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Where to next? This is a journal about Phil's progress as he backpacks his way west from his beloved Japan.

Kathmandu

NEPAL | Sunday, 16 September 2007 | Views [824]

I'm still in Kathmandu and enjoying myself lots.  The only thing I would change about this place is the incessant up-the-arse tooting of every bastard on the road and those hawkers who attach themselves as would a second shadow.  Apart from that it's fantastic.

I checked out the Durbar Square to be greeted with the most incredible festival the other day.  I thought it was the Indra Jatra festival but this might not be right!  Hundreds of thousands of women, mainly, dressed in red saris were swarming all over the square, there was dancing, singing, insense burning, tika painting, and Lonely Planet TM expressions like "sensory overload" and "intoxicating" finally seemed to be appropriate.

Yesterday I paid a visit to Patan, where there was no festival, but a Durbar Square which easily outshone Kathmandu's.  I met a boy, Binod, who thinks he is 13 but isn't quite sure, he taught me some Nepali for his 100 rupees, and we had a good old chat.  Amazing to think he wasn't a native speaker.  He showed me how to get to the river where for the first time in my life I saw a DEAD BODY!!!  Shrouded, admittedly, but still...  There are ghats at the river for bodies to be burned, but this guy being a criminal (so Binod thought) he wouldn't receive the dignity of cremation and would just be thrown into the river!!  We didn't hang around long enough to see what happened, but Binod seemed to be right.  So given there must be a fair few people dying in the time it takes one body to decompose, and given that amongst them a fair number must be baddies, that means there must be a pile of bodies somewhere in that river!! 

Today has been a pretty exhausting walk around town and an unnecessary trip to the bus station, in order to organise the next part of my journey.  On Tuesday, probably, I will start three weeks of trekking around the Annapurna Circuit, one of the most beautiful treks in Nepal.  It will mean LOTS of ups and downs and more roughing it than I've been used to so far.  And, get this, NO emailing for the duration of the trek!!  So, especially to Mum and Dad, don't expect to hear anything for a bit!!

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