Saturday 24 May
The 5 of us squeezed into a tiny Suzuki 800 taxi and got bumped to Bhaktapur, a Unesco world Heritage site. The history goes back to early 8th century, and it was the capital 12 th to 15th century. Buildings and temples are being renovated and the small city apparently has over 100,000 inhabitants, many of whom run the tourist shops, hotels, restaurants etc . Our $15 US entry fee assists in the restoration of the heritage buildings. Very little traffic and far fewer tourists made this place easy to see. After buying a few items at the peacock paper store we were treated to a tour of the small industry that is spread over 4 levels . 20 people make paper items in the traditional way from tree bark, though we didn’t see them working today as it is their ‘holy day’ . In this building, restoration work of the centuries old wooden pillars and beams is slowly happening. Our “guide” a university professor , is now studying Bhuddism, and he fanatically collects and restores the wooden joinery. Unfortunately couldn’t get photos in the workshop because it was so dark. Enjoying great views and a cool breeze on the rooftop, we could hear thunder rumbling in the hills . Weather had been excessively muggy , and glaringly bright, until a small thunderstorm had us sheltering for about 30 mins under the eaves of a temple about 2pm. . Taking a different route back to the entrance gate we passed by the residential area and market gardens, then stopped for a while at Potters square to watch a potter at his wheel and the workers laying wheat straw on the kilns. Pete bought a nepali style cotton shirt . Our taxi driver had waited for us for over 5 hrs. He wasn’t happy with us, but it had been his decision to wait and he didn’t want us to pay him when he delivered us. Very trusting of him.