Once again my morning began relatively early. I was up at the crack of dawn and looking forward to my big day, I was planning to leave Kathmandu to go to bhaktapur. I had heard good things about it and I had also decided to take public transport there as I wanted to mix a bit with the local population.
After a quick shower (hot this time!) and a short debate about how much I owed the hotel, I braved the streets of Kathmandu on my way to beautiful Bhaktapur! I stopped for a fuelling trip at the highly recommendable Pumpernickel (scrambled eggs and banana pancakes) and made my way to the bus stop.
Once again I was followed by a small troop of people selling me things until I left Thamel and enter the real Kathmandu. Even though it was only 8 am the streets were already packed with people. I had no trouble finding the pickup spot for the bus and I was lucky enough to find a seat next to the window. I kept on thinking that the bus was really empty and I initially took up two seats. I kind of needed them for my bags and my somewhat oversized ass. Everything changed as the trip went on. More and more people piled into the bus until it started to remind me of a Marx Brothers sketch. No matter how many people came into the bus, there was always space for more. I ended up carrying my bags and was really grateful for having packed relatively light.
The trip was worth it and I will definitely be repeating as you get to see a lot of fun things. I finally reached Bhaktapur and squeezed out of the bus. everybody seemed to find it really funny to see me struggle out of the bus. It was like when you try to pull out the big jumper from the bottom of your backpack. It was a flood of Nepalese people preceding me as I struggled out.
I found the city center and paid the tax to get in. Just as I was entering Durbar Square I found Jacques and Laura a really nice French couple that I had met at Kathmandu. They were staying in Bhaktapur for a couple of days and we agreed to meet up for lunch. I went to my hostel which is just in the middle of Durbar square and after about an hour of waiting I finally put down my bags.
I took a quick shower and walked around for a while until it was time for lunch. I met Jacques and Laure for lunch and then went with them to their hostel.
I had originally intended on staying at their hostel but there was no room. I have made a booking for tomorrow so hopefully I’ll get in. We had a coffee there and met Sarah, a French girl that is taking some time to travel the world. She has been travelling for 4 months now and will not return to France until February.
We all went for a walk together and after a while we’re told that there was a festival happening in the city centre where a fake elephant would do a parade. We sat at the top of one of the temples and waited for the show. More and more people sat around us and it was fun to be a part of the background for once. The fake elephant came and chased people around the square for a while. It kind of reminded me of San Fermin but with a fake elephant instead of a bull.
After that we each went our separate ways and agreed to meet up later. I went to my hostel and the elephant was running around there as well. It was great to see all the kids having so much fun and I’m really curious as to what was really going on.
As I write this I’m sitting at the hostel restaurant waiting for a plate of steamed buffalo momos. Life is tough! 😉