I am writing this next chapter from my raised weatherboard Island home, with Solomon's reggae absolutely shaking the walls and the mandatory laughs and cheers of the neighbours to boot. I'm sure I'll miss this but it does slightly distract from the writing so lets see how I go.
With the first trek in Nepal out of the way after another quick stop off in Pokhara it was time to head back to Kathmandu and wait for our travel buddies who had arrived while we were on Poon Hill. The girls had started their own touring program when we arrived and as such we had a few days to explore more of Kathmandu minus the jetlag this time.
The few days was filled with visits to the various temples and stupas including the monkey temple and its impressive flight of stairs, stray dogs and monkeys. Atop the temple are many spiritually significant artifacts, the meanings of which, I am completely oblivious of but I did take the chance to spin some of the many prayer wheels.
After rendezvousing with Anika and Ella (two sisters from Australia), we continued tours of the ancient areas of Bhaktapur, Boudanath and Patan with stunning carvings and ancient architecture. Though clearly built for the Nepali stature with doorways often only reaching my neck hmm adding insult to the Suzuki taxi ride I had to turn down earlier in the trip because I couldn't physically fit inside. (Queue violins). In addition to impressive pottery and artworks depicting various mandalas, there was also an abundance of eager guides hoping to convince one of their skills in guiding and your need to accept. It has to be said that the areas once sacred and ancient that have become tourist attractions are now areas where as a traveller you can expect to meet with many a sales person trying on the hard sell.
Before heading off for our next trek we did get out for dinner a few nights and one in particular is probably worth a mention. As a tourist on these on these sorts of travels your always warned off getting around on foot too much at night and the Government website really puts the fear in you but we got around a bit without incident thankfully. One night we passed a group of buildings and at the rear of an adjacent alley was a brightly lit neon sign "Rooftop Restaurant" sponsored by the local beer company. So it looked pretty fancy and sounded great. Well up we went to a dark rooftop with a few broken pot plants and a worse for wear wooden picnic bench. Disappointed we ate our meal anyway and listened to the music of a nearby club all thinking we should probably be there, to add confusion to the situation our waitress kept popping up the stairs asking "like dance?". It came time to leave and as we made our way down the fire escape style stairway I happened to look sideways into a well presented club style restaurant complete with a stage but albeit empty. It was then that the penny dropped that the music we had been hearing was not some nearby club but our restaurant, the downstairs well presented nice area that would have been a fantastic spot for dinner. Anyway so as not to waste the newly discovered music and club room we stayed on and as the only patrons were treated to some pumping Nepali music complete with lightshow and local dancers and the girls even got taken up on stage and taught the ropes. All in all a great night but it so easily could have been a complete disappointment. …. (that beer company is not doing the restaurant any favours directing people to the rooftop I tell you).
From here we sorted the booking for our trek and departed on the most memorable and entertaining bus ride of my life….