|Returned to Kathmandu via a much nicer bus (no A/C, but much newer) that took us through some spectacular scenery and shocking traffic on our eight hour trip.
Have spent our remaining time here sightseeing. Walked through the interesting residential streets to Swayambhunath - a large Buddhist temple on a hill. The temple provided outstanding views of the Kathmandu valley as well as some monkey sightings (and too many mangy dogs to count). Also did a few daytrips to nearby cities and sights (see sidetrips).
Overall, we've really enjoyed Nepal and will be returning in September for more trekking. The country is endowed with the incredible natural beauty of the mountains, valleys and rural villages as well as some spectacular temples and palaces. People have generally been warm, funny and friendly and we've felt very safe. There is so much potential for this country, but in many ways it feels among the least developed we've visited so far. Basic infrastructure such as reliable electricity, decent roads and public health seem very far behind. We hear from the locals that corruption is largely to blame. The bit of hope we saw was a high value placed on education. Unlike in SE Asia where many kids were working on schooldays, kids here seemed to be going to school even in the most remote villages we visited. We also heard many stories of families making great sacrifices working overseas in the UK, Qatar or Sudan to pay for better education for their kids or extended family (it's only free until age 10).