We do not have Doraemon’s magic pocket
One of the main reasons has been the accumulated costs lately. If being in India we have spent more than usual due to having stopped hitchhiking, we must add my obligatory extra cost of two planes and visa for Sri Lanka last month, where my girlfriend did not come due me the extra expense that she should assume.
Our first idea was to cross into Nepal after our long journey through Indian lands and then return to India to cross overland to Myanmar and start visiting Southeast Asia. The problem came when we saw that this border is difficult to cross and requires that, apart from Myanmar’s visa, you pay an authorization and ends up being more expensive than getting a cheap flight to Bangkok and from there to cross into Myanmar overland, where you can do it without problem. Seeing this and that we were quite delayed in India between one thing and another and because of my trip to Sri Lanka, the plan was to cross into Nepal a month or two and from there fly to Bangkok, since our Indian visa would have expired by then. And checking flights we found that prices had soared and within a month it cost more than double or triple to fly from Kathmandu than from Calcutta.
This made us think. After thinking more about everything in general, thinking where to cut expenses, both agreed that going to Nepal and not making a good trek of a couple of weeks in the Annapurna would be kind of a sacrilege . But doing so it was also an additional expense, because for the permissions only you must pay already $40 more per person.
We must also not forget the blockade suffered by Nepal on the border with India, so food cost several times more than usual.
The plan to volunteer vanishes a bit
Our main idea, and already months ago we had been talking with some organizations, was to be a volunteer somewhere there. It could be in any country, but we thought on doing it maybe in Nepal helping to rebuild homes and schools affected after the earthquake. We thought we would do this for three weeks or a month, so then we should have to get a visa for two months and then its price would be double if it was in Nepal.
On the other hand, if we flew to Thailand from India not only the flight costs already half of the price but also we would get free visa on Thailand and half of its neighboring countries as well. Not to say that reaching the country by air, you are issued a 30-days free visa, instead of 15-days when you cross the border by land, and that we should not take anymore planes because of border problems like the one between India and Myanmar all over Southeast Asia.
For all these reasons we settled on this option, and the truth is that we are very happy because…
We go back to our old ways
Yes. As we get to Bangkok we will not take any public transport. We will do all the way hitchhiking and with the tent, as we did the first 9 months traveling in Europe and Middle East, but stopped when we reached India because of the huge dimensions of the country. But we miss this way to travel, the better for us in order to know in depth the locals (and the cheapest also :P) and we cannot wait to lift the thumb again.
In short, that for us was not the time to do this trip to Nepal, even if we really felt like, but the traveler’s life takes many turns and where it seems you are going to go tomorrow maybe you will not, and where it seems that you will not go in the coming months, you appear there the next day.
So, Nepal is written down in our traveling schedule, bold and underlined in fact, but it is not the right time.
And Southeast Asia… here we come!