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Katmandu Tour - Namaste!

sunny 19 °C

We woke up this morning and went looking for coffee, but the chaotic streets of yesterday were absolutely dead. Apparently everyone needed to keep their business closed and rest up for Dewali Eve. The one coffee shop we did find was serving excellent coffee, but not quickly and we weren't the first to find it, the line was down the street. We had planned to tour Katmandu's sites today so rationalised we would find coffee on the way, we would find a cab and let the adventure begin. Our driver quickly picked up on our plan and adopted us like lost children. First we went to Swayambhu Buddhist Temple, better known as the monkey temple. Overlooking the whole city, this ancient temple is home to more monkeys than monks and was very entertaining. We explored for over an hour and could have spent the day with the monkeys, they seemed to enjoy letting Nat set up a photo and then look the other way at the last second.
When we got back into our car, our driver Rames, has a whole plan for us. Next was the palace of Basantapur which is a heritage site that is beautiful and currently being restored. We still hadn't found a coffee so used this stop for a little lunch and Nat's cappuccino, it was after noon so I resorted to climbing a 600ml cold Everest (beer).
Next we drove 25kms out of town to the city of Bhaktapur, dating back to the 1600's, this place was amazing. So far we have headed the local official warnings to avoid beggars and the few street people we have see, they seem to have a strong push trying to teach their kids that this isn't the way of the future. Well, we found the one kid that has taken these words to heart and is using a more proactive approach...he had us following him down the side streets so he could get us to "buy him a book" for school. He even spoke French to me when he found out I was Canadian and asked if I was from Ottawa! I think he is going to be in timeshare sales one day. We walked out when he tried to get us to buy a book for 30 English pounds, but an A+ for his work. It turns out all kids in town try this, just in case you happen to venture this way.
Finally we battled back into city traffic to find the Baudha temple, it was getting dark, but it was still a good site. What a day, this city still holds many treasure we have yet to discover, but tomorrow we are up at 6am to head to Pokhara to start our trek. We spoke to a few more couples tonight that have just finished and I think Nat is having some second thoughts...or at least she is already planning some serious spa time at the other end.
The Internet is slow here, so I am guessing it is just going to get worse for the next ten days, we will take plenty of pictures and write when we can.

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Posted by colincampbell 09:11 Archived in Nepal

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