Thursday May 24 Day 13
Lots of rest but cough still very heavy and my temperature started to climb. With concern over developing Pneumonia, Antibiotics were prescribed. We were kicked out of the room late morning for room cleaning so went to the little cafe on the hospital grounds. Nima came to visit and we enjoyed lunch together. He was to attend a funeral tomorrow for a Sherpa friend who died on Everest a couple of days ago. That makes 3 deaths we knew of in less than 2 weeks that we had been in the Khumbu region.
On Care International rang to make sure all was ok. We watched old movies all afternoon.
Friday May 25.
I felt a bit better and was keen to check out but the doctors wanted me to stay another night as I had experienced a night sweat. We went down to the cafe for coffee and 3 guys from the Helicopter Company approached us there. They were concerned that they were not going to get paid by our Insurance Company. We had believed they had already sought and received prior approval for payment by the RACV. The helicopter company wanted us to lie about the height we were picked up from and ring RACV with a story about how the Helicopter Company was holding my passport and that I needed them to pay immediately so I could leave the country.
We told him we don’t play games like that but would investigate further and if necessary we would pay the account. We got his number and said we would get back to him. We rechecked our policy booklet and buried in the fine print was the exclusion for trekking over 3000m. Shit! We had been sold an insurance policy that was totally useless for the intended purpose. Lea had gone to see an RACV Consultant back in Bairnsdale and discussed our trekking plans. Although we purchased the policy online at a later date we did so on the basis of the Consultants recommendation. All contact with RACV Insurance and their agents had led us to believe we were covered. Bastards! Lea rang the RACV again and they were quite dismissive, stating that if the event was over 3000m then we were not covered, end of storey.
Based on this we decided to check out of hospital, as I was feeling much better, and settle all our accounts. We rang the Helicopter Company and they were around with an Eftpos machine in no tome flat for their $6200.00USD. They also wanted to charge us a 4% credit card fee but I convinced them to waive that. We also settled our $1500.00USD Hospital Account. The hospital was great and even gave us lunch before we left as well as a big bag full of ongoing medications.
With my passport back Nima arrived to take us to a nice quiet hotel. The Shechen Guest House just near the Bodnath Stupa which dates back to 600AD We dumped our gear and set off for a walk around the Stupa.
After winding our way through the narrow streets we walked in a clockwise direction around the Stupa. It is surrounded by 3-4 storey shop houses, many with rooftop bars and restaurants, and has an old worldly, almost European feel about the architecture.
We then took a taxi to the Hindu Temple of Pashupatinath on the banks of the sacred Bagmati River.
Funerals take place here and the bodies are cremated in the open on a pyre, then the ashes thrown in the River.
We didn’t have a lot of info on what we were seeing but it all looked impressive and old.
Found a great Vietnamese Restaurant near the Stupa for dinner and picked up some fresh fruit for breakfast.