Nepal – ‘ How about an 18 seater aeroplane with a broken window to fly to Kathmandu?’






A few of us decided to fly to Kathmandu rather than being on a bus all day to get a few more hours there.
On arrival at the airport a nice man informs us that our check in desk is not open ( there are 5 wooden stands on one side of the airport each with an airline name above it)
A few seconds later the same man then stands by one of the desks and says” check in is open ” then gives us a boarding card. I ask if the flight is on time, he then glances outside up at the sky and says” maybe not, possibly one and half hours late.” Great! We all roll our eyes…we are only doing this to get more time there… Then the man says ” but you have time for breakfast?” so we nod and he says” I’ll show you the restaurant” he then takes us to a table and brings us menus…yes…the same man…I’m starting to think he is the only person working here…
The same man ( wish I had got his name…this multi tasker) then took our order and served us breakfast! I’m starting to wonder if the reason the flight is delayed is that he was too busy cooking breakfast to fly the plane…

Our plane has 18 seats, which I think is great but a few of the others are a little worried…I’m on the back seat with Michaela and Carla, everyone else is in single seats. Just as we are about to take off the stewardess ( yes there was a stewardess on this 25 minute flight who also served us a cup of fanta orange…) put her thumb up to the man outside wearing jeans…i didn’t realise he was working at the airport waving the plane off on to the runway…
It was then I noticed a crack across the window covered over with cello tape! Nice…

The views across the mountains on the way to Kathmandu were stunning…different layers of fog and mist…mixed with bursts of sunlight poking through and all the farms and terraces together make stripes on the mountains below.

We land in one piece and are greeted by our driver who takes us around some of the top sights to see in Kathmandu. We visit Dunbar square…every corner has something different and more beautiful…a temple, a golden gate, a statue of a god…of which there are about a thousand…
Following this we visit Bouddhanath stupa! I have been looking forward to this as to me, this ‘ all seeing eye’ is the iconic symbol of Nepal…we park up and our driver points to a big gate right on the main busy road. I love it…when you walk in the eyes are looking right at you…and they follow you all the way around… By the way, you are meant to walk around this round temple in a anti clockwise direction…I soon caught on as we were getting trampled on and receiving funny looks…all the way around at the base of the temple are lots and lots of Buddhist prayer wheels. You spin these for good luck. The temple is painted bright white and the top is yellow and gold with the eyes bright. They paint this once a year. There are coloured flags hanging from the top to the edge of the temple and surrounding the circle walk around are lots of little shops in between little temples
Lucie brought us matching little weaved braclets here…to bring us luck and safe travels xxx
Up towards the inside of the temple you can see people practicing yoga all around…’ salut to the sun’ was one I spotted.
We also visit the monkey temple in Kathmandu which has a fantastic view across all of Kathmandu and really makes you realise how huge it is.
The monkeys here were quite cheeky and I spot one stealing some candy floss from a seller and a group of about 30 arguging over food…once again there are many Eagles here, they swoop around the top of the temple and all congregate on 2 trees below us…there must have been about 100 of them together…

Later we see the old town markets and wander through the street market as it starts to go dark ( have I mentioned I love my head torch. Ha)
The old town feels and looks medieval…it’s an amazing…so alive it’s buzzing…I forget to blink again as there is so much to take in. The stalls and shops sell different things here, lots of shiny brass pots hang from one place, they are presented in such a way you can’t help but look at them even though I have no use what so ever for a large cooking pot! They are stacked so high and the light bounces off them you look up and it’s only then you notice the medieval type buildings these shops are housed in…it’s then you realise you are standing still…getting almost ran over by tuk tuks, rickshaws and motorbikes and lots of people are banging in to you…also you mouth is wide open and your neck is bent backwards…typical tourist hey…but I don’t care…I have to keep running to catch up with the others. There was even a temple in an opening from the small streets, were pashminas are stacked high on every single step…the contrast of the dark mysterious temple and all the bright colours is just makes me smile…they don’t need any mannequins to advertise clothes here…everything just catches your eye…

This evening was the last supper…time to say so long to all my new friends and to Lucie…
We enjoy a nice meal and Lucie treats us to a nice bottle of wine ( no rose anywhere girls ha ha) its very expensive here so don’t think I’ll be drinking much.
Jahn, one half of the lovely Norwegien couple, tapped his glass with a spoon… ” can everyone listen to Granpa for a few minutes please…I’d like to say a few words” with this I think quite a few of us welled up and Lucie had a few tears…
He thanked Dushyant for being a great guide and he really did go above and beyond the call of duty. And he thanked all of us ‘ young people’ ( great I’m young yeah!) for looking out for them and for chatting and being a nice group…it was emotional.

When you are on these group tours you do become like a little ( or big) family and there isn’t really much that you don’t talk about. You get to know what each other drinks, what you like to do in your spare time and also each others bowel habits are a regular topic! ( I’m going to write a separate post on group tours after I finish both)

The restaurant we were in had lots of pictures all over the walls and ceiling from all the people that have passed through Kathmandu. They all showed groups in unique ways, from country flags to cartoons, to jokes and just signatures…All proving ‘ We were here’… And they are all on big feet shaped boards…footsteps across Kathmandu. Ours had to have across the middle the saying Dushyant taught us to say everyday…’ Om Namah Shivaya’ …

My footsteps then took me to the airport and off back to India and to Mumbai…leaving behind my thermals and that annoying purple striped jumper behind…as I was off to the sun…