I took a taxi from Bhaktapur to Nagarkot, a small village on a mountain in the Kathmandu valley. The only reasons to visit Nagartkot are for hiking and views of the mountains, the latter of which are dependant on the clouds. I could have taken the bus from Bhaktapur for pennies, but seeing the bus from the taxi made me glad that i splurged for the private transportation.
The drive up the mountain seemed to take forever. I kept thinking that we could not possibly go any higher, but we did, up past little shacks and rough looking hotels, higher into the trees.
The village of Nagarkot has a some places selling food and bottled beverages, but other than that it is just accommodations. My plan for spending two nights here was simply to do nothing but hike and read and rest, which is all there is to do.
I am staying at The Hotel At The End of the Universe, which is quite delightful. It has a nice main building with a restaurant and pleasant in and outdoor seating and then the accommodations are set out throughout a variety of cabins and tents. I had a cozy little cabin with a balcony overlooking the trees.
At night and in the mornings here it is quite cold, but it is warm and lovely during the day. I have been on a couple of good hikes. The first day, as i set off on a trail into the forest it did occur to me that no one knew where i was or where i was going and i didn't have a cell phone, so if i were to, say, fall into a ravine and break my leg (a mishap for me which is well within the realm of possibility) no one would know where i was. I had at least brought water and an extra cigar. The hikes were lovely. Through dry forests and fields of wildflowers, overlooking valleys of tiered farmland.
I saw no one except for three women carrying bundles of sticks along the path.
Of course i cursed the steep hikes up the mountain which ultimately led me back to the main road, which itself was steep and had to be climbed to get back to my hotel, which sits atop a million stairs. Aside from all of this hiking and climbing, i have just been sitting around, reading, and drinking tea.
Last night there was a torrential rain storm, which turned to hail of apocalyptic proportions. There was no electricity so i, one of the employees, and a girl from the UK but living in Bangkok, sat in the main building, chatting by candlelight, and waiting for the weather to let up. During this, there was also an earthquake, though not enough to cause any disruption.
My time in Nagarkot has been thoroughly relaxing and pleasant, as i had hoped for. The views of the mountains have been obscured by haze and cloud, but it has been lovely all the same. This was the best view of the Himalayas that i got...
Today, back to Kathmandu.