Tuesday, 15 November 2011

monkey business

Tuesday 15th.  Kathmandu.  Afternoon onwards.
(blogged retrospectively from diary)
momos eaten - 9, days total - 19, rickshaw rides - 1, times lost -1
Got a rickshaw ride to the 'Monkey Temple' or as its better known Swayambhunath.  Riding a bike must be difficult on these roads but riding a one gear bike to pull two people up a hill, well that should be an olympic sport.  The huge gold stupa at the top is reached by a long steep climb up stone steps.  The nickname 'monkey temple' comes from the residence of monkeys that overwhelme the whole area, there's enough to see to make it a worthwhile visit including great views out across the city and watching the hordes of monkeys is fascinating too.  Had some more momos at a cafe at the bottom of the hill and then taxied back to Thamel.
After having walked through old town and some local streets today coming back to the tourist centre of Thamel feels like being in Blackpool.  Its a shame that the influence of Western tourists eventually rapes the local culture out of town and leaves it looking like......well Blackpool really.  Don't get me wrong though, I already love this country, warts n all.
Went out at night to the Thamel Restaurant, a Nepalise restaurant where upstairs they had low tables and floor cusions.  It was about twice as expensive as where we'd eaten before but it was a good quality place, nice setting, friendly service and although I was pulling a face at the bill coming to 1500 rupees I need to get things into perspective and realise that its still only £12.  Went for a drink in Full Moon bar after, it says in our travel book there beer is 175 rupees, however this was written 2 years ago which is enough time to cotton on to a mention in Lonely Planet being worth putting the price up to 330 rupees.  There we go, I'm moaning about money again, so time to stop witing, go to bed and wake up a bit less cynical tomorrow.  Tomorrow morning we're off to Pokhara.....

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