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sunny 30 °C

We caught the 7.30am bus to Kathmandu. The trip itself was grand - but the bus was pretty hot and we were kinda stuck to the seats, but it went past fast. I read my ''Into Thin Air'' book and I was basically a cryfest all the way to K. We arrived in K by lunchtime and headed out looking for some accommodation. After trying a few places, we settled on Hotel Potala - or Hotel Potato as it came to be known, as there were a few of us from Ireland there. (least I think that's why we dubbed it that! )


Please note - as writing this in China - i can't actually see what photos I'm inserting as loads of sites don't work here. So random photo insertion ahoy!

Kathmandu is busy, dusty, noisy and a bit dirty in some places. Most of the main roads in the touristy area Thamel are quite clean, but on our walk to the Monkey Temple - aka Swayambhunath, we encountered very littered streets and the ''river'' was destroyed with garbage. There was a family of pigs walking in it munching their way through the garbage! he he... It had a whopper stench.

Our first day in K we decided to just rumble round a bit and see what was around us. There are lots of bars, cafes, shops, stalls and restaurants in Thamel. There were so many signs and shops and bikes everywhere, that I got sensory overload very quickly. We dived for cover and a nom late lunch in this veggie place called Or2k - which was to become a regular haunt for us. Then as it was happy hour, we went for a cocktail in the local Irish bar. After that we went to this awesome bar right opposite our hotel called the Buddha Bar. We ordered an Apple Sheesha pipe and got chatting to 2 lovely ladies beside us.


1 of these ladies was living in Kathmandu and could speak Nepali! Her friend was visiting her here on holidays. After a while the visiting friend's sister came in with a load of locals and joined us. She started wearing the face off one of them at the table. lolz. Then she kept talking to me as if I couldn't understand English or maybe she thought I was really slow or something. I was like; ''why are you talking to me so slowly and skipping out words - I speak English ye know''. She said that she had just gotten used to talking like that!!!! I was like - eh wtf? ''how long have you been here?'' and she says ''2 weeks''.
ahhhh herrrrrrrrrrrrre love - go wan outrra dat.. I'm pretty sure I scoffed out loud and narrowly avoided calling her a muppet. :D

Anywho, we were all having the craic, getting lamped and at 11pm, we headed out for the last hour to go dancing in some ''nightclub''. The club was full of men - there were literally no women anywhere around us. We fell out of the place at 12 midnight. Everywhere closes at 12 midnight these days - it's a bit pants!

So anyways I was dying the next morning but ate my free delicious breakfast and we got on with the sightseeing. We decided to do our own walking tour and see some of the tiny temples and shrines on the way to the famous Durbar square. The shrines were pretty shit in fairness. They were dirty and not really worth seeing at all to be honest. Instead we ducked into The Sticker Shop and blew some dough on awesome stickers that I will never know what to do with. :)

After some more temples and stuff, we ducked down a laneway into a very cool small square with lovely old buildings and a nice stupa. Then there was more trundling and picture taking, til finally we arrived at Durbar Square - the apparent architectural pinnacle of Kathmandu. We spied an official looking lady in a booth waving furiously at us to pay 750 rupees to enter the square! 750 rupees?? yeah right lady. We both weren't that pushed about going to the museum so decided to head off in the other direction, only to end up back in the square from the other side. hmmmmm oops! We tried to duck and dive the payment booths and had a brief look around the square. It had some nice Chinesey looking buildings alright, but no one else was being made to pay to enter and it seemed a bit unfair to just charge foreigners 750 rupees to see a square! Anyways we got a bit lost so stopped to check the compass, when this scruffy looking loonatic comes up to us and started spitting on us!! EWWW - he spat twice on us and was getting ready to hawk up his guts again, so we legged it off up the road! It was so gross and we were slightly miffed. Everytime that we heard anyone clearing their throat after that, we turned quickly to see if we needed to start running!


Anywho we were hungry so went back to Or2k for lunch. It was delicious and we needed a nap after all this heavy eating so returned to Hotel Potato! Later we headed to Tom and Jerry's bar were we met some of the lads from last night and another 2 huge lads from Ireland, the craic was mighty. ;) We ordered drinks and then the barman kicked us out 5 minutes later! DOH! A bit like home! :D

Next day we decided to wealk to the monkey temple. The walk brought us past the river in the middle of the city, which as I mentioned was an absolute pigsty! Literally! There was a family of pigs marching and munching their way through the river of garbage as they went.


A couple passed us by on the way to the riverbank, and I assumed that they were going to maybe say a prayer or raise an offering at the edge of the river. But they just trotted right up and flung a bag of garbage into it! Right in there with the rest of the krap. Ewww. So we kept walking as the smell was pretty bad and investigated the nearby temples and shrines. We took some blasphemous photos before rocking on upwards to the monkey temple aka Swayambhunath.

The temple itself was a great big stupa - a big white dome representing the earth, thirteen tiers representing the 13 stages man must go through to achieve enlightenment, the Buddha eyes, and the squiggle as the nose which represents the number 1. The stupa was up a steep set of stone steps, with colourful statues of Buddha and other interesting figures dotting the stairway. At the top around the temple. were lots of monkeys, people selling colourful stuff, those twirly prayer yokes and of course great views of the city of Kathmandu.


We trundled around for a bit then made our way down on the other side of the hill. We saw lots more monkeys drinking from fountains and a sign that said ''RASMITA WEDS BRITISH MAN''. he he. :D Lucky Rasmita!


After a delicious lunch of veg lasagne, we decided we'd done enough to earn another nap. :D Later Lindsey showed me how to make some macro may bracelets so I can continue travelling the world and never go home, financing myself by selling these bracelets at festivals! Hippy life and dreadlocks - here I come! :D

Later we headed out for a drink at Buddha bar and met some Czech lad that we yapped away to. As we left the bar, at 12 midnight on the dot, we crossed the alleyway to the gate of Hotel Potato and were besieged by weirdos! A Nepali guy came up to offer us hash, a mad American with a bandage on his foot stumbled up to us looking for ''the tall Irish guy Damien'', and an aggressive dude came up shouting ''Sup Sup???'' almost demanding we came to his roof to ''smoke some shit''... All this as we were trying to bid adieu to the Czech guy.
We said ''no thanks'', to the Nepali dude
''No we don't know Damien''... to the mad US dude
''No we don't wanna smoke on your roof''.. to the aggressive dude. ..

No one was taking any notice of our refusals though and we had to keep saying ''no, no, no, no, no'' as Lindsey rattled the cage/gate to get into Hotel Potato. WTF??? Then the US dude thought that we had invited him up to our gaff with us!! F*ckin Hell!
Finally the Czech dude managed to get them away from us. Then he goes and joins them on their roof to ''smoke some shit''.. Good Lolling Jaysus. :D We escaped to the comfort of our roach-free-room. 8)

Next day was Lindsey's last day. :( We decided to take it easy and hang out at the Garden of Dreams. The GOD is a lovely big park with nice green grass, lovely ponds with goldfish and lillies, flowers, trees and lots of little nooks and crannies to hide the amorous Nepali lovers. :) We hung out in the sun for the day reading and eating ice cream.


As we sat there minding our own business, a bird popped on LIndsey's head!! It was a pretty large and gross poop as far as poops go, and poor Lindsey had to retreat to the bathroom to wash it out.

The garden was full of Nepali people and tourists alike and we started chatting to these lovely bunch of guys and gals who had just returned from Everest Camp 3! After just reading ''Into Thin Air'', I was dying to hear their tales and see their pics so we agreed to meet up later in Sam's pub. We didn't know if they'd turn up as they were on a mission to eat and drink as much as possible after coming down. But lo and behold they appeared later on. There was Joe and Mollie and Keith from the US, and 3 Ozzie lads - Rob, Mario and John. THe lads were great craic and we hung out with them for the night yapping and doing shots. (urrrgh) We had intended going home early as Lindsey was up early the next morning, but Balls to that! :D

I was super sorry to see Lindsey go the next morning, I also felt her pain having to get 2 flights after a night's boozing... STANDARD... Lindsey was a great roomie and awesome travelling companion and I felt sad to see her mosey on to India.

Posted by squeakylee 18:03 Archived in Nepal Tagged temple monkey of everest garden pond kathmandu stupa dreams

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