Raju is back in the drivers seat, we retrace the 20km long pothole, pay the road restoration(?) money to the 2 road toll collecters.... The Hindus are still streaming into the NP, today is the most significant day of their Dashain Festival for this region. We pass thousands of people (seriously, thousands), the air is thick with dust from all the pilgrim traffic, it is very festive. Interestingly many of the small village houses here have full on cottage style gardens, beautiful coloured flowers everywhere, albeit dusty ones.
First stop is at the 2 1/2 hour mark at the incredibly unattractive city of Mugli- teeming with people, shops, fruit and vege carts and flies. I utterly loathe these things (flies, that is)- it comes from living in Australia, Australia is the fly capital of the entire planet, revolting things. Awful. See link below for the many iterations of these bastard creatures. http://www.ozanimals.com/wildlife/Insect/Flies.html
Second stop is lunch at the "Scenic Hilltop Resto- average at best. Slightly scenic view. We pass lots of white water rafting camps. There are also a few metal cages being winched from one bank to the other. One cage is stuck over the middle of
Fried fish (with flies)
the river with the door dangling open- ???? wonder if they made it? Eventually hit the outskirts of Kathmandu- people, stalls, shanties, houses re-emerge. We are heading for Paulines Guest House, it is 8km from Kathmandu and 2km from Tokha in a small village called Chandeswori. Raju drops us at the village temple and Krishna appears to collect us and our bags, we take a short walk up the hill and reach... Paradise. http://paulinesguesthouse.net/
The Paulines is like a rural French country house (well, it's what I think in my head that a rural French country house might be like, I have never been to France so maybe it's completely not like a rural French country house at all, anyway...), it is surrounded by wheat fields, there are donkeys and a pony in the front yard...it is sublimely beautiful. The Paulines are gorgeous. Our room is really cool- accessed by traditional Nepali ladder, it is upstairs. It is huge (uge, in my French accent), airy and light- 3 walls of windows- heaven. The decor is quirky, I love it. We have a shared bathroom but it is only us up there. There is a cute backpacker room across
Good cup of tea being boiled up on the stove
the landing (sans cute backpacker). There are 2 other guests staying - a couple living in Kathmandu who work in health. They also spent 2 years in Jakarta (I make a lame greeting in Bahasa Indo, they humour me with a response)- really nice couple, lots to talk about. We spend the afternoon sitting on the verandah, it is warm, life is damn good. It gets better with a French style cheese (made by Pauline's brother) and a bottle of Australian red. Dinner is amazing. This is going to be a fitting end to our adventure in Nepal....
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