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Published: April 1st 2016
Back in Kathmandu, life felt a little surreal. We had survived our flight back from Lukla and I was now sharing in the comfort of a decent hotel room with Rebecca and Adam. The mountains seemed so distant. We were in the land of plenty in the bustling Thamel district. Shops, food, entertainment, cars, tuk-tuk's, people - they were everywhere. Our first day back was one of complete indulgence. We didn't have to walk anymore, but we still walked many kilometres all around our district. Rebecca was leaving the following day, so she was on a mission to buy all sorts of souvenirs and crap. Adam still had an extra day but also needed a whole bunch of crap. We stopped often to eat all sorts of stuff. We bought beers from the shops, and enjoyed the hell out of them as we hadn't drunk a drop during out trek (far too expensive). We passed by Durbar Square, one of the oldest places in Kathmandu, and witnessed the destruction wrought by the earthquake. Many of the buildings were rubble and those that had survived were being supported by stilts. We found the famed "freak street". Hippies during the 70's frequented this
area and did all sorts of drugs. We found a rooftop bar there and ate and drank some more. I was drinking the least amount of water than I had in the previous few weeks! We headed back to the hotel and then relaxed with the intention of going out again that evening. Something happened in the interim though and Adam felt sick and bloated and threw up and Rebecca got a case of the runs. I felt fine, maybe just a tad dehydrated. That had both shared a chicken dish at the bar, while I had passed. We couldn't be sure, but you never know. The night abruptly ended although I didn't mind much, I was pretty tired. Lying down felt pretty good.
I said goodbye to Rebecca in the morning as she was on her way back home to Canada, with a layover in China. I was going to miss that girl, she was such a trooper and had loads of positive energy. She would be spending the summer fighting forest fires in the west. Both Adam and her felt much better this morning. But with her gone, just Adam and I remained. I took the morning
easy and then went out with Adam to run some errands. We explored some market areas and more of Thamel. I took some street photography. That night we had decided to check out one of the few casinos in Kathmandu, supposedly only open to foreigners. The main reason I was interested to go was because there was free food and booze. We arrived at the Casino Royale and bought some playing chips. Right away we flagged a staff person down to get us some rum and cokes. We played blackjack for a while and I was able to stay pretty much even. The night progressed and we met some Danish guys who had worked in earthquake zones. Adam decided he would joining to poker table and here's where things started to get messy. The alcohol kept coming and good judgment kept diminishing. He kept going back to the cashier to get chips. I was getting pretty drunk but stopped playing. I was actually ahead by a bit. I went to the buffet and indulged and brought Adam a plate. Not sure how many times he had gone back to the cashier at this point. By three in the morning I
was ready to bounce and had to pull Adam from the table. He claimed to have blown about 300 bucks which always sucks. We clamored out of the casino and for some reason decided to climb a small fence to get out. I flagged us a tuk-tuk and we got back to the hotel. Adam only had about three hours to sleep before he had to get up to catch his flight.
It was a rude awakening. It took me about fifteen minutes to get Adam up and my next idea was going to be to dump a bottle of water over him. He was fucked up. Luckily he had packed the night before and I helped him get his stuff down into the waiting cab. It was good traveling with him and hopefully I'll be able to run into him in Canada at some point, as he has a two year working visa there. I decided to go back to sleep. I was on my own now, and when I awoke I heard shouting, laughter and just loads of noise coming from the streets. It was Holi, the Hindu festival of colours, which ushers in the spring. People
throw water and coloured dyes all over each other to celebrate the occasion. I had to protect my camera and as soon as I walked out, a water balloon was thrown from the roof and splashed all over me. People came up and covered my face in colours. It was a pretty amazing holiday. Everyone was covered in smiles. I walked to Durbar square and by the time I got there I was covered in colour. I spent some time enjoying the festivities, and then incredibly, I ran into a group of people that I had met back in Agra, India at the hostel I had been staying at! They had traveled to Nepal and had also done some trekking. One of the guys was the Indian part owner of the place. We all wondered what a small world it can be sometimes. I hung out with them for the remainder of the evening and we drank, smoked, had colours thrown all over us, and ate copiously.
My time in Kathmandu and in Nepal was nearing its end. I was sad to see it go by so fast but this is a country that I will definitely return to.
It's honestly a big playground, and there is so much more to do here yet. But I must be moving on now, as there's still plenty of other places to see.
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