Saturday, 19 September 2015

Monkey Temple and meeting Sudan

So the morning started with breakfast again. Then I met Jeff, an American who had been teaching in Thailand for 3 years and was travelling before going to live in Manila, Phillipines with his Thai girlfriend. He had just come back from Base Camp and it was his and Jose's last day in Nepal.

So we all decided what to do with the day. We wanted to take it a bit easier than yesterday, and I had read about Swayambhunath, A.K.A Monkey Temple and suggested it to the guys. Both were up for it and so we decided to head out around 11am. We decided to walk again as it wasn't too far, to the east of Thamel and up a hill, thought we didn't realise until we got there, that an easier day it would not be due to the steps we had to climb to get there!

So we set out, stopped off on the way to buy suncream as after yesterday all day in the sun and looking to be another scorcher today, it was needed.

So it took us around 15mins to reach the river and then a further 10mins to reach a smaller temple and then the start of the steps up. Once reaching the steps we were greeted by lots of monkeys...a cow...and some goats! Though none of this is very surprising in Nepal.

We began climbing the steps and it was fine...until we realised there was a 2nd part to climb which was even steeper. We also realised too late that we could have gone the back way up the steps to avoid the 200 rupee entrance fee which we didnt realise there would be - idiots! So we paid up and then reached the top and it was such an amazing view of Kathmandu Valley!

There were tons of prayer flags all around which just somehow makes a temple seem so 'nepalese' and so 'everest'. So we just walked around taking the temple in and taking pictures, seeing Saddhu's and a couple of monks conducting some kind of ceremony. The temple complex was a little damaged by the earthquake so it wasn't as tidy in some places and buildings were part rubble. Everywhere the earthquake touched in terms of lives there was a big banner with their pictures on in rememberence and locals lit candles and prayed in one of the buildings or as they pass it. It tugs on the heartstrings a little.

We then made our way down that damn free back entrance and were almost attacked by some angry monkeys due to some stupid local kids who were throwing sticks into the trees which were full of babies so the mummy's got angry and tried to attack us too even though we were well away from it.

Then Jeff decided to stop and put suncream on further down which histerically made Jose angry as he was hounded by people trying to sell him tack which he absolutely hated. So we stopped for a while just to really wind him up!

Then we made our way back to the hostel and the guys went to chill for a bit while I did a little toiletries and clothes shopping (2 skirts for £5) as I needed a few bits as I had come prepared for New Zealand but not Nepal - typical backpacker!

Then I relaxed for a little before checking my messages as I had emailed my friend Becci (from when I worked in Corrigin, Australia) to ask if her fiance who is nepalese and lives in Kathmandu, if he could help me plan my time here and book a few things for me, as he has started up his own tour and trekking agency!

So after recieving a message to meet we met up in a bar called Phat Kath in Thamel, down a little backstreet and set up like a super chilled treehouse! Becci had emailed me when I first arrived recommending it. I had tried to find it but it was impossible so I was glad to finally see it, and its definitely a top spot.

So we sat and had a drink, masala chai, and chatted about plans for Nepal. Sudan is a super chilled really cool guy. So down to earth and it was going to be great having him around to give me a local insight. We got along instantly and I can definitely see why Becci adores him and am so glad I finally got to meet the guy I'd heard so much about!

So he basically had the same kind of idea I had and he promised a good couple more days in Kathmandu taking me to the places I hadn't been yet and then planned to get me to Chitwan for a safari, Pokhara (where I would spend a couple of weeks) and chill, do some day treks, view the himalayas Annapurna etc. Then head back to Kathmandu for a trip up to the hills to view the himalayas there and an Everest viewing flight before flying to Singapore.

So we got to know each other a bit more and it started to rain just as we wanted to go for a meal. But eventually it stopped and we headed to chicago's for food where I tried a traditional Daal Baht, which was amazing - the Nepalese eat this twice a day with variations in the dishes and I can see why! There was also a good Nepalese fusion band playing.

Then we both headed home with plans to go to Bhaktapur the next day around 11am. I showered, skyped Pierrick, said my goodbyes to Jose and Jeff and then hit the sack...well, after the music switched off from that damn hotel!

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