A Travellerspoint blog

December 2014

Nagarkot!

What this trip is (mostly) all about.


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Nagarkot! Nagargot!!!! That's pretty much all you hear as a local kid leans out the door of your bus the whole drive up the mountain. Nagarkot reminds me much of going to Haleakala. The goal is to drive up a mountain, freeze your bum off while hopeing to see the most glorious sunrise or sunset of your life. We stayed the night to see both. After a very long uphill "15 minute" walk at about 6,000 ft high, we finally found our hostel... Which was of course up several flights of stairs. However, when we reached the top I had found my holy grail-The Himilayas! I had done tons of research and while Nagarkot gives you good chance at a view, clouds and fog often block the mountains. So I was hopeful, but still stunned that we had gotten lucky for a beautiful clear afternoon.
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We sat and had dinner while watching the sun set over the mountains. It's by far one of the special moments of my life.
large_IMG_20141123_041735.jpg As the temperature dropped rapidly we retreated into our room- which was so terrible, even for Nepal standards. The bathroom smelled so strongly of mold I opted out of showering. We had no heat and tried to make the most out of sharing our twin bed with blankets that were still a bit damp. We also later discovered there was no hot water! It's fun to laugh at now but at the time it was pretty miserable.

We woke up the next day at 5:30 feeling cold and hopeful for sunrise. In true Nagarkot form, it was too cloudy and foggy to see the mountains or even the houses 20 feet below us. Still running on the high of the view from the day before we enjoyed the foggy morning, had breakfast and hightailed it out of there for warmer climate.

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Posted by AlohaInAsia 07:26 Archived in Nepal Comments (2)

Bhaktapur

Honey lattes and king curd


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We took a verrrry local bus to Bhaktapur and as usual had no clue where we were when we got off. They must teach the locals here to be compassionate because once again a young local girl and her mother offered to guide us to our hotel. All they asked in exchange was a photo with us. We immadiatly forked over $15 and 2 passport photos to get our pass into Durbar Square for the length of our Visa. We went crazy taking photos and wandering the square. Along a side road a little boy approached me and asked, "Mango? Biscuit?" I thought he was asking to show me to his parents store, so I follow him. As Dominic predicted we wound up in a convenience store where he begged me to buy him cookies and soda. I agreed to one biscuit and juice. I had been conned out of 35 cents. It's also in these alleys that Dominic and I discovered "buff momo”.. delicious streamed dumplings that we ate in a small room with all locals.
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Later in the afternoon we discovered ”Beans", a glorious coffee shop fun by a great young guy who not only sings american sins while he works and plays with the tourists babies but also greets everyone with "Nameste, how are you? Where are you from? Anything for you-everything for you!" He is also the same wonderful person who introduced me to honey lattes and king crud which is made from yak milk and can only be found in Bhaktapur. He was getting off work soon so he showed us to a great local restaurant. The type of place only 5% of you would be willing to eat in but we are there twice and throghly enjoyed a liter of their home made rice beer.

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The next morning we woke up early to view and photograph the temples before the crowds were climbing all over them. Then it was time to pack and head for the hills... Nagarkot!

Posted by AlohaInAsia 20:25 Archived in Nepal Comments (1)

Kathmandu

The city of no sidewalks


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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.

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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.

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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.
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Posted by AlohaInAsia 06:09 Archived in Nepal Comments (2)

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