Batti ayo! ("Electricity Come")
Monsoon is almost over and that means more loadshedding and less electricity. People thinking of coming to Nepal wonder how the lack of electricity will impact their travels while here. People from the West who are looking for a home in Asia wonder how anyone can live without electricity for hours throughout the days. Prior to monsoon the electric runs mostly from 12-6 am with a few short hours throughout the day-brutal!
First, if you know something is going to happen you aren't likely to be so disappointed when it does. There is a schedule that you can download from several places. Here's one in English: http://battigayo.com/schedule Note that the cut-off times are the times listed between the dashes.
You'll notice there are 7 groups, all in the Kathmandu Valley. Many places, such as Panauti, outside the valley have water reserves and hydro plants, which means they may not even have loadshed. But while you are in Kathmandu you'll need to deal with it, depending on your budget. We have beds from only $6 with breakfast and private rooms with bath for $12, but most places with these prices are not likely to have 24 hr. electricity and WIFI like we do.
Be sure to check with the guest house prior to booking if you are a budget traveler. Otherwise, if you pay $20 or more you'll hardly notice. If one light in your room suddenly goes out, try another switch. One light in your room and toilet will be on the inverter line, so be sure to try the other switches. You will notice the electric switches work the opposite of most places with the 'off' position at the top. Next to the door you will notice several switched on the wall and two plug-ins. It's best to use the bottom plug-in for charging things when the light comes on. Most plug-ins have a red light so you know when the electricity is running. This bottom plug usually works all night, so plug your computer or mobile in at night to conserve the electricity. Otherwise, there will be no lights for anyone until the grid is working.
Also, please make sure all light switches are in the óff' position before you leave your room. Additionally, check to make sure the water is not running in the bathroom. Water and electricity
What to buy? There are 15-25 NRs. cigarette lighters with a little flashlight on the end. They don't always work so be sure to check that it works before you pay. There are also people on the street selling rechargeable lights. I don't usually buy from them for fear of inferior quality, but many small stores sell these rechargeable lamps. Try to avoid Chinese products and opt for Indian made. I had two fires from the thin cords that come with the Chinese brands. Try not to leave it charging at night or when you are out. These lamps cost from $6-12 (I think I'm including Chinese brands in the prices here). You can also ask for a better cord. They sell them at any of the electrical shops for about a dollar.
|Many families are still living in earthquake shelters|
These rechargeable lamps make great 'leave behinds' for any of the children who go to government schools. It is difficult for many children to do their homework because they don't have electricity in their homes and they live in earthquake shelters that don't typically have windows.
|This is one of our sponsored families. Fortunately, she will soon be able to move out of this earthquake shelter and into a home with some family members.|
Never leave your room without a flashlight of some kind. You just never know when you'll need it.
What if you want to stay in Nepal for an extended time? You can get an inverter and battery to make your computer last an extra 3 hours for under $65 or you can just get an extra battery for you computer for $25. They have Mac batteries, but are more expensive and harder to find. You can find any harder to find electronics in the "New Road" area in Kathmandu.
You can also get an inverter system if you rent a flat, under $300 with a battery and installation. I have a battery so heavy three men could hardly get it up the stairs. We also have a solar panel that we bought for around $300. The solar is a bit more expensive because the panels don't come with the battery or inverter. I think I over-paid for my solar.
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Batti Gayo ("Electricity Go")