May 21, 2006 - Our Last Full Day in Kathmandu
It is about 6:00 AM on Sunday. I am up early at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Kathmandu. Shital has just picked up John Stewart, Doug and Tim Welland to take them to the airport for their flights back to Ontario.
Yesterday Andy and Erin left in the early afternoon and Jim Barr began his travels toward home on a 6:00 PM flight on Sahara Air to Delhi.
Saturday was our last full day in Kathmandu. Ang Temba met us early in the morning and we were off to visit three of Kathmandu’s most popular stops for foreign visitors: Swaymbu or the “Monkey Temple,” Durbar Square, in the old part of the city, and last but not least, “Mike’s Breakfast”, that famous meeting place for expatriates and tourist who appreciate fresh brewed coffee and American style breakfasts.
Ang Temba's two children, Dizen and Tshering, met us for the morning tour. Saturday in Kathmandu is a day off, much like Sunday in North America, so they were both out of school for the day. Dizen, age 16, is in her last year of Engilsh language school here in the city, and her brother Tshering, 15 will finish one year behind her.
The bustle and activity at Swyambu on a Saturday morning is colorful, perhaps a bit confusing and overwhelming for Canadian and American visitors, but is fascinating nonetheless. We wondered around with cameras in hand for more than one hour in the cool morning air. As the sun got higher we were motivated to move on to Mike's for breakfast.
After we arrived at Mike’s I called our good friend Frances Klatzel by cell phone and she quickly agreed to come over and meet us. Mike’s on a Saturday morning is a tradition that all Kathmandu’s foreign residents know well and are eager to join. After breakfast Jim Barr and Frances went off to photograph her Volkswagen Beetle. Frances in one of the Valley’s dedicated VW owners, and Jim was eager to pursue a story about these small classic cars and their maintenance and operation in one of the most unlikely locations for a “Beetle Club”.
It was at this point that Jim Haskins and John Stewart started to think about the pool at the hotel. They grabbed a taxi and returned to the Hyatt Regency just in time to be there to beat the late morning heat in the city.
The rest of us went on a walking tour of Thamel, Kathmandu’s famous trekking district and then on to the Durbar Square with its centuries old temples standing over vegetable markets and sites of daily devotion for Kathmandu’s residents. Of course with this group, especially with Doc, Jackie and Doug along, such a walk will always involve some shopping. Near Durbar Square we visited a Pashmina shop. Doug and Doc bought some new duffel bags at one of the trekking and mountaineering shops. It seems they are leaving Nepal with more things than they brought!
In a few hours, Jim Haskins, Jackie and I will be getting on TG 320, the Thai airlines flight back to Bangkok. We will all leave with memories of Nepal that will stay with us forever.
Want to go