Kathmandu to Galway via Abu Dhabi

If you’re the kind of weirdo who takes long distance flights for fun, I highly recommend flying to Kathmandu. The height of the mountains surrounded the valley mean you circle in huge loops around the airport after take off, round and round above the city whipping up clouds with your wings and gaining and ever more impressive view across miles and miles of mountains. When you finally make a dizzy exit from your loop, there’s a few beautiful minutes heading west and trying to pick out the snow-tipped peaks from the clouds. It’s a great first hour, but sadly after that the in flight movie is about as good as it gets.

Abu Dhabi airport, for the record, is possibly the coldest place on earth. It seems Korean’s obsession with reversing the seasons with excessive summer air conditioning and winter heating is something that’s travelled to the desert, and the brief blast of 40 degree heat on the footbridge off the plane is soon replaced with an icy airport interior that you’d have to be dressed like Sarah Palin on a walk to the nearest supermarket to have any chance of sleeping in. Which made my 12-hour layover almost entirely sleepless and a tad painful.

Total journey time to Galway worked out at about 35 hours, it would have been less than a day if the original flight hadn’t fallen through. What can you do?

I always seem to get ill when I get back from a major bout of travelling. I think with India and Nepal, it’s the shock to the system of eating some good slabs of meat again: a steak might be exactly what I want when I arrive, but it’s pretty much the worst thing you could eat. I spent three days pretty much doubled over at Helena’s mum house in Headford, before we moved in to the new place in Galway.

Every time we go somewhere new, it feels like starting life from scratch. The excitement of a new place is basically wiped out by that new place being in England or Ireland, as I find the culture uninteresting in the most part, so it’s really a case of trying to get settled, find work and hope everything falls into place. It’s not a process I particularly enjoy – especially the stress of being unemployed – but it’s a necessary thing if I’m going to keep moving around.

Fortunately, we landed in Galway bang in the middle of the Galway Arts Festival, and the place is packed and very lively. We have an apartment with a view of the sea, only a ten minute walk from the nice end of the city, so things are looking good. Galway seems to have a much better atmosphere than Dublin; in just a few days I’ve already found it more inclusive and accepting than I ever found the capital. I’m pretty sure I’m going to like it a lot more.

Aside from crazy mountain flights, the most exciting thing that’s happened this week is the appearance online of advertising for the Museyon Guidebook I wrote an article on Celtic Punk for. It’s now listed for presale on amazon (click here) and a small preview of my piece has appeared on the website here. Exciting stuff!

Now, time to find a job.

J x

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