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Published: December 21st 2017
So for our last day here we felt we needed to see the sights. First up was the temple at Swambhunath, otherwise known as the Monkey temple, and there were a lot of monkeys there. It was very picturesque, but I did wonder what all the locals felt, trying to have there celebrations, but there were all these tourists doing selfies getting in the way. Having said that, every time they looked away a monkey would sneak up and steal a bunch of bananas or a bowl of peanuts, so we were not the only distractio. Then off to a Hindu temple at Boudhinath and the ghats for the cremations. Was not sure how I felt about that, but when we got there, there were two in progress and one that they began just as we got there. They showed so much respect that actually it was very moving. Then we walked on to were they wash the bodies prior, and I thought we were lucky there was no one there, but then three arrived at once. In the organised chaos, actually it seemed very disorganise and I did wonder if some mourners ended up going off with the wrong body.
It all seemed a bit precarious, sliding the body down a ramp to dip the feet into the river, with mourners rolling up their trouser legs and getting into the river to help, I couldn't help wondering how many mourners end up falling into the river. However there was still so much respect and gentleness shown to the decease. From there we went to Pashupinath Stupa, badly damaged in 2015 earthquake, but rebuilt by volunteers, and an incredible sight given that you cannot see it from the next street, but you walk up an ally way and there it is, really huge but hidden.
We had dinner in a traditional Nepali restaurant with music and dance, and although we have an early start tomorrow, a few of us were not ready to call it a day. As one was called Sam it seemed inevitable that we ended up in Sam's bar, which had a great atmosphere, I only hope we can manage the early start.
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