Visiting Durbar Square in the city of Bhaktaphur in the Kathmandu valley of Nepal feels like going back in time to the middle ages. Narrow brick streets. Towering three tiered temples. Wells for gathering water. Intricately carved wooden doors and windows. Stone statues.
While in Kathmandu, we took an overnight trip to Nagarkot. I was hoping to see the Himalayan mountains and do a short trek.
During our time in Kathmandu we hired a driver and took a day trip around the Kathmandu Valley. We visited Dakshinkali Temple, a Buddhist monastery on a hill, and the village of Kirtiphur.
Fifteen years ago Rand visited Kathmandu and fell in love with the city. I was worried that I wouldn’t be as excited and he would be disappointed.
When you name your daughter after the Kali Gandaki River in Nepal, you pretty much have to take a rafting trip down that river if you find yourself in that country. Even if it means spending more than your daily budget and using all your Christmas money from family to make it happen.
“When I say, run, run forward,” said my guide.
“Ok,” I said.
“When I say, come back, walk backward.”
“When I say, go, sit back in the seat and lift your legs.”
I ran forward, walked back, ran forward again, then leaned back into the seat, lifted my legs and suddenly I was flying.
The traveler friendly main street in Pokhara, Nepal was like a breath of fresh air after 2 ½ months in India. Ok, maybe that is a bad analogy since the air in the town was terribly polluted, but we were very happy to be in a place with a wide variety of restaurants and shops catering to the needs and wants of travelers.
Long term travel is not the same thing as a vacation. Vacation is taking a break from real life for a few weeks. When you are on the road for months or years, travel is your real life. And just like real life, travel has stressful times and bad days. One of our worse travel experiences was the 36 hours it took us to get from Agra, India to Lumbini, Nepal.
It was early, very early. The gates opened at dawn. We stood in lines by gender. Rand in one line and the girls and I in the other. Soon we would see one of the most famous buildings in the world, the Taj Mahal.