[Word came through that return tickets for Nikki and I were waiting at Post Restante in Delhi – this was the pre-electronic quaint old days of handwritten letters and cryptic telegrams where mail was sent to post offices in large cities to await collection. So the next step in finding the elusive tickets was to arrange to back-track to Delhi …]
SUNDAY 26TH DECEMBER, 1976
“Slept in! Got up and went with Nikki to book tickets for Delhi. Yeti Travels confirmed flight to Patna but not Delhi – our usual luck. Back to hotel – Di still sleeping; Heidi got touch of flu but wandering up and down corridor! Went and joined Sally and Adrian in Shangri la for pancake.
Then went into Yeti Travels again to check mail – got letter that should have received on 23rd – from family in Malvern – various rude messages tacked on end of Mum’s letter! [from brother Torquil] Met Rob there – he gave me lift back to hotel on back of bicycle – hair-raising experience! Dodging cows, rickshaws, roundabouts – nearly thrown into gutter but didn’t come off once!
Met Sally on roof (superb view over Kathmandu and surrounding hills, could see Swayambuth easily). Went and gave jackets to little man to put dragon on.
Had drinks in Anders’s room with Heidi, Bill, Shirley, an American couple en passant (French interjection!) Then Di, me and Sally went and ate at Shangri la – buff steak and chips, then coffee at KC’s – met Hans and Chris. Then went for drinks in Gary and Beryl’s room (Canadian couple that met us all over Xmas and live near Bill and Shirl in Vancouver).
Great evening – packed at first – Chris and Nikki (went early because Chris got dizzy spell), Rob, Maree, Diane, Mark and Pam, Hans, Chris, Di, Sally, me, Anders, Heidi (left then came back!). Had great chat with Little Chris about Skye – he climbs in Cullins – very keen – made me feel close to home. Listened to tapes, then Gary and Rob started playing guitar – Rob played blues and Gary played bongo drum; then Gary played folk songs and lovely Philipino song. Shirley came in because couldn’t sleep. Then got complaint about foot stomping from bloke below! Beryl broke party up at 2.30 because of noise. Said goodbye to Di, Rob and Maree.”