We are excited to report that for $250 we purchased:
2 down jackets (small and medium ladies size for Rosie and Tom, room to grow)
2 trekking poles
A seam sealed goretex jacket for Shane (Nepali Goretex...)
Travel pants for Helen
2 sets of kids thermal underwear (difficult to find kids sizes)
Knee brace (maybe we'll need four!)
Wide mouth BPA free, unbreakable water bottle
Reversible fleece for Tom (Patagonia label on one face and The North Face on the other!)
Sunhat for Tom
Two pairs of thick hiking socks (imported from Australia)
Nearly everything is Nepali made, but from the Australian owned, reliable and longstanding Shona's store we can be sure it's good quality. Good enough, anyhow. From Shona's, the goose down comes from Australia and the YKK zips are genuine. Their gear is fixed price, thank the Lord, would have taken a few days and many cups of masala tea to bargain over that lot!
With seven sleeping bags at home, we declined to purchase more, and instead rented four -10 to -15 bags for $1 per day each. We may purchase a new one for $95 when we get back, as we are short one warm bag at home. The -20 to -30 bags sell for $110.
Given a sleeping bag of this ilk would cost $600-$700 in Australia, it would pay to fly to Kathmandu @ $1500 return purely to buy outdoor gear! What a great excuse! Come on over, gear-freak friends and relatives!
As well as Shona's, we must have walked past 50 other outdoor stores. Most are small locally owned with obviously varying quality, but interestingly there are now genuine North Face, Salewa and Mountain Hardwear stores. With Australian prices. Bah!
Equally rewarding was the obligatory purchase of Khukri Rum for $2.25, which we seriously needed after a day in Kathmandu (see previous blog.)
Being heavily loaded, we couldn't face taking a bus back, and bartered a fare in a taxi. Conversation got onto us going trekking and our driver was delighted to tell us that our destination of Langtang was his hometown. Enroute he rang his sister in Syabrubensi and let us discuss route conditions and weather. Ends up we're probably going to hire a jeep through him and could hire a porter from his brother in Syabrubensi.
Rosie was excited to sleep in her down bag last night.
Shane, Helen, Rosie and Tom