Sunday 21 November
Sightseeing in Kathmandu
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.
Leisurely rise and
breakfast. Mary went her own way whilst the rest of us got a taxi (vintage Merc
220D) to Pashupati
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.
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