November 5, 1961 – Nepal

Royal Hotel, Kathmandu, Nepal – Clear

     I struggled to wake up today because we had to get up extra early to pack and get ready to go to the airport.    Last night I’d been woke up several times by someone having a party in the room adjoining ours.  I wished today was one of those days I could have slept late but Edith and I had chosen to leave today with the first group to fly from here to Benares, India.  Due to the size of our group and smallness of the plane they had had to break our tour into two sections to leave.  Edith and I had agreed we had seen enough of Nepal so we decided to fly out today.  

     I chose bananas and other fruit to have with tea for my breakfast while Edith tried an egg dish.  I hoped she didn’t regret it later today.  After we ate Edith and I joined the rest of the group flying out today in the lobby to wait to go to the airport.  Those staying behind also congregated in the lobby but left before we did for another tour of Nepal.  I noticed most of the people I hadn’t gotten to know had opted to stay here one more day.

     While we waited in the lobby Curt came by each of us and hefted our bags to see how heavy they were.  He had to tell most of us that our bags were too heavy so we might have to pay extra or send some things home.  I started thinking about what I could or should send home. 

      Private cars carried us to the airport so we could make our flight on time.  Our plane was small, looked old and I wondered how safe it was to fly on.  As we boarded the stewardess handed each of us a box lunch to eat during our flight in case we wanted something.  After I was seated and while I waited for the plane to take off I decided to see what was in the box.  Not surprisingly it had a sandwich, banana and an orange but I knew I would probably only eat the banana and orange. 

      Our flight from Kathmandu to Benares took off at 11:30am but we had to stop in Patna to gas up the airplane and go through customs.  Even though the trip only lasted 3 ½ hours I was extremely glad once we finally got to our destination because the trip wasn’t a very smooth one.  I had hoped that since we would get into Benares in the middle of the afternoon that I would have time to see a few shops before dinner but we had complications on the drive to our hotel.  Our bus ran into a traffic jam and we had to stop and wait.  Eventually our driver got out and walked up ahead to see what was going on.  When he came back he explained that there was a bad car accident up ahead where they were trying to move the vehicles and care for the victims.   We wound up sitting there for close to four hours before our bus could start up again.  I was very disappointed.

Street on Way into Benares

Another View of Street on Way into Benares

     We wound up getting to the Clarks Hotel very late.  I thought our problems were done once we got to the hotel but when we went to check in there was some confusion as to who was supposed to be there that day versus who was to come the following day.  Curt finally got things cleared up and we were able to get our rooms.  The rooms were fine but nothing fancy.

Clarks Hotel in Benares

     Edith and I joined the others who had decided to eat dinner but there were only a few of us.  The rest of those who had traveled with us were sick from a stomach bug and I wondered if it wasn’t due to something they ate in the box lunch given to us on the plane.  All of us who showed up for dinner played it safe and only ate fruit and rice.

     Edith and I returned to our room after we ate and used the rest of our evening to wash out undies, bathe, read and catch up on our correspondence.  I took the opportunity to write a letter to Ramona:

 Nov 5, 1961 –Benares, India

Dear Ramona;

     Well I’m down to my last pen now.  I’ve lost the others.  I’m going to try and hang on to this one. 

     We left Kathmandu this morning on a small planet that looked as though they dug it up from somewhere.  We were given a box lunch.  I ate the banana and one orange.  This is the second time we had a box lunch we couldn’t eat but then we are not eating in India except for rice, tea, bananas. 

     This morning Curt said all our suitcases were over the weight limit so I am mailing some things back home from New Delhi.  My gold dress for one because it has stretched all of out of shape.  I guess I’ll have to make it over. 

     Kathmandu was not too good a place but I’m glad I saw it.  The Commies had a big party in the room adjoining ours last night.  The people in the town are so dirty and full of disease sores and blindness, it makes you sick.  I got some pictures.

     After writing a little I started to get sleepy and decided to finish the letter tomorrow.  I put my letter in my bag so that I would remember to finish it later and I wanted to make sure Edith didn’t have a chance to read it.  I was glad to finally be able to crawl into bed because I was so tired.  There hadn’t been any touring but all the waiting and traveled had worn me out.

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