Published: May 30th 2009May 21st 2009
I didn't have a fixed itinerary of what I was going to do when I was here which is nice on one hand but on the other sometimes you spend too much time deciding between one thing and another - in the end you just have to not be stressed about it and go with the flow.
I decided to hire a guide and go on a 3 day hike around Kathmandu Valley. As I still have some problems with my ankle I am not allowed to do a full on trek so thought this would be a good alternative. We spent the first day hiking only about 12km but it was all up up up hill!! Bit of a shock to the system but my ankle held up. We stayed in a guest house on top of a mountain where we could watch both the sun set and the sun rise! Really beautiful place although the accomodation was really basic with no electricity and I had to wash in a bucket and of course the squat toilets. All fun!!
Next day was a 26km trek ending in a place called Nagarkot which is at an altitude of 1950m. We stayed in a really nice guesthouse with electicity (well until 8pm when we were back to candles) and running water!! I really like this place. It has a good vibe. It is really a holiday place for the nepalese looking to escape Kathmandu fo rthe night or weekend so it is mainly guesthouses up at the top of the hill. The views of Everest and the himalayan region are amazing from here. Unfortunately it was covered in cloud when I got here but I got the see the view from a postcard I bought from a little boy!! Luckilly as we started our descent the following morning in the pouring pouring rain and had to cross rivers of mud up to my knees the clouds lifted and I was rewarded with an amazing view.
Next we went onto a town called Bhaktapur. Oh this is an awesome place!! It is a real breath of fresh air compared to Kathmandu. I think it would be worth coming to Nepal just to see this place. It is like you have stepped back in time and is just like what I would have imagined a city in Nepal to be like if I hadn't heard of Kathmandu. It is pedestrianised so you don't have the horrible chiking traffic, the temples are plentiful and amazing, the architecture is mindblowing and it is much more chilled out. I had read that it is a good idea to skip Kathmandu and come straight here and I see why. This is where I will spend my last night.
I stayed here and felt so happy and smiley and at peace and that I had finally got into the whole Nepal thing. Sometimes it just takes a few days to adjust and to get over the culture shock. I had a beatiful pedicure - tried to get a massage which was comical in itself as I realised I was trying to get a massage in a place where ladies massage gents!! Not quite what I was looking for.... and just chilled out before I headed back to Kathmandu to organise my rafting trip.