Update 14: Bhutan to Nepal

April 18, 2011 - Kathmandu, Nepal

Namaste (greetings) from Nepal! It's now the penultimate night of my elective, and I'm sitting in the lobby of our hotel in Kathmandu, which has free internet. After leaving you last, we travelled by bus from Bumthang to Thimphu, which fortunately took only 10 hours, and was punctuated by some interesting food, lots of Bhutanese pop music, and progressive hip/arse pain due to the severe lack of legroom - we were in the seats right behind the driver, and right over the wheel arch. Anyway, we made it and settled into our hotel in Thimphu after a very welcome shower!

The three days in Thimphu were pretty relaxed - on Wednesday we did a bit of admin, chilled out, and had a massage in the hotel (about 7 quid for a neck, shoulders & back massage, which was great). On Thursday, we headed to the hospital to spend some time in theatre, and while we didn't get quite as much experience as our last time in theatre in Thimphu, we both got to assist a lot - I did three hernia operations, and a ventriculoperitoneal shunt for a 10 month old with hydrocephalus. And on Friday, after a nice breakfast, we took a taxi to Paro to spend a couple of nights there. That afternoon, we walked across town and up to the National Museum, which was fairly interesting and had a very specific route so that you could walk round all the important things clockwise (a Buddhist thing I think!) We visited the impressive Paro dzong (fort-monastery) on the way down, which had wonderful views down the valley, and featured a huge 7-storey chorten in the centre.

Saturday's job was hiking up to the Tiger's Nest monastery, probably the most iconic building in the country, and it didn't disappoint. It was another scorcher of a day, clear blue skies and very hot, and we were sweating before long. The monastery is cut into a cliff face high above the valley, and we stopped at the rather convenient cafe about two thirds of the way up for a cup of tea with beautiful views across to the monastery. When we reached it, it was still barely believable that it could just stand there, hanging as it does, and we were even able to go inside. Beautiful temples, but still the main event was seeing it from outside - check out the photos from Tom's camera, there's a couple of the nest.

Anyway, having done the touristy thing, we were ready to leave the beautiful country of Bhutan. Fair amount of waiting around (flight delayed, massive queue for visas in Kathmandu airport), but we made it to our hotel here, and were able to spend the afternoon walking around a bit. Absolutely mad city, I think India must be a bit like this, it's just rammed with people, bikes, motorbikes and cars, all trying to navigate the same tiny, potholed streets. It's also surprisingly warm here - t-shirts, shorts and flip flops essential during the day, and advisable in the evenings. Our first dinner was a pretty touristy Nepali banquet at a classy restaurant across town, with traditional music and dances during the meal. Delicious food of all sorts, plus Nepali rice wine and several Everest beers, and we were ready for a night on the town. Unfortunately pretty much everywhere closes very early here, not a great deal of nightlife, and we eventually found somewhere with people in after a 30 minute walk across town to Thamel. Live music and a few punters made it more buzzing than anywhere else we could find, and we met some friendly Swiss girls who were watching football. Drank a little too much beer, and found a rickshaw to take us home!

We woke this morning feeling, let's say, not on top of the world, and we felt it necessary to sleep in. This afternoon, after a cheese burger for lunch (alas it turned out to be exactly that - a slab of fried cheese in a bun...) we checked out the old town at Durbar Square, which has several beautiful temples and the home of the Kumari, a young girl who is a living goddess until she hits puberty, at which point she becomes mortal and they have to select a new one - a ridiculously complex process involving building a shortlist of girls from the right families with the right physical characteristics, then putting them all in a dark room with lots of men wearing scary masks and seeing which one freaks out the least. Very interesting, and got a hilarious photo with two guys in lots of orange and amazing beards, but you don't half get pestered here - this afternoon by rickshaw drivers and people wanting to take you on tours, this evening by rickshaw drivers and people wanting to sell you hashish (often the same people!). Still not quite feeling human, we decided to have a massage this afternoon rather than more culture, which was great, and dinner was a fantastic steak at the K-too Beer & Steakhouse, god I've missed Western food!

Tomorrow afternoon Tom flies out to Kenya, and then on Wednesday morning I'll catch my flight via Delhi back to Heathrow. Very excited about coming home and seeing you all, I can't believe my 10 and a half weeks is nearly up!

Goodnight!


Pictures

Picture 1109
Picture 1120
Picture 1123
Picture 1125
 
 

2 Comments

Polly Robson:
April 19, 2011
Hi Tim. Cant believe that by tomorrow night you will be back here after your Really Big Adventure. Nick arrived yesterday. Tom back from California today, and of course you and Rob tomorrow. Cant wait!! Have a good and restful trip back. Much love. Ma xxx
Arthur Robson:
April 19, 2011
Can't wait to see you Tim! What a real adventure youv'e had, one which you will never forget, And you got to do some medical procedures! Be great to welcome you back to Bognor - how exotic it will feel,

Lol Dad xx
Fuzzy Travel · Next »
Create blog · Login