Day 18 - Day Tour on Kathmandu outskirts - Bhaktapur and Patan

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April 28th 2019
Published: May 12th 2019
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As usual, woke early at 06:00, we all met for breakfast at 07:30 in The Beatles room as usual and got a call from our guide at 08:30, but when we got down we couldn’t see him but could see our van so we went out but no guide. We asked the driver, who was the same driver we had on our early city tour, and he said the guide was in the hotel lobby so we got him to go back with us and point him out. Finally found him sitting in a low chair near the travel desk and off we went. His name is Som and he was a little hard to understand but he tried hard. It seemed like he had set spiels for certain places and he would rattle them off non-stop. Good thing was he explained the itinerary which was Patan Durbar Square, Bhaktapur Durbar Square and then Changu Narayan temple, but we wanted to reverse the order because Mitch wanted to get a tattoo at the Tattooist’s Convention which was near Patan, and that wasn’t a problem.

We arrived at Changu Narayan Temple around 09:30. It is situated just out of Bhaktapur but up a long windy road at the top of a hill. We then had a walk further up the hill passing a few local tourist’s shops. As is the case with quite a few Hindi temples, only Hindis were allowed to actually go into the temple. The views would probably be quite good except for all the smog and pollution in the area. Funny thing was we asked Son if it is ever clear enough to see the mountains ans he said about 26 years ago. Hmmmmm, maybe there was something lost in translation, although it wouldn’t surprise me. This temple is dedicated to the God of protection.

We left there around 10:45 for the short drive to Bhaktapur Durbar. It was relatively expensive at 15,000 rupees and Mitch decided not to go in but since was the major attraction today I said I would pay for him. Just as well because we didn’t leave the area until well after lunch-time.

As soon as we got into the area, it was another 150 rupees to enter the museums. There three museums showing the wood, stone and metal eras of statue making. All the museums were quite small with very little explanation but nevertheless it was interesting to see the architecture. We then walked away from the square to our café lunch spot which was in another smaller square. Unfortunately, the chicken burger I ordered was probably the worst chicken burger I’ve ever had. The rest of the food we ordered however was OK. Nice spot, shame about the burgers. They also took a very long time to fulfil our order.

After the long lunch break we continued walking around the area visiting the famous Peacock Door and then finished Bhaktapur around 14:30 and drove to the final destination of Patan Durbar Square. Krissy and Nick decided they had also had enough culture today and went with Mitch to get his tattoo, which left Vicki and I to continue with Som.

Patan Durbar Square was much smaller than the others we had visited but they actually had the best museum. Everything was nicely presented with good English descriptions and we felt like we were actually learning something. Some of the architecture was beautiful as well. We took our time reading some of the descriptions and before we knew it, it was getting close to our 18:30 farewell dinner appointment which we mentioned to Som who assured us there was just a small part to look at and we would get back in time.

Gor back to the hotel at 18:10 and to our surprise the youngsters were already back and Mitch had his first tattoo, a small mountain range on his left ankle. Sudarshan turned up on time and we discovered that we could keep the big duffel bags which was good. He then walked us over to the Apsara Hotel Restaurant which was the hotel we were originally booked into. It was a relief for us as we didn’t really enjoy the welcome dinner with local Nepalese food. This restaurant had a range of Continental and Thai. I had a nice tenderloin steak while the others decided to try the Thai and it was all quite good. The best part though was meeting up again with our support team, although Sujan couldn’t make it. Sudarshan did tell us though that this was only his second trek as a porter and he has decided not to do it any longer. He actually got a knee injury and he is not the biggest person so it’s probably a wise decision on his part. It was great to see Sudarshan, Ganesh and Sumen again and we all had a nice time chatting and reminiscing and analyzing our journey together. Vicki also discussed with Sudarshan again about the lack of suitable gear for the support team. Ganesh was actually wearing grey shows with plastic bags as inside liners to keep his feet dry and Sudarshan was wearing hiking boots with one the wrong size. It’s hard enough carrying 25kgs for 12 hours with proper equipment so we felt very sorry for them.

After bidding farewell around 20:15, we decided to take one last walk around the shops and made a few last minute purchases before heading back to pack. Having the big duffel bags made things a lot easier I must say. Nick and Mitch were able to put their big back-paacks in them and there was extra room for all the shopping we’d done.

I ended up doing a few things on the laptop and didn’t get to sleep until 00:30.

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