We are now ready to go off to the mountains. My anticipation has been building for a while and I am really excited about it. It is the most exciting thing I have ever done, and probably the most dangerous, but I think we are both fairly responsible. I also have to meet Stephen in Kuala Lumpur in three weeks so I have to make it all the way back on time. We are trekking up to Langtang National Park. It could be considered the road less travelled as only 3,100 people visited it before the maoist insurrection, now they probably get even less tourists. However, we should still manage to find lodges to sleep in at night, that is as long as my fat arse does not slow us down too much. I am really looking forward to seeing the real Nepal away from the touts, fake holy men, and the buzz of the city.
After today, I know I will like it. I got up early and went down to the main square, which was already packed with locals who had gone there to pray and give money to beggars. I also went to the street market, got some food, took some pics, and saw a less intrusive and friendlier side of town.
When I asked this lady, selling limes, if I could take a picture, she started laughing but gesticulated for me to wait till she fixed her head scarf......loved her
I have found it quite odd that everyone marks their Gods with red or yellow paint, I doubt the Catholic Church would approve
We also popped down to Patan, another suburb that is quickly being assimilated in to the city. It was irritating that you had to pay to get into the town, and also that you had to wear a sticker confirming that you had paid, but the town was what I was expecting Kathmandu to be; a lot older, quieter, and more atmospheric, with lots of old brick houses with wooden terraces.
Lovely chai, so much better than Sturbacks
The main square was amazing.....like a set from 'The Last Emperor' (though I know that was in China).
I loved the wooden carvings in the roof........
.....and this cheeky fella sitting by the Shiva
I am off now and will be back in a couple of weeks. Ignasi seems to think that some of the villages we are visiting might have internet connection. If they do, you might hear from me before then.
PS To answer several emails, I am afraid to say that I have not got any more pics of red haired Roberto and we have not bumped into each other for the third time but, if we do, I will have to marry him......won't I......