27 degrees and gorgeous clear blue sky – the good news is that the sun is out – the bad news is that the sun is out – the rain has kept the dust down and with the sun out and things drying up it has become intolerably dusty. About 1/3 of the population wear masks to try to improve their breathing. It has been said that with global warning, yes the donald it’s real, there has been more rain, less dust and less respiratory illness here (the only upside to global warming that i have heard of).
Woke up early this morning and met up at 7 am for breakfast – Ox was there. We wandered a couple of blocks over to his shop to get the bikes for the three who didn’t bring theirs – Farid, Dave, Dale – and to make sure bikes fit! Cycled out of town through the traffic, dust and chaos (no traffic lights) and mud to a road that climbs up and up to a National Park – about 6 km uphill. We stopped at the top of the pass and had ‘Ox’ tea – sweet, milky Nepalese tea. There was a beautiful young girl who has been adopted by the husband and wife team who run the little shop. Her parents died in the earthquake. Ox makes sure she has clothes and funds to get to school, today he brought her a new coat.
Long downhill at speed back into what was now rush hour traffic (makes TO look like a cakewalk) and dropped the bikes off, a nice 2 hour jaunt. Over again to Himalayan Java for coffee and elevenses. Then Dave (who could work as a local guide) directed us up to the Monkey temple – long walk and then 365 steps up. Did our clockwise turn. Rooftop beer (what a view) and then did some exploring. Found a singing bowl maker. He explained bowl therapy (see photo – don’t ask) and each of us took turns. After the therapy, next came the bargaining. The starting price was 9000 rupees – we know that you can get at least a 30% bartering discount – master bargainer Farid said 8500 and then bright spark Perry said 8000 and shouted deal – i wasn’t really planning on a singing bowl but 8000 rupees later it was mine. Perry was doubled over howling with laughter.
Needed Italian food so went to the Dolce Vita for dinner – not as good as E&L but not bad at all. Back to Sams bar, as Dave says ‘all bad decisions start at Sams’. I turned in early. Boys went out……perhaps some bad decisions……remember what happens in Kathmandu GOES ON THE BLOG!
Today we fly to Lhasa – 3500m!