RSS

Tag Archives: Nagakot

Bhaktapur – An Ancient Town

28th November 2011

Leaving the stunning Langtan and Himalaya Mountain Range behind we returned to Alpine Sherpa Cottages to have breakfast and pack.

The drive back had us pass through an army unit doing training runs and maneuvers, they did not look too impressed at having to be out running at that time of the morning.

Trying to Sneak a Pic from the Bike

We also past some houses in the process of being built, if “built” is what you could call it. Using bamboo to hold up sections and to align bricks, it was the kind of set up that would building inspectors from the States heart palpitations at the mere thought of it.

Back at the cottages we ordered some tea and within seconds Steve the dog was there. Buddha immediately poured half his tea into the saucer and went off to find him some sort of cookies to eat. I ordered some breakfast and poured half my tea into the saucer for Steve. Buddha returned shortly and started dishing out cookies for Steve, who also got to lick our plates. Once he realised there was nothing more, he trotted off without so much as a backwards glance. I almost felt used, at least Bob sat and waited for us and showed true dedication. Oh well, some strays are just a little fickle I guess.

Good Old Steve!

Just before we left a little boy ran up selling postcards and hand made hats. I couldn’t resist.

It was a stunning day and I was going to miss our little cottage. The views were spectacular as we climbed on board the bike and headed out of Nagakot and on to Bhaktapur.

“Bhaktapur is an ancient Newar town in the east corner of the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. It is located in Bhaktapur District in the Bagmati Zone. It is the third largest city in Kathmandu valley and was once the capital of Nepal during the great Malla Kingdom until the second half of the 15th century.
Bhaktapur is listed as a World Heritage by UNESCO for its rich culture, temples, and wood, metal and stone artwork.”

Courtesy of: Wikipedia

It was a beautiful day to drive to Bhaktapur with the sun shining brightly. Half way down the mountain Buddha decided he was a little peckish and suggested we stop to eat. Considering I had just eaten breakfast I wasn’t too fussed but figured what the heck. We past a few decent looking snack shacks, but he chose one that had “local” written all over it. Something I really enjoy about being with him is that he always chooses the place that tourists would avoid and usually has the best yummies. In this case it was some Nepali tea and some cake like things. After about an hour we neared Bhaktapur. There is around a $15 charge for all foreigners to enter, this is to help in the preservation of the city. Buddha had me cover my head with my scarf and had no problem going through. Turns out they weren’t even checking folks that day. I didn’t feel bad about avoiding the entrance fee as I planned to spend money within the city itself.

Within seconds of entering I was overwhelmed at the beauty of the architecture. This was everything that Kathmandu wasn’t. I got quite irritated that Buddha wouldn’t stop as he was determined to find the city square. But when he did I was glad for it and the only way to explain the history that oozed from every doorway is to show you in pictures:





The Lower Part of the Carving Shows Childbirth


It wasn’t just the history that was beautiful, it was the people and day to day life:

Carrying the Days’ Load

One of my Favorites

A Tight Squeeze

Spinning

We ended the day with some lunch and then drove back to the chaos of Kathmandu. A fantastic 2 days, I wish I had known of these places earlier as I would have liked to spend more time there. Oh well guess I have to come back then…

 
2 Comments

Posted by on May 28, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A Sunrise Worth Waking For!!

28th November 2011

Sunrise

Rolling out of bed, barely, at 5.30am we left to attempt sunrise. Steve followed us out and watched us leave on the bike. It was so cold that morning that the bike didn’t want to start, but eventually we all got moving. At the base of the “Watch Tower” we bought some coffee from one of the little stalls and made our way up the small hill.

Who needs Starbucks

At the top of the hill there were quite a few tourists and locals alike and of course the usual curio and postcard toting sellers. We huddled around waiting for the sunrise and it was well worth it. First the colors started arriving:

Prayer Flags at Dawn

Then the air got colder and the mist started rising:

Valley Mists

Finally the first mountain outlines became visible and my first glimpse of Everest left me speechless (which is very hard to do):

Everest is the Pointy One


It Doesn’t Look That Big…


Me and Everest


Good Friends!

Finally the Langtang Mountain range, “opposite” to the Himalaya range that Everest is part of, became visible. The peaks just seemed to materialize out of nowhere, one minute it was just an early morning haze, and the next there was an entire range.

The Langtang Range Starting to Appear


A Little Clearer By the Second

And then the real show started as the sun crested the horizon. With this also came a blast of cold air as the cool air moved up the valley, it still amazes me that the air gets colder as the sun arrives.



A Sight Worth Waking For

The coming of the sun tinged all the mountains in a stunning pinkish hue. Definitely a great reason to wake up in the morning.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on May 24, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Nagakot….and meeting Steve

27th November 2011

Trip to Nagakot

Buddha was taking me to a town just outside of Kathmandu, by the name of Nagakot. He used to come camping in this area as a kid, and it was known for its great views of the sunrise and set. We headed out after a lazy morning and afternoon, around 3.30pm. Apparently it was “very close”, but it took almost an hour and half. About 45min into the trip along a country road we hit a kid… or rather the kid hit us. We were going along on the far side of the road and the kid was walking hand in hand with an older girl. All of a sudden this kid just darts across the road (has a possible future in sprint) and slams into my knee… I know ridiculous, if he had been a second faster he would have been hit by the bike, instead he ricocheted off my knee and fell on his butt. Thank heavens Buddha is a good driver as he managed to stop the bike without us falling over. The kid bounced up and ran crying to a group of old men who seemed none too concerned, they waved at us with an expression that perhaps meant “no worries he does this all the time”. If I could feel anything below my right knee I might have hopped off to see if he was ok, but at present I think I was the one with more damage. Once we saw the kid get up and walk away we knew he was ok and headed off again, my knee throbbing with every mile. He sure had a hard head that’s for sure.

What with falling off the bike yesterday and bruising my right leg and now being hit by a kid in the right knee, I was a little on the shaken side. However, the beauty of the scenery started to distract me and I couldn’t help think to myself that this is what I had expected to see more of when I bought my flight to Kathmandu.

Missed Sunset

We had been told that the sun set after 5pm, but by 4.45pm it was a solid red ball and sinking fast. Since my knee was throbbing I motioned for Buddha to pull over, it took me a few seconds to descend and limped around to get my bag and camera. But in those few minutes the sun was down and gone before I could take a picture. Buddha acted a bit sheepish for putting off our departure. But no worries, just means the early morning sunrise was a go.

Nagakot was set high up on a hill and the road involved many curves and driving round and round to get to the top. Buddha had said to look for a place that might be good to stay at, but ignored every one of my suggestions. It was getting quite annoying until he pulled up to this place called Sherpa Alpine Cottages. It was perfect, individual cottages overlooking the valley. Just what I had been thinking of, sometimes I think he can read my mind. We were lucky as they had 1 available.

The Outside


The Inside

We dumped our bags and headed back into town by foot to look for somewhere to eat. We had to borrow a flashlight as there were no streetlights, just the beautiful stars. This felt much the same as the search for accommodation, I would point at a place and Buddha would frown and say “Nah!”. Eventually we opted for cozy looking place and sat down on elevated platforms and ordered some hot chocolates. When they were brought to us, the guy told Buddha that nothing was prepared and dinner would take a long time. So we decided to just have the drink and play the dot game. It seemed so strange that a place would actually tell guests that, all I can think is that the staff wanted to head home early.

Playing the Dot Game, It was a little chilly that evening

But it all worked out in the end. We walked back to the hostel where the staff there were entertaining everyone with music. It made for a great evening and good food. I taught Buddha a new card game and he instantly became addicted to it. Dinner was momos for me and fried rice for him.

Evening Entertainment

The Meeting of Steve

While we were enjoying dinner and card games another couple came in followed by a black and white dog. Turned out it was a village dog and had adopted them. After dinner as we all headed outside the dog, I named him Steve, decided he would choose us for the evening. He must have known that Buddha had a soft spot for dogs. We got to the cottage and Buddha immediately ushered him in, he looked around, curled up and went to sleep. Buddha took the towel provided and laid it on him as a blanket. It was rather cute, but guess that means we’re not using the towel.

Steve!


Buddha making sure Steve is comfy

The cottage provided one of the singularly beautiful sights, a view of the stars, don’t think I have seen them that bright in a very long time. It would be an early morning so that we could catch the sunrise. so with Steve snoring us to sleep, we called it a night.

 
9 Comments

Posted by on May 21, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: