So this is about three months old (or more!), but anyway in Kathmandu valley I walked from the village of Nagarkot to the village of Dhulikhel. Both are famous for their views of the Himalayas and generally being pretty Mountain places: Nagarkot is on the typical 'lonely planet' trail and consists mostly of hotels, and Dhulikhel is more of an ordinary village - I really liked both. The walk between the two took me about six hours, but I wasn't exactly hurrying, and I was approached by several well-meaning Nepalis telling me that they would take a taxi, given the choice.
|Baby with money|
|Pierre asked me if he could please stay here forever, and I said no|
|In the restaurant of the "Hotel at the End of the Universe" (recommended).|
|Where I retired to after several hours of Nepali folk singing around a fire|
|Misty prayer flags|
At one comical moment on the walk, I felt myself to be lost in a maze of paths going through a very pretty woods when I came across the place pictured above. At the far end is that small house and I yelled out "Hello! Namaste!" and an old man who looked like a dream-vision of a hermit Indian guru (long beard, coloured rags as clothes) yelled NAMASTE back and kept on keeping on. I walked towards him, he didn't walk towards me and I had to climb all the way up to his house to ask him for directions to Dhulikhel. His directions were simple, he waved his arm vaguely in the direction of one of the paths and said "go!" beaming at me. So I did.
In Nagarkot a thick mist had obscured the supposedly splendid view of the mountains, but I didn't mind since it made the whole place feel spooky - and anyway, I sat up half the night with six Nepali mountain men, between about 17 and 85 in age, teaching me beautiful Nepali folk songs, playing guitar and feeding me freshly roasted potato slices off the fire. All in all, one of the truly most magical nights I could care to name.
NB: I don't think playing guitar at night or around a fire inherently makes for a magical night; the guitar needs to be played well and the company has to be interesting. Take note, American hippies.
In any case, I got to hang out with those badboys the Himalayas from the comfort of my bedroom in Dhulikhel, where the clouds cleared and I woke to find myself surrounded by this:
|The mountains surrounding my room in Dhulikhel|