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  • Day20

    Kathmandu

    September 23 in Nepal ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    Got woken up by the phone at 9 to ask if we were coming to breakfast. Lol. No thankyou.

    But alas now we were awake so we showered and got on our way - ran into Kay in the foyer - another team had to get helicopters up to Lukla. 😅😅😅
    We asked Dawa to help us get a taxi.
    450 rupees to Boudhanath Stupa.
    I could live her 10 years and not adjust to the roads.
    Literally no rules and yet no one crashes. There precision is amazing. They sit with in 1cm of the next car - but never ever hit!!
    Incredible.
    Today is dusty as all hell. Wish we brought our buffs.
    So we arrived and it cost 400 each to enter.
    It’s bigger than I expected - we went upstairs to a rooftop place to have breakfast and get a better angle of it all.
    We watched as the prepared the Stupa. There is a big festival next month where they slaughter a lot of goats. Thrilled we will miss it.
    They were throwing orange paint onto the white round top bit, adding prayer flags and orange lei things.
    After we ate we did a full lap walk around it then headed off to the Pashupatinath temple. About a 2km walk away.
    Seriously though - so dusty!!!

    We eventually found it. Signage not good - all in script.
    We found an entrance - 1000 each to enter.
    I knew we weren’t allowed to enter the temples cause we aren’t Hindu but we could go to the river and man what an experience!!!!!!

    So along the river they do public cremations.
    We saw an old lady lying on a bunch of wood and People walking in circles around her before setting underneath her on fire.
    We watched for a while then walked over to the other side of the bridge and sat.
    About 6 people were being cremated at the one time.
    Once the fire is basically done they push what’s left into the river - people bathe in the river.
    Eek.

    They were setting up another wood pile - we waited a while and a horn began to blow. 100 people walked in carrying a body covered in orange.
    The woman came in at the end, they were the only ones showing grief.
    I felt fine to take photos previously because A. We were told we could and B. No one was mourning.
    As soon as I saw people mourning I stopped filming.
    There is no correct way to grieve but I thought it was a bit much.
    They were WAILING and had to be carried away.
    It seemed like an act which makes me uncomfortable. I do hope they find peace though.

    It took them ages to put the person onto the wood and start the fire.
    We had been watching for an hour before we left. I found the whole thing fascinating.
    The lady we first watched had no finished burning by the end of the hour.

    They use buckets to wash the area of ash. They need bigger buckets. Took them 100 goes.

    It’s something I probably won’t see again.

    On the side of the river we were everyone was doin their Hindu rituals. Would take a year to explain it all. No idea what they were doing but it’s complicated AF.
    They made paste, poured white water and made paints. They had foods and dyes and rice.

    Monkeys stole a lot of people’s bananas lol.

    We then got a taxi back home. We didn’t want to really explore the temples. I was in shorts and I knew we couldn’t get in most places anyway. I saw everything I wanted/needed to see.

    We had a rest then met up with George downstairs and went to dinner.
    He is such a crack pot.
    Dancing down the street.

    We went shopping with him after as he wanted to get souvenirs for his grandkids/family.
    I bought a present for nan while out.
    And might have nicked a pair of socks cause I got ripped off.. 🙃
    I bought shoes - paid 1000 then exchanged for socks but didn’t get refunded the difference so i pocketed a second pair.
    Don’t feel bad. 500 per pair is still more than they are worth. George also bought half of the shop so the store dude had a good night.
    They are yak wool. I also bought Nana a postcard of a yak just in case she didn’t know what one was lol.
    We said our goodbyes to George in the lobby - he had written us a card. I will miss him. What a wonderful man.
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