Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Nepal 2012 Travel Canada to Nepal

It is a long hard 2 days of airplane travel. Saskatoon, Canada to Vancouver, Canada is 2 flight-hours, Vancouver, Canada to Seoul, Korea is 12 flight hours. Seoul Korea to Kathmandu, Nepal is 7 hours. With a layover in Seoul and many time-zone changes we would arrive safe, but tired in Kathmandu 2 days after departure.

We had a few hours to spend in the Vancouver airport which has green-space, natural and historical areas of interest, and a much more human atmosphere than many other utilitarian airports in North America.
Hogus sat on a rail and watched large salmon fish in the gigantic acquarium.

Then Hogus helped a Haida Woman with a tradition fish harvest.

Then Hogus sat with the massive bronze sculpture named The Spirit of Haida Gwaii. This bronze shows respect to the Haida Gwaii people, impressing many visitors as the arrive in Canada or leave Canada. 

This sculpture is also proudly displayed on our Canadian $20 bill. Unfortunately the Canadian Mint started making these $20 bills before Hogus got here, otherwise he would have been really famous with his picture on every $20!

After landing in Seoul, the process through Immigration and Customs was amazingly smooth and efficient.
When we picked up our baggage in Seoul, the box of 444 toothbrushes was covered in bright yellow tape with many Korean words, which I guessed to mean 'customs officials should check this box'. I was pulled aside and they cut the box, rope, and handle to check the contents. The customs officials were soon convinced(through an interpreter) that these toothbrushes were NOT for sale in Korea, but were destined for school children in Nepal. They were pleasant about this gave me a roll of tape to repair the box and then allowed me and the box to proceed. This was a good photo-opportunity but taking pictures is 'against regulations'. Wanting no troubles in a foreign country where I can't speak the local language I kept the camera in my bag and took no pictures.

The next morning during check-in there was confusion about my second piece of baggage(Box of 444 toothbrushes). The pleasant young ticket agent witheld my boarding pass pending payment of $91US. I was shuffled off to another counter to pay. The second agent made a phone call (in Korean), told me there had been a mistake and I did not have to pay, then gave me a boarding pass, and apologized profusely. Within minutes the small, young Korean ticket agent came running toward me tears streaming down her face saying 'sorry, sorry, sorry Mr. Paul'. She was horrified that she had made a mistake. Of course I quickly shrugged my shoulders explaining it was no problem and I was happy. She left somewhat relieved, but still shaken and embarrassed. I felt badly for her as she was so upset and it really wasn't any problem for me.

We had a few hours in the Seoul airport. Hogus spent some time just sitting then riding the people-mover and then was bored so  hesat by a mirror making it seem like he had a twin brother.

After a 7 hour flight we arrived at Kathmandu. The entry process into Nepal was tedious with long slow line-ups for each of Immigration, Visa Permits, and Customs, but we are here in Kathmandu!

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  1. Sounds like a interesting start to the trip! Am looking forward to your posts.

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