Our 2014 Trip Lhasa Tibet to Kathmandu travel blog

all checkedin and ready to go

roof top view from Hotel

hotel

little suzuki taxis are everywhere

street barber

street market

one of many shrines

old timber work among the new builds

dogs and pigeons rest in shade of shrine

butchery

rickshaw

peace and quiet in a courtyard

panorama over city on walk to monkey temple

top of steps at temple

pigs enjoy the rubbish by the river

monkeys play

the best little suzuki 800 taxi

view over hotel garden

garden

temple

lady turns prayer wheels at buddist shrine

another old shrine and building

busy streets

typical lamp post

street vendors

pete accosted by another hawker

get your pots here!

pottery pots

dirty river, see the work men

shrine at top of hill

Buddist stupa


21 may 2014 arrived into Kathmandu, Nepal approx. 8am local time and 2.15pm NZ time.

Our 11hr flight to Kuala Lumpur and 5 hr flight onto Kathmandu went quite smoothly and we managed to get a little sleep. We had a good view of Bangladesh through the heat haze, flat and brown terrain, crisscrossed by many rivers. The land then crumpled into very arid hills and valleys, wide brown rivers, sparse clumps of greenness and very few villages. The hills suddenly became mountains and the switchback dirt roads indicated some very serious steepness. Terraced farms dirt roads and villages zigzagged from the valley floor to the knife edge thin hill tops. We felt some relief that we wouldn’t be cycling there. Kathmandu airport , about the size of CHCH international, reminded us of Luang Prabang airport in Laos, probably designed by the same engineers. Bikes and bags survived the flight. Temp about 32 C, humid and dusty The drive to our in hotel in the Thamel district was eye opening and an assault to our very tired senses, a third world city of broken roads, filthy drains, chaotic traffic, blaring horns, mobs of motorbikes, diesel fumes, swarms of little Susuki taxis, and a few fat cows or skinny dogs slowly wandering. Among dilapidated buildings or others under construction , would be a new and modern design 6 level highrises. They are all attached to each other and you hope that the engineers and builder s know what they are doing!! Maybe its easier to get building permits here than at home. It seems that if one went down the rest would go like a house of cards. There was a major earthquake here in 1934 but I hope that earthquakes are a rare thing. Walking about the streets near our hotel and did a bit of shopping to replace Nickies gear that was left behind. There are dozens of small stores selling outdoor gear. NorthFace “knock offs” and Salewa seconds. A 10C below sleeping bag for $36 NZ , Teva type sandals for $20NZ. “Nepali goretex” jackets from $20 to $50NZ. Atr at the hotel restaurant, a large meal for about $5 NZ and the Nepali Barley beer hit the spot. Managed to stay awake til about 9pm local time, but we all woke about 4am to the buzz of mosquitos and cacophony of, crows, roosters , pigeons and dogs.

Thurs 22 may

8am found a bakery and an expresso coffee. Aaah… felt normal after that, then back to hotel to enjoy a large buffet breakfast. Dave with his LP guide book in hand led us on about 5 ks of walking tours, through the narrow streets of the old city, to many hindu shrines and Buddhist stupas. Some parts of the city from medieval times 3 to 5 levels and only a single lane road width apart, almost a claustrophobic feeling. See photos for the detail in the wooden windows, doors etc. Today we were on foot among the throngs of people and vehicles, needing to watch every step on the broken roads and cobbles and not to topple into a drain. At least with head down it was easier to avoid eye contact with the pesky hawkers, trying to flog gurkha knives, beads, wooden flutes etc. Pete was their target as he can’t seem to ignore a chance to haggle and even when he said a firm NO they tailed us for several streets. About 38C in the narrow airless alleys. Was a relief to find a stupa, statue or shrine in a peaceful courtyard. Didn’t find the shrine with the erotic wooden carvings. Will see Durbar Square on Monday with the other cyclists on our tour. About 5pm walked about 2 k to the Dream gardens to enjoy cooler air and the beautiful garden. Ate again at hotel as we had no energy to go out.

Friday 23 May

Zig zagged about 5ks through the streets to Swayambhu Bhuddist temple, located on a hill accessed by many steep steps. It is colloquially known as the monkey temple. Geologist believe Kathmandu was once a lake and that the hill that the temple stands on, was once an island. Enjoyed a couple of hours here, bought a thanka painting and CD of Tibetan meditation music. Sat in on the monks meditation for about 20 mins, very peaceful and relief to be out of the blazing sun. The huge gong type drums literally vibrate in your chest, a weird but pleasant sensation. See photos of the workmen possibly building a weir in the polluted river. Im sure you can imagine the stink!! Dusty, exhausted and needing lunch we ate at Rosemary Café. Nickie and Pete then embarked on more shopping, Dave, Marg and Eraina had the energy to walk and explore.



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