Ahh the smell of burnt rubbish
Trip Start Jun 18, 2007
150Trip End Ongoing
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After the peace that was bandapur I was not that excited about heading to Kathmandu as i hadn't heard too many wonderful things about it, plus I'd also seen some not to nice pics of the rubbish or lack of picking it up. Nevertheless i had to go as i was getting a flight to Delhi as i couldn't stomach a 40 hour Nepal/India bus. Especially when it is compared to a 1 hour flight!
So off i went to get a bus to the capital. I one i ended up catching was, i thought, pretty good. It was a minibus with AC and we weren't packed in like a usual Nepali bus - i.e. people weren't on the roof. After confirming the price and final destination (yes yes bus station) we were off.
It was a great ride until the bus stopped in the middle of what must have been the 'sticks' of Kathmandu or it was a rubbish tip
My first stop was durpor square - pretty much the town center in the old days - it cost 200 rps about $4 and i quickly released i shouldn't have paid as being a town square the there are many free ways in - ahh well.
The square was nice and it was amazing that the shrines temples etc just fitted in with normal life - people hang stuff from statues sleep in the temples etc And lets not forget the cows, weird old holy men wanting to you to take photos, kids asking for 'one pen' but who really need a bath and the crazy traffic that runs through the square (somehow). Nevertheless it was great just climbing a temple and watching the world go by. Another cool thing was a building with the 'Kurma' - a young girl who is picked as a living girl when she is very young and gets to live in an old house in the square. However she wasn't showing her face when i went in to have a look
The search for a ticket to India was also interesting and highlighted just how stupid some tourists must be and how money hungry travel agents are. In thamel I was quoted repeatedly $180US for the flight and 'oh no there is no discount if you are under 30) but there is cause...well.
Any ways walk off thamel to a local travel agent and he told me $150 and i say i've heard it is $125 (the best offer i found in pokarha) and he goes OK.. I'll give it to you for $120..SCORE - it just makes you wonder how much money travel agents are actually getting.
I decided to head to patan today - pretty much another square - after hearing the taxis there is about $5 for 6kms!!! I decided to find a public bus - 1 hour searching for the depot and a 15 cent trip i was off. After paying for the square yesterday i decided to see if i could sneak in. Well after 5mins of walking through this small alleys with the locals laughing at me cause it was obvious what i was doing - I guess heaps of people do this - I was in the square with my 200rps in my pocket.
I quickly began snapping picks ever on the lookout for a guard with too much time on his/her hands.
Feeling quiet happy about myself i started looking around and then it happened
..'sir can i have a look at your ticket'
'what ticket sir..i just come through here'.. and there was no ticket office
you need a ticket
If i knew that sir i wouldn't have come in.. can i just leave...
and he did - though I'm sure he knew i was just BS him
and that was that - so while my time in patan was short at least it was cheap, which is always a good thing
Day 3 of Kathmandu started like all the others with another 3 hour blackout in the morning - the newspaper (see pic) has said they will be increased to 36 per hour. I'm actually writing this in a cafe with generator as there is another 3hr blackout from 6-9pm!
Anyways.. today was stupa day! I went to two. The first one involved a 30 min hike through the outskirts of Kathmandu cause i wasn't going to fork out for a taxi (again).
It's really hard to describe what i saw - unpaved rocky roads, kids shitting on the roads, inches of fine dust everywhere (not helped by cars throwing it up) and then there was the rubbish
Nevertheless I befriended some school girls who helped me through the maze of alleyways and dirt roads/trails and got to the stupa on the hill or the monkey stupa, cause the bloody monkeys are everywhere.
I once again entered through the back way and didn't have to pay and to be honest it was the right move cause it wasn't that special and the view over smoggy Kathmandu left a lot to be desired. Though the monkeys were pretty funny jumping over all the holy stupa. I even resisted getting a photo of them as i have hundreds from Asia - see it's self control
The second stupa was reached by trusty mini bus (i.e. how the local get around). Again walking 5 mins to the back allowed me to get in for free via the back door.
It was the local Tibetan stupa and while it was pretty much the same stupa as the monkey one, just bigger, it just had a different vibe which made it feel great- as the photos show - heaps of people walking around it, spinning the wheels and praying to the giant eyes (see pic). However the grip of tourism was showing - really do they need an Internet cafe next to the stupa.
Tomorrow is my last full day in Nepal what will i be doing? Who nows....................
Also Edmand Hillary died - the dude who first climb everast (the big mountain) - it's big news here
On my last full day in Nepal I decided to go to Bhaktapur, an old town about 10kms outside of KTM
he bad thing though is this stress free live style doesn't come cheap for us whities its either 750rps of $10US (which both don't match up when converted but thats another story). However this never stopped me (see above) so when the bus dropped me off i 'accidentally' walked down a side street and missed the ticket booth.
I quickly found a hotel and started walking around - always looking for another guard with too much time
The place was great, the quality of the temples, wood carvings and such was very high quality and the streets were clean - i began think 'where was I?'
However the coolest thing happened at night as it seemed Landcruiser had bought the town for the night and set up traditional shows in all the squares so I got to watch traditional shows which usually cost a fortune for nothing - and they were quiet good.
Don't ask me what landcruiser was doing in Nepal though as their cars are a bit expensive for the common Nepali I think
The next day i snuck out of the town and caught a taxi to the oldest airport I've seen in a while, paid the 1350 rp departure tax!!! was searched and xrayed three times and was off to Delhi
OH God I'm going back to India HELP.........