From diary 4,
and the temples and stupas it is now time for some nature.
30/12. I recon, I will have to use at least three busses to
day's first site, and when the group of taxi drivers in front of the
great stuba approaches me, I give them a chance. They start at
1200R, I at 500. I get to go a few times before we agree on 600R. It
is, as the other times I have used a taxi, the youngest driver who
get to drive me - I interpreted this, as I get a good bargain.
We drive down to the Kathmandu ring-road and up to Budhanilkantha.
I'm here for Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park, but I might as well
have a look at the reclining Vishnu as Narayan, floating in a cosmic
sea. This five meter long statue is made in the 7. or 8. century
from a single black stone. Around it is many other, but smaller
I find a cafe, and try to get the owner to take care of my backpack
by paying 100R for a milktea. While I drink it, I watch some
young boys playing ping-pong on an old concrete table with bricks as
net. Hoping the wardrobe works, I set out on a walk op to and into
Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park. First, it is steep up to the
entrance for half an hour, through small farms and their terraces. I
reach the gate to the park, pay the 500R, and the armed ranger lets
I have chosen the trail, leading all the way up
to the peak of Shivapuri, around 2000 meters higher, at 2732 meters.
From the entrance, it is twelve kilometres, starting on a steep and
real rough gravel road, leading up through a rather open forest.
Here are numerous birds, but I concentrate on plants. Due to the
I will meet so many on the way up.
Here are giant grass, dwarf bamboo, Begonias, ginger,
Sinningia-like ones, Selaginellas, wild corn?, many ferns
and lots more. And new ones coming around every turn. I get some
glimpses of the Kathmandu valley, down in the mist. After an hour, a
set of stairs turns out. I gamble, and follow them. They are made of
concrete and covered in slate. To the open side, endless slopes with
dense forest, to the other: Steep tree covered slope. Some flowering
Fabaceaes, a single caudiciform with dried leaves, a small
alter with multi-headed cobras, and then I meet the orchids. They
sit all the way down to the ground, when I reach a ridge. Here are at
least eight species, perhaps twelve or more. I spend some time on
the ridge, before I climb even higher by
the stairs. They have now
turned into rough forms granite stones, but the path still remains
two meters wide. It feels strange, walking this fare away from
everything, on a set of steps.
I reach a stretch with real dark, dense forest, containing of
laurel-like small trees. After more then an hour on the steps, I
reach a more open forest with huge trees. The path flatten out,
which is a relief! A few, open plateaus has yellow grass and some
great views. Due to the height, I'm not surprised to find frost on
The forest, resembling a Danish one, seems to made up by giant ilex
with some Urticaceae underneath. I keep my distance!
Some of the Nepali Berberisas seem to grow rather big here.
One area contains some flags, secrete stones, a pond and alters. Then
I reach the monastery. I had hoped for a posh Buddhist one with a
Here are a sheet with three odd looking Hindis. Then
I wished I have brought the half litre 7Up I have been carrying
around for three weeks! I follow the steps even higher, and after
four hours, I reach the top.
A brand new statue of Shivapuri Baba is sitting at the very top, and
the plateau is covered with yellow grass. To my big disappointment,
the view is spoiled by trees, all the way round. I can glimpse the
white peaks 180 degrees round, among them the 8960 meter tall
Shivapuri. I continues a bit, and get some better views, but I must
confess: I am a bit out of energy after the four hours a intense
climbing - and I have to go all the way back too. I find a single
orchid near the peak, and a bit down; A hermits cave. He has the
best view, it seems.
On the way down, I concentrate on getting my steps secured. I'm
tired, and the steps and trail slippery by dead leaves and loos
gravel and fist sized rocks. I have not seen any one, except the
monks, and a strained ankle or worse, would be bad!
I do spend more time at the ridge with the orchids, and I even find
a single cluster of flowers. Despite the plants sit so low, they are
pretty exposed to the sun. I see a few monkeys and deer, but the
birds outnumbers them for sure. After more than 30 kilometres of
tracking, I'm back at the café, and I recon I deserve a cup of tea.
I pay 100R again, and get my bag with a smile.
It is pretty easy to find the bus down to the
ring-road. Getting into it turns out to be hard: It is so stuffed.
The ticket boy really tries, but some women, complains, when I'm
placed on their
labs. It look so much a record attempt for
Guinness, and most smile. I find another bus, which actually go all
the way I like. It start pretty empty, but when we reach the
ring-road, it is just as stuffed as the other.
I manages to squeeze our near the Swayambhunath Stuba, a UNICCO
site. First, I have to check three giant brass figures on a hill. It
is Buddha Amideva Park, which is a group of temples, stupas and
these big statues. Buddha flanked by a couple of Hindi ones. It is
amassing how entwined Buddhism and Hindi is around here. I passes some huts
with enormous praying mills, and on a very big hill, I finally find
the huge and golden Swayambhunath Stuba. It is dusk, and I have to
hurry. The area has a lot of sights, but I'm to tied to deal with
them all. The trekking of the day and my backpack can be felt.
hoped for a hotel nearby, but a bit asking
around does not reveal any. I was prepared that Budhanilkantha
didn't offer any, an I had not planned a specific for today -
thought I by now knew how to find them. Well, I give in, and ask a
taxi driver to get me to one nearby. For 300R, he drives me to a
magnificent one: Hotel Vajra. The garden, the polished wood and
brass gives me an idea about I'm in the wrong place. I am: A room
with shared bath;
20.000R. The other day, I paid 400R for that! The confrencier is a
nice fellow, and advises me to go to Thamal. I thought is was
further away, but additionally 300R get me to my first hotel, and
considering it has turned pitch dark, familiar neighbourhood is
welcome. I get a almost warm shower, and find some real good
sizzling pork in a Thai restaurant, and a a tea and brownie in
another. Back to work all night in a rather cold room, and due to
the fact, I am going to stay here for two nights in a row, I do some
31/12. The plan was to find a bus, going to Balaju and
Phulbari, but that get spoiled by a hungry
taxi driver. He delivers
me right at the gate, and after having paid the fee and deposited a
ID card, I am let into the park. It is another section of the park, I
visited yesterday, and I choose the route carefully- or not. It is
either a 20 kilometre smooth route, or steep steps, all the way to
the 2095 meter height peak. Knowing my patience, I go for the steep
steps. Despite the abuse of my body yesterday, it have not revenged
The area is known as Nagarjun or Queens Forest, and it is rather dense and
boring. A couple of Hong Kong / English birdies walks slowly, and we
chat until I get impatience. I find alternative trails,
parallel with the big one, but it is rather limited how much new, I
Some areas have been dug up by the wild boars, a few insects flies
bye, several small groups of monkeys make noise in the threetops,
and some birds tweet in the lover bushes.
I get a few glimpses down the mist covered valley to one side, and
the white peaks to the other, through the trees. A plateau with dry
grass and boulders give a better view of the valley and the peak I'm
heading for. Just before the top, I find a few Dendrobiums
and a massive group of a new, tiny Bulbophyllum.
Just before I reach the peak, I join with the
road. The peak is dominated by the shrine of Padmasambhava and a
tall viewing tower. It offers a fantastic point to tie up praying
flags and watch the distant, snow covered peaks, 180 degree to one
side, and the hills and valleys to the other.
Here are a single group of pilgrims, and a local mending the shrine.
None have thought of selling tea, but learnt by experience, I have
brought my 7up. The shrine is beautifully decorated inside, and the
entire area covered in praying flags.
I do a few rounds, desperately trying to find new plants and even
better views. Then I consider taking the long road down, but
another, tiny path loured me. Some way down, I find a three which
have been marked by a bear. Then I meet the Hong Kong based British
birdie, now with his son, on their way up.
I find the narrow trail, which seems to be used often. I meet a
group of local women, who are gathering firewood and fresh leaves
here. I have no clear idea of where I'm going, but as I hoped, I
reach the sealed road, a few
kilometres higher up. I passes the
entrance and get my card back, and start walking down towards
As I reach the valley, the road get busy and
dusty, and when a taxi driver offers a ride back to my hotel for
300R, I'm a easy push. Unfortunately, he is not familiar with
the Thamal area, and he even fails to find the Royal Palace. I only
have a wake idea of where we are, but the jammed traffic make me
want to walk. I do seven turns in a zigzag route, and I'm home, to my
big surprise. It is mid afternoon, and I figure I see a bit of the
tourist area. My day-bag need mending again, and I could use a light
nylon bag for storing some effects at the hotel, the next couple of
days. I succeed with both, and even find a cake and some tea. Back
to take avenges of the sun heated water and start working. Among
others, I make a slideshow from both visits at
National Park. The planning, which I thought was going so
fantastically nicely, now turns out to have a fault. Somehow, I have
cut a few corners the last couple of days, and now I have two days
to spare. Could be worse for sure!
The restaurant; The Black Olive, where I got cake in last knight offered
a rather entreating New Year's dinner, and I'll try it - they even
has a fire in the yard. The starter is a bit funny; cheese, ham
salami. Then black olive potato followed by a nice sweet corn soup.
I can choose from wild boar, lamb, rainbow trout, spinach mushroom
quiche or ostrich. I go for the ostrich, which I think was a good
choice. It is served with sweet potatoes, fresh salad and a too
strong sauce, which luckily came separate. Desert is a
chocolate/fruit cake-pudding with crème. All in all a real nice
dinner, especially considered the price: 1275R.
I eat slowly, placed right next to the fireplace. At first, here are
pretty empty, but slowly the yard and restaurant behind fills up.
Included in the menu is a hot rum punch, which is so good, I'll have
another one. Later I try their mullet wine, which is close to glögg.
What especially make it a great evening is the music. Normally, that
could scare me away, but these three guys are brilliant! One on
several wooden flutes with a fantastic soft sound, reminding me of
Peruvian music. One playing on two drums, which reminds me of
African talking drums. The last on a classic guitar, playing in a
flamenco-inspired way, and he is amassing! Reminds me of Yngwie
Malmstein and Joe Santini, but without getting into the
"diarrhea-mode". When another musician takes over after a couple of
hours, I head home, despite is isn't ten yet.
1/1 2015. I return to The Black Olive,
which seems a bit marked by last night's new year
The employees on the other hand, are ready to serve breakfast. Then
it is time to find the bus station for Bhaktapur, which I have an idea of
where to find. One of the trishaw drivers want to get the tour, and I
give him a chance. He say 400R, which make me laugh out lout - it
should be 50R, 100R at the most. All his colleges laugh then,
knowing he overshot is.
It is just a short walk, and despite I end up on the wrong side of a
big military lawn with an exercise parade, I find the bus.
It takes of right away, despite it is almost empty. I get the seat
next to the driver, and just wished it wasn't through town all the
way. Absolutely nothing new or interesting to photo.
In Bhaktapur, I have to walk quite some, to get to another bus
station. I know I been here before, but have absolutely no
recollection of the city (It is amassing). It is a primitive,
misused and beaten
down town, and I only
stay long enough to get a cup of tea.
The bus for Nagarkot, way out in the eastern
ridge of the Kathmandu valley, is already full. Strangely enough, it
does not leave for fifteen minutes. I get a seat from a young girl,
but give it up for an older woman - major bummer! She doesn't even
smile back, and I get stocked in a crowd of teenagers. It feels like
a highschool bus, and we are hard pressed together in the row. My
head it up in the luggage shell, and I can't bend down to look out
I got a feeling of, we leave the town right away, and drive on a
one-lane road on a steep assent.
After half an hour, a single person gets of, and the bully get the
seat - that is me! Soon after, we reach Nagarkot, and all gets off.
It had started to drizzle a bit, and the fare mountains to the west
get snow. Nagarkot is not really a city, just some scatted buildings
and hotels. I try a couple of the first, but 1500R each place, seems
too much. I continues for several kilometres, but all hotels
charge 1500R -
except the expensive one. Some military areas, a single raven and a
squirrel among the pines.
As I get closer to the peak, it get colder. A guy sitting next to a
small fire, offers me a seat, and I buy a cup of tea. As I
continues, I pass some areas with parties on. Loud music and many
young people. One place;
Manala Resort charge
also 1500R, but their view is astonishing! The entire valley and
the snow covered mountains in the back. And he tells me, they
got gas heated water: Sold! The other hotels were facing the other side,
and a smaller valley.
They have only one vacant room, and
it has to be cleaned yet. Fine with me, I got the view and some tea. The sun
start to peak through the clouds in different areas, and new motives
occurs all the time. I know it will be a tough work, sorting all
these pretty alike photos, but I just can't help my self.
It is a bit weird to me: The area look so undeveloped on the maps,
but the entire valley, covering 100 square kilometres - I think, is
covered in terraces, and it must produce a huge harvest.
I get some info on the tour I had planed for to
morrow. It is not a 40 kilometre, bus served
road leading down to Banepa; it is a trail! Well, that can be walked, but only if then
weather cooperates. The last 15 kilometres to Panauti is served with
Right next to my room is a giant boulder with many wild orchids on.
I passes a few on the way up here, and I hope the area will reveal
even more orchids. I drop my bag, and head up the road to the peak; 1984
meters. Here are even more young people and a viewing tower. I don't
have to climb it to know, it has a significantly lesser view than my
I try to find the trail I will walk tomorrow. A long, badly
maintained gravel road leads downwards - and downwards. It pass a
retreat, and just before I give up, it meet the trail and even a map,
From that, I can see, I already have done quite some of it. The tour
back to the resort is tough, upwards, and surprisingly
un-interesting botanical seen. Here are fare from the plants I had
hoped for. Around three, the sun vanishes, and the temperature drops
Back at the resort, I get some tea, and start
working. After an hour, my fingers won't work, and the owner tells
me; he had a electrical heater inside. While I've been working on
the computer, three small women has been carrying sand down the
stairs. I recon they have 40 kilo on their back, halt up by a band on
their forehead. Actually, most of hard labour are done by women.
Just as I think life is good, the power fails, and my new, best
friend turns cold - along with me.
It is amassing how fast the temperature drops, when the sun
disappears. The other day, I was cold in the forest's shadows. Then
I reach a clearing on a steep hillside, and it felt like a föhn-dryer
blowing up from the sunny valley.
It is a candle dinner tonight, mainly because they don't have a
generator, and the power is still off. But, the gas they used for
barbeque this afternoon, can be installed in the else electrical
heater, and life is worth living again.
A French/Singapore couple turns up, just as I am about to eat, and
we dine together. He have brought a bottle of Zacapa, the awesome 23
years rum. Later, when they have gone to bed, one of the employees
offers me a local rice brew, served slightly warmed. It is
surprisingly good, smooth and mild, not at all like the Sri Lankan
ones I had. The owner invites on BBQ chicken sausages, and after
having see them cremate frozen ones earlier this afternoon, I kind
of takes over. He feel a bit cheated, I didn't do that earlier. All
I do is to raise the grill, and rotate them often.
While planning tomorrow, I realises; the tour to
Banepa is merely to get to Panauti, only because it is a "cosy
village". That in combination with the sudden change in forecast,
going from bright sun to full day rain, make me re-think the track
tomorrow. Alternately, I could stay here at this very friendly and
cosy place with the best view ever, sipping milktea and rest
I learn: Hills is below 5000 meters, mountains higher than 5000
meters (in Denmark mountains start at 200 metres - not that we have
any). I try to explain we: In Denmark only have one mountain, which
we on the other hand is mighty proud of: The Mountain of Skies,
towering 147 meters. (Actually, our highest natural point is Møllehøj with 170,86 meters, while Yding Skovhøj is five
centimetres lower, but has a tomb from the bronze age on it, adding
1,89 meters, and some think that make it the tallest).
Just before ten, I'm handed a
hot water bottle, and I recon they want me to
abandon the heater and internet, which I
reluctantly do, and head to bed.
2/1. A perfect sleep, but I wake up before
everyone else, and
dragging my self out in the 11C room is hard. The
valley is covered in clouds, and a light drizzle hits the bushes
outside, where the temperature is 8C; way below my comfort zone!
The tracking of the day might be spoiled, and I figure I might stay
put, taking short walks and enjoy whatever of the view that will be
I just get my Bhutan visa by email, and it is detailed till which
city I will be in each day. Now I just have to get it printed out,
to be aloud on the fight.
Then, after breakfast, it clears up, I pack my bag and pay my bill.
On my way out, I'm hit by a shower, and the clouds are back. Plan B;
find a book in the minute library and drink tea. As no surprise, I
find a Danish crime book; Et Stille Umærkeligt Drab by Kaaberbøl &
Friis. The 400 pages last the entire day, only interrupted be short
visits to a occasionally fire on the terrace.
As fare as I can learn, all the accessible parts of Nepal is hit
with some unusual bad weather for the next three days, and I have a
hard time figuring what to do with my self, until it is time for
Bhutan. When I ask the locals about the weather, they just say: It
is the mountains. You can experience four seasons before lunch.
3/1. It is not that dark this
I figure I head off to Panauti. After
breakfast, several showers are hitting some parts of the valley, and
it is getting darker clouds. I will go, but by bus. Half a hour walk down to the Bhaktapur
bus, where I get a front seat, and can enjoy, what I correctly
assumed was a great tour. Here are farms all the way, but also
plenty of open farm land. The bus end up packed as last, but beside
the lack of sun, I enjoy the tour on my front seat.
In Bhaktapur, I go for a short walk in the historical town - which
apparently do best in bright sun, of which here are none today. A cup of tea, and the first bus I
ask, go the right way - with my head in the upper baggage department. The next stop is
Banepur, and it seems not to
be that interesting after all, and the next bus is easily found on a
The badly maintained, hardly sealed road leads through waste
terraces, which are fertilized right now. Cow
dung are carried out
in piles, and then spread -
by women. We reach Panauti (elev. app 1500) some time after noon, and
I walk directly to the only hotel in town. Considering there won't
be hot water due to the clouds anyway, I go for the cheaper room
The little town - or village, it spread along a
river and the misused road, transporting boulders from a quarry
behind the town to Kathmandu. Here are plenty of ducks, hens, goats
and cows within the city.
It is still overcastted, but I figure it won't be better anyway, and
head out to explore. First a tour out on the fields and eventually
to the forest. No real interesting, and due to the gathering clouds,
I head back.
A light drizzle starts, and I head into a teahouse along with a
Dutch fellow. He has been living here for seven years, and is real
interesting to talk with. When I head on, the drizzle returns, and
besides form the periods it turns into light rain, it won't let go.
Here are so many interesting motives in this fare corner of the
valley, and despite the lack of light, I do several loops in the
The big temple charge 300R, but I guess I have seen enough at
present. People are sitting inside, shops are closed and the roads
turns into a slippery, yellowish glue of clay and water. I get
several cups of milktea, but around four, I return to the
hotel with a lot of greyish photos and slightly damp.
It is only 12C in my room, and I head down to the reception - which
have the same uncomfortable lack of descent warmth. On top
of that, their internet vanished yesterday - they say. Their TV, on
the other hand, is showing exactly the same Bollywood films like
anyone else. Real amateurish, cartoon like with what appears to be
the same five stereotypes characters and same story.
One of the small teahouses were serving some real
well-smelling noodles, and I find my way back at dusk. They still
are, and I order a double, considering it is vegetable. It is
absolutely great, and if it wouldn't be so embarrassing, I would
have yet another serving. I settle for two cups of black tea, and
pay 60R for this formidable meal. While I enjoy the second glass of tea, the predicable power failure occurs. It
has gone from dark to dark black! Shortly, generators starts up, and
a minute light spreads along with a more massive sound of engines
and the smoke from them. To add, the trucks, hauling rocks for
Kathmandu's constructions keep driving through the narrow main
street. Some have light on, some not. Some only flashing,
colourful ones, like a Christmas tree.
It has to be checked: Does any one have bun fire or alike in
this town? I might not have searched all the dark streets, but I
doubt it. I'm back at my humble room, finishing up
the work of the day, and creating a slideshow from the
Eastern Ridge of Kathmandu Valley.
That will roughly cover Nagarkot, breath Bhaktapur and Banepur and
in gray tones; Panauti.
At seven, I'm done, and despite from freezing, I haven't a clue
to do. After half a hour, the power returns, and I try to find
somewhere with Wi-Fi. Not in this town; everything is closed and
black, as if the power was still off. I did consider spending another day here, but that won't fly!
I could do another day in Bhaktapur, in the nice guesthouse, but the
city fee of 1500R scares me off. Well, two nights in Kathmandu can't
be that bad.
I keep forgetting to write: The most common
manufactory of cloth is without
any doubt The North Face, although I
somehow doubt they know it. In many places, every second person you
meet, has a The North Faced logo in their jacket or other cloths.
Here are even big, fancy shops called The North Face. Those I found,
for a good price in Sri Lanka was second-class originals, made in
Sri Lanka. I can't figure the origin of the Nepali "first class" ones.
Another thing is their dogs. Most look quite fine, some are even
carried, a few have scabs. All are real friendly, but they do no
seek you up, in any way. I have seen a few cats, all gray and
Here are alcohol in so many shops, and Tuborg, Carlsberg and other
beers real common, but I have only seen one clearly drunk person.
Here are so many modern but small motor cycles, but nearly none
seems to have been on their side. Considering the intense traffic, the muddy,
slippery roads, rough gravel roads and the state of busses and trucks - both in- and
outside, it is a true miracle! They ought to look like ice hockey
I did mention the lack of heating, right?
Oh, yes; Their are hoarking!
It seems like every one is doing it, real loud and public. Even
young, pretty girls sounds like an old alcoholic, chain-smoking fart
in the early morning. And the following spitting, of cause.
The milktea I am enjoying so much are sometimes masala
,which means it has been spiced with a mix of green cardamom pods,
cinnamon sticks, ground cloves, ground ginger, and black peppercorn.
It does add quite lot to the taste, and I love it! Other times,
it is just hot milk, which has been boiled with tea leaves,
sometimes with sugar.
4/1. Somehow, I get to sleep eleven hours
undisturbed. The sun is shining, but not for long. The little shop
next door has some boiled eggs, a bun and a cocked cookie; great
breakfast along with their milktea. It has been raining during the night, and the streets are
even more muddy. The bus straight to Kathmandu is puling off, but I
get a window seat.
On the way out of town, we pass a group of women, hammering rocks to
pebbles. They use a ring, just as in Denmark, 100 years ago.
Round about Bhaktapur and straight into the capital. The guy next to
me ask where I'm going, and it turns out he has an office in Thamal,
and we join. He let me loose a few streets away, and I walk straight
to my hotel - surprised as always.
Just as a formality, I check the hot water, and it is not only warm;
it is hot! I can't recall last all of my joints worked at the same
time! Bit of re-organising but it is depressing how little which can
be stored at this hotel. I need the warm stuff for Bhutan and the normal
for Bangladesh. A bit of laundering, then out to find a
printer for the Bhutan ticket and visa I got by email. While
it, I find a pair of cheep sunglasses: Bhutan could easily be covered in snow.
A new goat-bone pearl for the string to my camera, several
milkteas and a great cake. A friendly young man is real eager
to show me his art school. They learn to make the religious Buddhist
and Hindi motives; Thangka, and it take ten years before they are a
master, so they are aloud to sign them! No doubt; it is truly a
magnificent work they do, and it is rather easy to see how fare they
have come in education - and patience.
I walk some new tourist-shop-streets and do a
long tour through the locals' trading area. I had a plan about the
Garden of Dreams, but can't recall where it is, and I have the
entire day tomorrow to enjoy the half hectare garden anyway. The entire
area I walk today is familiar with what I have seen, and I hardly make any photos. It is always like
this; the first days, everything is fascinating and new, after a
month; quite familiar and traditional. Newer the less, I have been
able to enjoy a nice, sunny day: Drinking tea in the sun, surrounded
by real friendly and smiling people - and a few tourists.
At five, I head out to find something interesting to eat, wearing a
bit more cloth, than this afternoon. When the sun disappears, it is
I remembered something about, the band that plaid New Years Eve
would come back Sunday, and I'm lucky. Enjoy a large and delicious serving of
ginger curry chicken, a chocolate cake and several masala-teas,
before it is time to head home and work.
Kathmandu has some shops, selling cloth and boots for the Himalaya
teams. Perhaps I could find a pair of gloves, which could turn out to
be warm enough? Their boots look like moon boots, and the gloves
will too, but the feeling of NOT freezing my fingers off, is just too
5/1. I find the Garden of Dreams, made by
field marshal Kaiser Shamser in the 1920s. It made be inspired by
Edwardian gardens, but it is a bit too open for my taste. I try to
talk with some of the surprisingly many gardeners, but it is hard to
communicate, and from their work, I doubt I'll learn much anyway.
I get some close-ups of the else so frighten ground-squirrels and
some from the lay-out of the garden, before the rest of the city
Finding Everest-prove gloves for adults, is a rather hard. I walk
for several hours, trying everything from thin gardening gloves to
dyvels with thumps. I end up with a pair which will stick out at the
Danish train station, but at the same time; ought to make my fingers
Several times, friendly "guides" tag along, but when they finally
reveal their proposal; seeing their art school or helping them
rebuild their shoe-shop, I bed them farewell in a polite way, and
they respond the same.
On the way, I get my beard trimmed, and as a unexpected bonus: A
cranium- and back massage. And that despite I negotiated him down
from 250R to 100R. I recon the locals pay around 30R anyway. A walk
around Asan Tole and down the old area of town, to try to capture a
bit more of this cosy, idyllic - and poor life the locals lives.
Around noon, it is time for a bit of reorganising
and redressing for the warmer afternoon, and I returns to the hotel.
I have some work at the office, among that sorting out all my
employees pay checks - that will be mine. I enjoy the sun on my
terrace for some time, before I head out again.
A lot of the shops have several jackets I fancy. Some are bright
coloured fleece jackets, some a rather thin, filled with down. All
nice and affordable, but either they have real short arms, or the
few not having that, is build for a significantly heavier man than
I! The only thing I can find, fitting me, is several milkteas
and a few cookies.
Like always, I am restless on the last day, having accomplished what
I came for, waiting to head on.
A thorough going-through all my things create a
tiny pile which can be left - I hope: Less than a kilo, most made up
by the remains of the Nepal guide book. The bag will still - I hope - be
stuffed in Bangladesh, with all the warm cloth in it.
I recon this is the last bit of Nepal for a month or so, and a
slideshow would be appropriated. The ones I have held back is from
I find a new restaurant with a bun fire, and try
their Nepali speciality; non-veg. It is just like the
other ones, tasty fried vegetables, some spicy stuff, dhal, curry
and a soup, accompanied by plain rice. I'm still a bit peckish, and
finish off with a bacon sandwich. After I've asked, they lit up the
fire, an I stay for a few more cups of masala tea. The only other
guests in the rather large restaurant are two girls from Ecuador and
one from France. This is more "no-season" than it is "low-season".
After having checked the weather forecast for Paro and Thimphu, I
got a clear feeling I might be the only pale in Bhutan by now. Both
cities have a prediction for snow, and they are in the "low-lands".
It might be a bit difficult to botanise in a snow landscape? The
plan is very fixed, the visa have one town for each day, and the day
the Botanical Garden is scheduled for, is supposed to be dominated by
snow. The day after offers a 4316 meter high pass - in snow, it
6/1. Not much to do, before the drive to
the airport at ten. Checking papers, enjoying breakfast and more
masala-tea. The hotel have arranged for a taxi, and I get it some
time before - no reason to sit at the hotel waiting, and the be
late. It is a
smooth ride to the airport, where I have way too much tome to wait.
Just at the entrance, I meet a young German engineer, who have
travelled quite a lot.
Our flight is not on the schedule, and we spend a bit of time,
walking around to find the right counter to check-in. In a moments
clear sight, I ask for a windowseat in left side. That means I have
first row to Everest, when we passes it. We chat while we wait
almost two hours for the flight, and when we want to enter the
right area, we are told our flight delayed additionally two hours - which is
printed on my boarding card. Bit of a bummer; then we only reach
Bhutan at dusk, and the first days program will be cancelled.
We find another place to sit, and talk some more. Then he catch our
names in a speaker call: It turns out our flight is on time, and
they are only waiting on us! Well, short run, and we catch up with
the back of the line. It is one of Druk Air's three Bodings, and we
leave Nepal only ten minutes delayed. (Druk means boosing in
From here, the diary continues in the