Sue and Martin in Mallorca 2019

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

Monday, 14 November 2022

November 2004 - The Annapurna Circuit - Day 24


Wednesday 24 November
Kathmandu to Manchester

[Diarist: Sue]
After a leisurely 8 am breakfast (Andrew had already watched 'Shakespeare in Love' on his room's satellite TV!) a taxi driver was co-opted to take us to the south side of Kathmandu, to the 'Tibetan Refugee Camp. The mission was carpet buying for Andrew. On the ground floor, women sat on the floor cross-legged, deftly threading wool on tall looms, their fingers pulling forward the vertical strands and shooting the wooden shuttles across. 

Narrow carpets - one woman; medium carpets - two women; and wide carpets - four women. They occasionally glance at the pattern hanging in front of them. 

Upstairs were piles of carpets divided into 60 knot, 80 knot, or 100 knot, the latter being the highest quality. Patterns and colours were diverse. It takes 45 days to make a large carpet, with four women working. The prices seemed appropriate for this much labour, at around US$250 for a medium-sized one. 

After this [there's no comment in the diary as to whether Andrew bought a carpet - Ed], a visit to a shopping area in Patan, where we bought a picture with gold leaf [where is it now?], probably paying over the odds. Next stop was Patan's Durbar Square. This was lovely, with its mix of temples of different heights and styles, smells of incense, inner courtyards, and ornate wood carving. It was impressively clean.

This final batch of pictures from this trip were taken in Patan and Durbar Squares, and on the way back to the hotel.

Back at the Radisson around 12 noon, we had 3 hours to kill before moving to the airport. The Bluebird supermarket provided some snacks, and we ate some of these sitting up on the 5th floor outside by the pool. It was pleasantly warm now, the air having been cleared by yesterday's rain. Also had a coffee and perused Andrew's copy of Andrew Stephenson's picture book 'Around the Annapurnas'. [A Nepalese Journey - On Foot Around the Annapurnas - a lovely book.]

These last three images were taken near our hotel.

Eventually, Shirish and Mahesh arrived to see us off, and cream coloured scarves were placed around our necks as last goodbyes were made. 

The following 24 hours were spent either waiting or flying. Yahtzee was introduced to Andrew and occupied the time before our 7:25 pm flight left Kathmandu. The flight to Doha was just under 5 hours. The next 4 hours were spent in the airport, where the hard floor made an adequate bed. 

Whilst I slept for a good chunk of the 7 hour flight to London, Martin watched films etc. Then only 2 hours at Heathrow before the 40 minute flight to Manchester. A shock for Andrew when his bags failed to materialise, but then relief that he doesn't have to carry them to the station! 

Our short taxi journey returns us to Balmoral Drive at 10:30 am on a dry but dull autumn morning. 

Note re costs: We kept a full record. The three and a half week trip cost Sue and me each around £2500.

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