|The Nepalese get creative with bamboo scaffolding|
|Tractors serve as cars|
|Trucks are decorated with all kinds of colorful messages|
|Surely this cannot be safe?!|
|Yak cheese was the best part of this pizza!|
After breakfast we set out on a bit of an adventure. We decided to walk to the Swayambhunath Temple, or as Western people call it, the monkey temple, with only a basic idea of the direction we were headed. Fortunately we came across a few English-speaking people along the way who helped guide us in the right direction. We were expecting a similar experience to our monkey temple visit in Ubud, however, we only came across a handful of monkeys. There is a very steep set of stairs leading to the temple, and an entrance fee is charged at the top. Unfortunately the temple has become very commercialized and there were many people trying to sell souvenirs at the top. We ignored that stuff and enjoyed the beauty of the temple and the views of Kathmandu.
|Kathmandu locals enjoying the Dashain swing|
|Our target was the big gold temple but we struggled to find the right roads to get there!|
|We weaved in and out of this neighborhood along the way|
|Part of the Kathmandu Valley|
From the temple we headed to Durbar Square, where we did not actually go inside any of the buildings but we enjoyed the architecture from the outside. Interestingly there are little stands around the square where they are trying to lure tourists in to pay for a "ticket", but we found we were able to walk through/around the area without paying.
|Walmart in Kathmandu?!|
Our next stop was the Himalayan Traveler's Inn, where we packed our things and showered (we paid to have the room until 9pm because we had a late night flight). Arjun was there, so we had one last cup of tea with him and talked about the highlights of our Nepal trip. That night's dinner was a repeat of the night before, as we loved the pizza so much that we went back for more, followed by a trip to the bakery where we stocked up on baked goods for our trip home. That decision, unfortunately, was probably a poor one, as we suspect Erik got food poisoning from one of those leftover baked goods. He was sick for over a week after we returned back to Melbourne. :(
Arjun had arranged for a taxi to take us to the airport and he, along with the owner of the Himalayan Traveler's Inn, presented us with a khata, a silk scarf that is used in ceremonies, arrivals, and departures as a Buddist tradition. Our flights were uneventful this time, and we actually arrived back to Melbourne a bit early. Nepal ticked all the boxes for us and we thoroughly enjoyed our visit. Like many other destinations, Nepal is now on a list of places that we can't wait to go back to visit.
|Back over "home" soil. An aerial view of Western Australia!|