Well, we leave Bhutan sadly at 7.45am, another sunny day and we land in Kathmandu just around 9am and start the drive to our hotel. Its certainly back to earth with a bump as we see a car incident in front of us and the door hanging off someone’s van, but everyone just keeps moving! Well sort of, traffic is terrible in Kathmandu and we have gone from clear skies, clean air, beautiful mountains to cars, bikes, smog, dust, and pollution so its hard for me to be excited to be back here at the moment.
We check back in the Vaishali, at least the room this time doesn’t have that aroma around the bathroom, and I seem to have a slightly improved room from before (although still that rock hard bed!). Nora is not so happy as apparently this is like being down graded for her after the suite she had last time!
KK comes to pick us up and take us on a tour, this time a bit further out of town to Patan, we wander round the historical buildings of Hanuman Dhoka Palace, see more ruins and courtyards, there is so much damage from the earthquake, some of the places are now more of a museum. KK explains the history and age of the buildings, and we continue to explore. There are lots of hawkers around trying to sell you stuff, there is even a candy floss stall!! And dust, dust, dust, its apparently the same as smoking 50 cigarettes a day being here and although I am only just back its really noticeable that you simply can’t breath properly.
To be honest as well at this stage not being overly religious myself I am a bit Shiva and Buddha’d out, and can barely either understand or take in most of what is being said (plus I was up at 5am so pretty shattered!). I think some of it is sinking in, I like the ‘do good karma’ bit anyway!
After Patan we head to the Swoyambhunath (Big) stupa, situated west of Kathmandu. It is a 2500 years old Buddhist stupa located at a top of hill with a pretty great view of Kathmandu, its again full of people selling their wears, probably more touristy that some of the places so far and that is saying something for Kathamandu. This place is swarming with monkeys of all sizes, everywhere you step there they are. I am told to be careful they don’t try and steal any of my belongings!!
Anyway, its here I have a minor incident that results in my camera dropping to the floor….. needless to say its broken now, and I am devastated and pretty p***ed off now so the rest of the tour (only short anyway) was a bit marred by that! I soon get over it, after all its just a camera and Buddha would probably say that I should not take such stock in material things (still annoying though!). Phone its is for a while then…..
After that we head to the hotel, and then in the evening I google my way to find a nice place for dinner. We head out about 3 minutes walk from the hotel and go to a place called Friends Restaurant, I would highly recommend it, it was bustling and the food was great, I have the veggie Dal Bhat and veggie Mo Mo’s which was lovely, but kept seeing this fab chicken shish kebab coming out, the place gets good ratings and had live music on when we were there which was good. It also seemed that everyone knew the band so it was really a ‘friends’ place there that night. I figured as it was on the menu one Espresso Martini wouldn’t hurt and Nora seemed determined for a drink tonight so couldn’t really leave her drinking on her own now could I!!