Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019
On the Archduke's Path in Mallorca

Friday 5 August 2022

November 2004 - The Annapurna Circuit - Day 21

Sunday 21 November
Sightseeing in
Itinerary: DAY 21 Free day in Kathmandu. In the morning you can take the optional one-hour Everest flight (weather permitting) towards the Himalayas for awesome views of the Everest region. After that you will have the whole day free to explore the Kathmandu valley. There are many touring possibilities like visiting Pashupatinath temple on the Bagmati River (the holiest Hindu shrine of Nepal) and Boudhanath (the largest stupa in the country and centre of Buddhist culture in Kathmandu). You could also visit Durbar Square, Swayambhunath (Monkey Temple), Patan or stroll Asan Tole bazaar. Or simply relax by the hotel's pool and go shopping in Thamel. 

[Diarist: Martin]
Leisurely rise and breakfast. Mary went her own way whilst the rest of us got a taxi (vintage Merc 220D) to Pashupati Nath Temple. We watched a funeral (above), where the body of a lady who had died the previous evening, or possibly that morning according to somebody selling his guiding services, was cremated on a pyre of logs and sticks and hay, etc, a funeral director doing the 'torching' and a very plump son looking on uncomfortably in a wet robe. Quite a gripping ritual to watch. The fire was going strongly by the time we moved on, wandering around the rest of the temple. I got slapped by a monkey and we saw two of our porters hand in hand.


Images from Pashupati

Tourist trap stalls

We rejoined our taxi for the short drive to Boudhanath Stupa. More entry fees, but we weren't hassled at either of these places. They were pouring 'whitewash' down from the top of the Stupa, made from water and various crushed herbs, creating a brownish stain on the Stupa.



Then back in the taxi again, and lunch courtesy of the Bluebird store by the Radisson. Then everyone did their own thing, mostly shopping. Sue and I went to Durbar Square (KTM) - a half hour walk, the last section of which was in densely crowded shopping streets, with narrow streets leading off the main thoroughfare. Lots of intricate carvings on the buildings, which are mainly fairly decrepit, even the new ones. A '60s like shopping centre with posh shops - jewellers, white goods, furniture, etc, was in the middle of all this.

Shops etc around Durbar Square

Durbar Square had lots of temples, etc, and we kept a leaflet which was given to us with the entry fee. We were hassled by prospective guides, but resisted. 

Images from Durbar

Nice walk back via Thamel, then a turn around, a final briefing from Sanjeev at 5pm, before heading back to Thamel for our last meal together for the six of us, at Yin Yang Thai Restaurant. Some rather bland dishes, but perhaps because of what we ordered (we shared the food) rather than the fault of the restaurant. Back for an early night as we rise early tomorrow.  

Today, the scent of Kathmandu - a mixture of urine and exotic spices!

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