Trip Start Oct 15, 2010
27Trip End Jan 11, 2011
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Where I stayed
Kathmandu Garden Guesthouse
We left Nepal on the 17th of November. Before heading out to the airport we had to say goodbye to the owners of our hole-in-the-wall dairy. The man had first caught our attention by calling out to Nathan "Banana gooood, apple gooood, pear gooood!" The next night he called out "Yak cheese gooood!" We had been buying our water and toilet paper from him ever since.
On this occasion he invited us in for morning tea to say bye. He and his wife were giving the tiny shop a good clean out so we sat inside inside on a little bench for about ten minutes while they worked
Kathmandu airport is like no other in the world. It's a big boring building that hasn't had a makeover for at least thirty years and offers no views of the city or the runway. It's also extremely confusing. We went through three different security checks and were patted down each time. We wandered from one departure lounge to another, never really quite sure if we were heading in the right direction, until we finally found ourselves in a room right next to the runway which seemed to be full of other Thai Airways passengers
Things we won't miss about Nepal:
- The man who lived opposite our hotel room in Bhaktapur who must be the loudest and most persistent hoiker in Nepal (and that's saying something, trust me!)
- The three-stringed violin sellers. Generally street hawkers leave you alone if you politely let them know you're not interested, but not these guys for some reason. And they really had it in for Nathan. One guy followed him for a good 200 meters, all the time dropping the price even though we were never interested in the first place.
- Child extortionists, although we're bound to come across one or two of these in Southeast Asia too.
Things we'll miss about Nepal:
- Masala tea, momo and dal baht.
- The beautiful women and their amazing saris. (Funnily enough, while women generally dress very discreetly this changes once they pass a certain age. Having spent a lifetime and no doubt several pregnancies developing a nicely cushioned tummy they proudly display it beneath a crop-top-like garment that only just manages to enclose their saggy breasts. I'm not sure whether we'll actually miss this but I wanted to fit it in somewhere!)
- For me, the fact that street hawkers assume the man controls the money and primarily targeted their efforts at Nathan.
- All the wonderful children and their cheeky smiles.
- Being greeted with a namaste and friendly smile at every turn.
In all honesty, we really will miss this country and we've had a great month traveling through it. It was challenging at times but not nearly as much as I thought it would be. An absolute highlight was of course trekking amongst those spectacular mountains. We met some really great people, rarely felt that a situation might be dodgy and were generally treated well everywhere we went.