m right there in the middle of all the lovely chaos- thanks for taking me back, i can hardly wait for the rest of the adventure! i’m going to go look at my pictures now…again..

Posted by Boo - 04/06/2010 11:39 AM

Hi Stephen,
Check out the Sherpa Adventure Gear flagship store on your way out – it opened it last fall, as well as the Terrace, a B&B right on top! Holler if you want a tour of Sherpa Adventure Gear’s manufacturing headquarters… safe travels! Boo

Posted by GJ mom - 04/07/2010 07:13 PM

Hi there! Just catching up on your blogs. You know what has kept me so busy for the last few days. Great blogs not what I thought the cities ,etc. would be like. Travel safe!

Posted by suburban bushwacker - 04/24/2010 03:08 AM

re man capris
here in blighty they’re called long shorts or short longs – are they not worn stateside?
SBW

Posted by Jeff Botz - 05/03/2010 11:49 AM

I thought they were called ‘petal pushers’.

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