Narrow and colorful streets of Thamel.
Unlike most Asian cities we've been, we notice that smoking is absolutely non-existent here. Later we find out that it is by law: smoking is not allowed in public spaces, only in restaurants and homes. On the other hand, a number of people, usually young men, offer us all other sorts of smokes.
The driver drops us at a central location in this little town. We check several hotels by the main road. All of them have abundant vacancy. The rooms range from 600 to 3500 rupees per night, but some are rather untidy or run down. It is clearly off season.
Finally, a local guy leads us to Hotel at the End of the World on the top of a hill. The hotel manager shows us around, and we take our time checking all their room and suite options. We choose the largest and the most expensive room that easily would accommodate a whole family. It also provides a direct view over the Himalayan range, only it weren't that hazy.
Next morning we wake up early again in hope of seeing the Himalayas, but it is too hazy to see any of the peaks.
We have another hand-drawn map that tells us how to get to Changunarayan temple. It is going to be a 18-kilometer hike one way, and it's expected to take 8 hours there and back. The altitude difference between the places is 500 meters, and the route goes down and up, so there is about 1000 meters of climbing ahead of us too.
It is harder to navigate back, since the map was drawn one direction in mind. We take one wrong turn that takes us to the road too early, so we need to walk some extra switchbacks. When back in the villages, we also need to ask the way a couple of times.
We are back in Nagarkot at 4:30pm., and in Berg House Cafe for some very well earned cold beers. They actually go their way to find us chilled beer from somewhere else (Since the power goes out quite frequently, it is not very easy to get the beers chilled in the first place)
A spider in our bathroom.
Later when we have dinner at the hotel restaurant, we hear that an enormous wild fire is approaching us from the valley (we actually saw some smoke earlier), and there may be a need for evacuation. We only get slightly concerned, since we are in the end of the road, but some hotel guest demand that they must be taken to Kathmandu immediately.
Just to play safe, we go to our room to pack all our stuff. Later we learn that the fire has been taken care of, but the manager is quite upset that he lost some guests.
On our last morning in Nagarkot we have banana porridge for breakfast.
We return to Dolphin Guesthouse in Kathmandu. The first thing is to have lunch. Following the guesthouse host's suggestion we find ourselves to Garden of Dreams, and Kaiser Cafe. We have a Mediterranean salad and vegetable thal with Ghorka beer. This place is significantly pricier than any of the places we have dined so far.
In order to use the soon expiring Krisflyer frequent flyer miles, we have booked our return flight in the business class. Before the flight we are entitled to have drinks and snacks in the airport lounge.