Left at 9am to Swayambhunath the Monkey temple. Not as many beggars as I thought. There was a fountain at the foot of the temple and it was said that if you could throw a coin into the jar held by the statue in the centre then it was better luck than just blindly throwing it in. I had some Indian rupees left over from Mumbai airport so I used them. One missed and the other bounced off the rim - so close.
Angel Holidays, or more Steve, had links with all sorts of institutions and so we picked up the Professor of Hindu Studies at Kathmandu University to be our history/tour guide. We got back on the coach and headed for Patan the home of the Kumari. Matina Shakya is the current living goddess but she was having lunch! So we had to come back later. Had lunch in restaurant overlooking the square. Waiters short changed us by 100rs but we didn't mind cos it's only 60p and we felt that they needed it more. Sadly this did seem to be a bit too common in the tourist areas of Kathmandu. Lunch was nice though.
There was a festival going on in Lalitpur which is a district of Kathmandu famous for its schools, to promote the educational establishments. The stalls were showcasing their courses with demonstrations by the students of robotics and other disciplines. A band played some pretty decent rock music and we even saw someone selling 1MB broadband. It wasn't characteristic of a poor country at all, more of a country reaching up.
Rickshaw ride to the coach was definitely a highlight of the day. They had horns made from squizzy bottles. Travelling in convoy, but when the road widened it became a race. Overtaking, undertaking, leaning into the turns then straight out into a main road of busy traffic. I thought that our number was up, but we narrowly avoided getting killed as the buses slammed their breaks on! In spite of that it was excellent fun, so we gave our driver a decent tip of 100rs (1 pound!)
We all ate out again as a group. Had a really nice pizza in a chain restaurant. Steve had coined it "last chance for a proper pizza". It wasn't but it was a nice excuse. Early night as it's the Everest flight tomorrow.
Photos on my FaceBook page.
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