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Written on: Tuesday July 7th, 2009

A journal entry from: London to Beijing overland!!

We got to Kathmandu in the afternoon and checked into our Moonlight hotel for 3 nights, after catching up with the others the first point of call was to the Everest steak house, where we had been told have the best steaks in town.  They didnt disapoint.  Huge thick steaks with at least 30 different types on the menu, beautiful steaks which was nice after so long without red meat.  Some people on the truck have been there every day!

Khatmandu is very busy with sooo many little shops tucked into and every bit of space along the streets.  Tons and tons of trekking shops selling fake and real big brand outdoor gear.  We have made a few purchases because some of the stuff is good and way cheaper than you would pay back home.  Plus Tibet is going to be bloody cold so this is our last stop shop for a while.  After seeing the Taj Mahal we have kind of lost our tourist mindset, we are just happy to walk around the shops or have a meal or a ber with frineds and relax.  A lot f the guys have gone to see the temples and Pagodas here and they have all said the sights were great.  We will look at their photos!! We are now looking forward to the big mountain passes and getting to Lhasa in Tibet.

Yesterday I (russ) went and done the flight around Mt Everest. It was absolutely breathtaking and one of the best things I have done.  We got to Kathmandu airport at 6am for the early flight hoping to get in before the monsoon clouds take over the day.  There were 6 in our group on a little 16 seater plane.  After taking off it did not look great with big bushy clouds all ahead of us and no sign of Mountains but after about 10-12 mins steadily gaining altitude we seen our 1st peaks.  The whole Everest range goes for miles so we were spoilt as the clouds seem to disapear down to about 6000 meters and we were able to get great views of the mountains.  You could pick out the big fella quite easily  I thought and it was very impressive to see.  They let everyone go up to the cockpit to take some photos which was great because the cockpit window was crystal clear and they had the best view.  The flight lasted about an hpur and when we got juat past Mt Everest we turned and came back.

Last night we had a party that one of the girls organised it was our Secret Santa Christmas in July party.  We all had a secret person to buy a small gift for and as well as that we ad to write a poem about the person.  Bit of an effort but it ended up being a lot of fun, with some really good poems being written.  Russ's secret santa was one of the older women who is very smart and talented, she writes accounting books for a living and is a "technical author".  Heathers poem was written by our South African friend Amy and it was great also.  Here they are for your reading pleasure

 Russ and Heather

My name is Russ

And I'm indigenous

To where the meritorious are the waltzers of Matilda and Ned Kelly (ee)

So who'll come a waltzing matilda with me

  Chorus – like waltzing matilda

Drinking a fosters, drinking a fosters

Who'll come a drinking a fosters with me

 And he sang as he watched and waited till his billy boiled

You'll come a drinking a fosters with me


So there was my old man with his digeridoo

So far inside the outback there was nothing else to do

But outbreed the rabbits and out jump the kangaroo

We'll fill this land with Carlins as far as we cans see

 and they'll come imbibing a fosters with me


By the time they got to Russ

There were enough of us

To fill an omnibus

Then a final fling and one last peewee

And the nine had our first fosters at our mothers knee


But each and every Sunday we had to go and pray

And make up some confession of where we'd gone astray

So we'd get through the pearly gates where Peter holds the key

But a cold can of fosters under the coolibah tree

And heaven or hell would be all the same to me


We were nine in a line

And we'd down the altar wine

But back in the pew where no one else could see

We'd pass along the fosters

'hey save some for me'


And now we're going home to raise a family

But I haven't got a job and we've no money

So we're not going to found a dynasty

Just enough for a cricket side with a spare 2 or 3

To bring out the fosters to our team and me.


And talking of our team

Oz is said to be supreme

The cream of the creamy

From the old country

And Waugh went a gulping a fosters with me




From annie on Jul 8th, 2009

that is sensational - can we hire her for speech writing duties at every b'day? take care anniexx

From Ruth on Jul 12th, 2009

Wow, a cricket team! Looking forward to seeing that!