I arrived in Nepal today at 1 p.m. local time. It was an hour-long queue at immigration, and then I was met by the Philippine Expedition Co-Leader Art Valdez. Trying to make it out of the airport in a rental, there was a long traffic jam. Apparently, a blockade had been put up by Maoists right outside the airport. It was reportedly in protest for some fighting that happened in a village west of Kathmandu, between the police and Maoists. Everyone who flew in had to walk for about a kilomter past the barricades so they could get a cab that charged 150 rupees to Thamel, the central tourist area. I wonder what happened to the poor souls trying to catch a plane out of Nepal.
Tomorrow, we are leaving at 5 a.m. for the Tibetan border. It will be a 7 day trip on jeeps to get to the Chinese Base Camp. I'm uncertain how our communications will be. Right now in Kathmandu, there is no SMART cellphone signal as the company does not have a tie-up with any local provider. GLOBE is supposed to have a signal, but I am having problems getting one.
I am asking a colleague to update the blog, and i hope I will be able to get in touch with her through satphone. Will try to keep everyone up to speed on what's happening to the girls.