I am now back in Kathmandu. I have 4 days till I fly out to Singapore. At first I think what am I going to do for all that time but I soon find things to do. By the end of my 4 days I have done all the tourist things and too many bakerys. The thing I loved the most about Kathmandu was the narrow streets. There's a chaotic mixture of shops, coffee shops, people and traffic. The whole place has a buzz to it. On my last day but one, I bumped into Beball the guide from my Indian trip. Over coffee he asks me if I have been to the festival on the other side of the city. An hour later he's at my hotel to take Margaret and myself to the festival. We could not believe how many people are there. There must have been thousands. I think Margaret and myself were the only foreigners there. They are pulling a chariot along with a "tree" on it that must have been at least 70ft tall. If it falls over it will bring bad luck to that part of the town for the next year. It takes them 4 days to pull it into place. Every time it moved the crowd surged forwards, you had no choice but to go with it. We left, with the tree listing so badly, they called it a day and left it where it was till the next day. (It wasn't a real tree but a collection of branches haphazardly put together to form a "tree").
My last day in Kathmandu
Once again Beball came to pick me up. Today he is taking me to 2 villages outside Kathmandu.This was a great opportunity for me to see the real Nepal. I am again the only foreigner. Tourists don't usually get the chance to see real village life. It still amazes me how content the people are. They have no running water, no real loos, no showers, no washing machines, etc etc. I don't think I have ever seen so many happy kids. We are invited into one of the houses. This is where the locals go for a traditional Nepalese dish that the owner cooks. We are to have a traditional drink that once again the owner distils from rice which is very strong. There I am, sat on some matting on the roof-top of his house looking over the village, drinking this concoction at 10 in the morning . Beball tells me not to drink it all as it is very strong. I am glad about this as nothing in the house looks clean.
After an excellent morning it's back to pack my bag for the next part of my trip and one last trip to a bakery for another coffee and cake.