This is part of a five-part series from my experience in Nepal this past spring.
Update: Internet service was restored in Manang on April 15, 2016
It's been a solid week without any internet. I sent an outgoing text message or two over the weekend from my $24 Nepali burner phone, but that was before I realized that this phone does not receive international text messages.
The hotel owner just came over to me as I'm writing this, put his hand over my shoulder and read everything that I was writing.
Today is Cheese Breakfast day.
It's extremely challenging to tell which day of the week it is. We start our regimented routine breakfast plan today, so it might as well be called Cheese Breakfast day on the calendar.
The official word is that the satellite company that was providing internet went bankrupt. It's shocking to me that it is even possible that the sole provider of internet service to a remote area could go bankrupt.
The forthcoming attempt to connect us with the rest of the world will be line-of-sight service straight up the "canyon", but it won't be here for until next month at the earliest -- Although it's hard to say because information is hard to come by. It's not like you can check the internet to see what the status of the internet getting connected. What I have learned is that the line-of-sight service will be connected to the internet via DSL 🎉
Going out of the country? Get your device unlocked!
Apparently the only way to send or receive email here is via cell service (2G). It turns out I blundered when I assumed that because I own my device outright, that it was unlocked by the carrier automatically. This is not true. Even though the carrier has no claim to your hardware, you still need to get them to give you the unlock pin code in order to use your normal device internationally. Double blunder: Apparently you can do this over the internet once you've landed in the other country.
So we just need to climb up there on that mountain, carrying all of the equipment by hand, and install the antenna. If that all happens, there's maybe a chance this blog post gets out this spring. The other option of course is to go adventuring in search of internet down in Chame, 20 miles away and 1000 meters downhill.
Our bikes came in yesterday and it's quickly looking like they are going to be functional additions to our arsenal. It's allegedly a 4.5 hour bike ride from Chame to Manang -- In comparison we made this a two day walk on our way in.
After wrapping up the breakfast and coffee session, we went to work tuning in bikes, then we were off for our first ride, straight up hill. We're sleeping at 11,560 feet (or so) in Manang. On a three mile ride up, we ascended to 13,000 feet. That took about an hour and a half. We were back in time for lunch after a half hour down hill ride.
Another few meters higher and we would have reached Yak Town.... but it's good not to over do it on the first day. It's also good to ride up hill -- in case of bike failure, the walk back is more enjoyable if it's down hill. We took an appropriate amount of water and food.
"Spring Rolls" for dinner with French Fries! These delicious treats are more or less chow mein wrapped in chapati bread and deep fried. Soon after this we'll shove off with a few shots of Bourbon and meet up with another american who’s in town trekking the Annapurna circuit.
My wooden iPhone is a huge hit with the tourists. There is no internet here in Manang, and even though I'm writing this on an iPad, the people around us are trying to crack the non existent wifi password.