Stuck in the Kat
Trip Start Aug 23, 1996
556Trip End Ongoing
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The bus trip took ages. Well actually, 8 hours. It was a good trip. Mountains surrounded us the whole way, and as we came into Kathmandu, the whole place was covered in pollution. We jumped off the bus and Stuart went and found a minibus. We jumped on, and as usual, the busboy tried to charge us to much. Stuart had been here before, and told him to fuck off. We gave him the correct amount and let it be. Stuart then noticed that we were going the wrong way. It became worse. They told us to get off as it was a 5 minute walk. He was lying, so I grabbed our money out of his pocket. The driver yelled something, and the busboy ran to get on the bus, so I did the only thing possible, I grabbed him, and made him get our bags. He did this, and then we jumped onto another bus, and we grabbed a hotel
Every man is a drug dealer, and personally, the place is a shithole. But one thing that I have noticed Is that there are little Hindu temples and Buddhist stupas all over the city. Quite amazing actually
Ryan and Megan had turned up, but as Megan was feeling like shit, we left her behind to go to this Buddhist temple. Sometimes, this temple is called the monkey Temple as there are monkeys there as well. As Stuart had been here before, he showed us a free way to get in. Once up the top, it was basically a large concrete stupa with shops selling Buddhist items. It was ok, but hopefully, there will be better temples in this town.
The largest Buddhist stupa in Nepal is Bodhnath. The 5 of us caught a minibus there, and then spoke to a shop owner who showed us a free way in. It was huge. Not as big as Shwedagon in Yangon, but kind of impressive anyway. There were loads of Tibetans here as they were on there way to India. We enjoyed it but to me, it was slightly tacky as there were loads of shops selling Budhist paraphernalia.
Durbar Square Kathmandu
The square costs to get in, but the ticket office does not seem to stop us we enter. There are loads of old temples here, but for a World Heritage site, I am glad that I have not paid. There were cars and motorbikes going through the centre of it. There were also drug dealers !!! How unusual !!!
Durbar Square Patan
About 5 Kilometres away, is Patan. We walked over with the Dutchies, Debbie and Peter as there was no public transport running. The army had killed some innocent people last night, so it was on for young and old. Once there, it is a site that is meant to cost money as well, but there was no one around to take it. It was very similar to Kathmandu's, but there were cars or bikes or drug dealers. Because of this, it was nicer. We did however pay to go into the Golden Temple. It was small, but very impressive.
This being one of the premier sites in Nepal, the locals charge US$10.00 to get in. Fuck that. Considering our track record at present, we decided to give it a go and see how we would go. We walked up to the front gate and of course was told the price. We went into the back lanes and split up from the other three. We lost them straight away, and amazingly, we ended up in the back of the tempe complex. There was a sign pointing towards Durbar square. There were some official looking types of guys hanging around, so we walked behind them and made it into the complex for free !!! It was very impressive, but not worth the money. The most impressive site was the erotic temple, which had a couple doing it in all different positions. We finished up, and found the potters squaree, where we ran into Stuart. We told him how to get in for free, so in he went and we went back to Kathmandu. Back at the hotel, Ryan and Megan explained that they had been caught twice and did not get in !!!
Ryan was interested in buying some local drums, so we went into a shop and the owner, pulled out a load of drums to demonstrate. He was really good. He also had a one string, kind of guitar which could be played in loads of different ways. Last, but not least, he then played the Tibetan bowls !!! Basically, they are copper bowls, and you run a stick around them. Different bowls and different sticks emit different sounds. He made me sit there with my eyes closed. It was really relaxing. He also filled one with water, and as he ran the stick around the outside, water was spitting out of it !!!
Life in the Kat
We have seen a few people from the trek since we have been here. Thankfully, Dylan and Rhien made it over the pass. We were worried that they had to turn back or even be helicoptored out !!! But, they are now on the same path as us, so we should see them more often now. And now for some really good news, I had anotehr weigh in, and I have lost another 5 kilos. 15 so far for the trip. I can not remember when the last time I was under 80 kilos !!!
We waited for ages, and finally, some mail turned up for us. Being of the non-friendly type, I was all set to abandon the Seppoes and move on to greener pastures, but Lucy wanted to have Chrissy with friends, so we stayed. A couple of days before, we met a Pom/French combo and we asked them to come to a local café that a Dutch couple had arranged a meal for everyone. On the big day, we were very international. Two Poms, two Seppoes, one Aussie, two Dutchies, three Flemish Belgiums, an Italian and one Brazilian. The locals cooked up a storm for us. Wine and beers were flowing like there was no tomorrow, as it should be. I was really glad we stayed
After my first thoughts, when I thought it was a complete shithole, I really enjoyed myself. Once you got away from the amount of hash dealers, and 8 year old glue sniffers, it wasa real spiritual place with temples, for both Buddhists and Hindus. Hopefully, we will come back