I arrived back in Kathmandu from Nagarkot mid-afternoon and felt pretty pleased with myself because while the first time i arrived in Kathmandu it was just a confounding tangle of streets and tributaries, this time i was able to give directions to the taxi driver to find my hotel.
I spent the majority of that day in my hotel, partly due to a thunderstorm but mostly due to the hotel i was staying at. As has become my habit, i booked my last two nights in a fabulous hotel. This time is is the Hotel Dalai La. It is gorgeous. Fancy and with a terrific courtyard restaurant. I felt so sloppy on arrival with my dirty clothes and my dirty self, as i had not showered for six days, but not only were they polite to me, but they upgraded me to a superior room. I spent the evening luxuriating in a needed hot shower and watching movies.
This morning, after breakfast, i taxied to Swayambhunath, aka "The Monkey Temple" a hilltop collection of Buddhist and Hindu temples surrounded by trees and countless, curious monkeys. Arriving at the temple involves climbing up 365 steep stairs, flanked by Buddhas and frequented by those ubiquitous monkeys.
The temples at the top are similar to others i have seen on this trip, but it was splendid how crammed together they all were and how busy they were with pilgrims, people praying, and making offerings.
I walked around for quite some time, watching monkeys steal food from people and visiting craft shops (me, not the monkeys). One man, attempted to open my chakras by hitting a large healing bowl with a mallet and moving it about my head, chest, and back. I felt vaguely uncomfortable, which may or may not be the feeling of open chakras.
I descended the mountain, wandered around a few more stupas, spinning prayer wheels as a went, then taxied back to Thamel.
From there i just walked aimlessly for a few hours, weaving with the traffic, declining offers of of guides, rickshaws, taxis, and pashminas. I walked through an area that sold nothing by dentures, then another that sold only textiles. It is all endlessly fascinating.
But come to an end it must. I am now in the excellent courtyard of my hotel having a cigar and dinner and that will be it for me for Nepal. I fly back to New Delhi in the morning. Nepal has been amazing and i have seen only a sliver of it. The takeaway from this is: selecting vacation destinations based on Eddie Murphy movies is an excellent idea.