Sunday, June 15, 2008

Bhaktapur, Duwakot and Nagarkot

This weekend the Kathmandu Three enjoyed a weekend together in the countryside in the villages of Bhaktapur, Duwakot and Nagarkot. These three are all still in Kathmandu Valley but definitely away from the noise and pollution of the city. Molly was already in Duwakot as that is where she lives and teaches school. She lives with a family there and the son is the principal of the school. Carly and I took the public bus to Bhaktapur - another hair raising experience. The taxi drivers were striking and when there is a strike you never know what to expect. We did have to get off our first bus and walk a few minutes to get on another one. Luckily, a Nepali student who spoke a little English helped us transfer to the correct 2nd bus. The two of us first enjoyed Bhaktapur which is a well-preserved old city with no noise or pollution. We had tea and yogurt in their Durbar Square, and checked out all of the old temples. The people of Bhaktapur are known for their woodworking and pottery and I have enclosed a photo from Pottery Square.

Then, after obtaining "directions" Carly and I began our reported-to-be 30 minute walk to Duwakot. Well, we turn the wrong path at some point and ended up walking down a double-track wagon road through the rice paddies. Beautiful. A girl that we had passed earlier came to the rescue and walked with us the rest of the way. The Nepali people are amazing! We made it to the village as a monsoon rain began so we were lucky. We stayed with Molly's family which is mother, 2 sons, daughter-in law and grandson. It is a grand 4-story house with concrete floors. We ate the traditional Dal Bhat meal and watched the father and sons who are masters at the eating-with-fingers part.

Our prayers were answered when the rain ended by sun up and we were able to journey on to Nagarkot, elevation 7200 feet. From there, when it is not the monsoon season, you can grab a view of Everest and the Himalayas. However the monsoon resumed the evening we arrived and we were not that lucky. Molly, Carly and I beat the blues by drinking beer and playing Rummy all evening in the hotel restaurant. We also had a strange conversation a Tibetan Buddhist monk who lives here and was tour guide for a group who didn't seem that happy with their tour guide. The next morning we did enjoy some amazing views and went for a hike guided by Dipendra, a young local we met that morning. He took us through down to a rim trail that meandered by homes and schools. He did this for us just because he enjoyed meeting people and wanted to practive his English. He was just the most gracious young man.
Wait, did I tell you that the Nepali people are amazing?
Today, Molly left for her work in India. :-((((


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