The city of no sidewalks
21.12.2014 - 22.11.2014
After finally gathering our luggage and getting to the Elbrus Home in the semi sketchy part of Thamal, we finally can start our adventure! Our place was very cozy. We had our own balcony and were offered delicious tea to enjoy from the roof top garden.
On first impression Katmandu is dirty. Very dirty. It's hard to imagine until you are in it. The sun isn't visible through the smog, there's no trash cans to be found. Dogs, cows and goats freely roam the streets. It becomes harder to breathe the longer you are there.
We asked around and our hotel host suggested walking to Swayambhunath.. mostly known as the monkey temple. He said it was a 30 min walk. After 20 minutes of walking half in rubble half in the street dodging cars and motorbikes we were very lost. No one seemed to be able to read our map. Luckily a taxi spotted our look of desperation and pulled over. After one of the strangest drives I've ever taken on what should not be allowed to be called roads, we arrived! It was much bigger than I had imagined based on pictures I'd seen. Dominic unknowingly befriended a local man who sort of became our guide giving us information about the temple that may or may not have been true.
We decided to walk down a very steep flight of stairs where there were monkeys. I bought a bag of peanuts for about a dollar and made my wildest dreams come true by feeding wild monkeys. It wasn't before long that a monkey smarter than me grabbed the whole bag. I screamed which seemed to delight the locals around me. After getting back to the road we found a taxi to take us back. Unfortunately he had no clue where our hotel was and gave up and dropped us off in a part of town we had never seen and insisted our hotel was "just down to road". It certainly was not. A sweet local guy saw our confused faces and walked us all the way back! We spent the rest of the night walking the streets trying to get the best deal on knock off North Face fleeces as it was very cold out. Turns out this is the best $7 I've spent as I have been living in this jacket for 2 weeks. Enjoyed a yummy free breakfast in the morning, then off to Bhaktapur.