Posted by: Bert and Tania | December 10, 2009

A bouncy bus from Bhaktapur…

We have spent the last few days in and around Kathmandu, our intention was to try and get into Tibet but time is too short and the visa situation too complicated… another time!

Yesterday we spent the day in the 12th century city of Bhaktapur (approx 12km East of Kathmandu), which was beautiful and alot more relaxing than Kathmandu thanks to the centre being pedestrianised. We wandered around the various squares and networks of narrow, dusty, old streets for a few hours… stopping to observe from the steps of one of the temples; a wedding procession (with brass band, chrysanthamum-decorated car and following procession of guests) passed through the square, women hung laundry on the sunny rooftops, mangy dogs hopped around the buildings looking for food/shade, children playing with bicycle tyre, the classic sight of a group of japanese tourists taking lots of photos, a dutch couple unhitching their colourful painted bikes and trailers at a local guesthouse… lots to see!

We got the local bus back (only 15p and bra strap tightening required!) which was fun… you get to see alot more of ‘real’ life that way, like the makeshift barber salons along the roadside with stools infront of mirrors hung on the fence, markets, shops selling everything imaginable (and alot of things that you wouldnt normally imagine!), half built houses, people carrying seemingly huge loads on their backs (taking the weight on a strap across their foreheads), schools and colleges with interesting names such as ‘Innovative Sunshine College’ or ‘Brilliant School’. And the bus then dropped us pretty much in the middle of the largest road junction you’ve ever seen… crossing the road in Nepal is an art. The best tactic is to stand next to a local (preferably on the opposite side of them to the direction traffic is coming from) and just walk when they walk.

We’ll be staying put in and around Kathmandu until the 13th Dec when we get a bus to the Indian border and then on to Gorakhpur to meet our train to Varanasi. Fingers crossed that the Maoists dont fancy striking at that point otherwise we’ll miss our connections, eek. The Maoists have been pretty disgruntled recently and they enforced a nationwide bandh (strike) last Sunday with less than 24hrs notice. Mind you, the Government did kill 4 or 5 ‘squatters’ in Kailali whilst moving them off their land, hmm. Locals seem to think the parties will reach an agreement soon. Lets hope so.

Right, we’re rambling on a bit here so will say bye bye for now and leave you with some pictures.


  1. MMMmmmmmMMMMMMmmmmm!!! Dal!!!!!!!!!
    I’m gonna make some T & Bert special recipe dal – yumyumyum!

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