|We left Hong Kong yesterday with a relatively uneventful travel day and got into Kathmandu around 10:15 pm. It was a little confusing at the airport having to change money to Nepalese Rupees & get a visa but we finally made it through the red tape. Eoin was waiting for us and took us to the hotel where we finally got to our room around 12:30 am. We were rather tired to say the least but it took a while to get to sleep.
The room is rather small and spartan but it will do nicely. The bathroom is an experience though. It is not only small but the shower is in the ceiling in the middle of the room. The floor is tiled with a drain. You turn on the water and stand in the middle of the room beside the toilet & sink & have a shower. Everything gets wet.
We met everyone in the lobby at 8 and had a great breakfast. Around 10:00 we left for a half day tour of Kathmandu on a nicely equipped tour bus. We thought Hong Kong was buy & a little overwhelming but it pales in comparison to Kathmandu. Over 2.5 million people live in the valley and think all of them were in town today. It's a little crazy. I don't think I would ever attempt to drive here. There is not rhyme nor reason to the layout of the streets and no obvious rules of the road. The drivers are crazy and have no regard for pedestrians.
Our first stop was at one of the more important Hindi temples. There is a river that flows through the center of it and is considered very holy. There are at least 10-12 funerals here every day and they are all cremations on a ledge beside the river. The place was called Pashupatinath. It's very difficult to do it justice in this small blog. The main temple was build in the 13 century and is considered one of the main temples in the religion. Apparently there was some kind of celebration last month with over 800,000 people visiting the place in one day. The river is very dirty & polluted but there were many ion the water either washing clothes or themselves.
Next stop was the Monkey Palace. There is a Buddhist Temple there that is over 2000 years old. Just incredible! Of course there were monkeys everywhere.
We went back to the hotel and after a small rest we went out for lunch & some shopping. It is very easy to get lost in no time at all. The good news if you do you just grab a rickshaw and give the driver 100 rupees (about $1.25) & tell him to take you to the Kathmandu Guest House. Mary bought a pair of flip flops & we both bought some trekking poles. We got a great deal on the poles. We paid about $18 Canadian for a good quality set. At home those are at least $70. Next we stopped in a pizza restaurant and met up with Eoin for a nice lunch.
Tonight we are all meeting up for dinner on the rooftop of the hotel. I would load up some pictures but the internet connection here is so slow that I don't have the time or the patience.