After the couple of beers I had last night and some anti cold tablets for the bug going round the bus that I have caught, I woke up with a thick head!
We were all off out today to see some sights of the city of Kathmandu. So after a good breakfast upstairs we all gathered together and squeezed into the smallest 26 seater minibus you have ever seen! It has 3 seats on a row with an aisle between, but in the aisle are folding seats that then make each row 4 seats and it becomes impossible to get out!!
First stop was the Children’s temple – Commonly known as The Monkey Temple due to all the monkeys that reside there. Some of the group took the easy back entrance way up to the temple, while the hard ones (Including me) took the front entrance, which consists of a massive hill and steps all the way up. It took a good 10-12 minutes to climb and at the stop was almost vertical.
Everyone who attempted it did make it up though and were rewarded with some fantastic views over the city. The temple itself was very interesting, with prayer drums on every wall and people milling about turning the drums whilst chanting and music played in the background. It seemed a very peaceful place except for the scruffy dogs and monkeys that hung around. The monkeys would watch as people went by with back or cameras and every now and then would make a quick dash and try to grab them, but while we were there nobody lost anything.
After we had had a good look around we took the easy route down to where the miniminiminibus was waiting. On the way we all spotted a baby monkey that had been caught around the neck with some string. We told our guide who got some sticks and some help and went to try to free it, but all the other monkeys gathered around to protect the infant. We were getting worried as the monkeys pulled the infant and appeared to be strangling it, but suddenly it managed to free it self and run away.
We headed back through the city to the second temple of the day which was a larger version of the building at the monkey temple. It was quite spectacular, but due to the illness around the bus and a lot of tiredness we were a little under-awed.
Th third visit of the day was to the ancient square of patan. It is a beautiful place with indescribable buildings, almost looking ancient Chinese. By now I was really knackered and wanted to rest out of the sun so after a few minutes I headed back to the bus and got some well earned sleep on the back seat! When everyone else came back though they told stories of a buffalo being sacrificed to celebrate the end of a Nepalese festival. They went into details of how its innards were removed and cut up – I was glad I had come back for some sleep!!
This afternoon most people vegged out with a bit of shopping or a siesta in the hotel. We are all getting quite tired after a few early starts and also long bus days and late nights. The bug going through the bus is also not helping at the moment – But everyone is sticking together and having a good time, knowing that next week we will be heading off to Thailand.
We are now just over halfway on the journey, which is mad!! In one way it seems like yesterday we left London and in other ways it seems like years ago. Some of the group left early and one new girl has arrived, while tomorrow we get another 4 new friends to join us! We are all beginning to know each other quite closely which is good and nobody seems to be left out of anything. Overall it has been a fantastic few weeks together and we all hope that with a bit of luck, a lot of Tiger balm (Nearly everyone on the bus now has a po of it!!) and a few quiet drinks of a night-time that it will continue to be a great trip.