And so, as quickly as it began- it's over.
Our last day trekking was a quick one- after breakfast only about 45 minutes (down) from Dhanpus to our van to take us back to Kathmandu. I will suggest however that if you are considering starting your trek by heading to Dhampus as your first stop, beware. Most of the hike down we commented how tiring it would be to do this in reverse- as it was a solid 45 minutes of navigating uneven steps down the side of the mountain. But- who doesn't love a challenge?
As we are starting to have local haunts on this trip- we hit up the Hilltop for one last round of Nepal Ice and veg curry. The boys at Hilltop were polite as always, and for a highway rest stop, the food really cannot be beat. If you're headed between Kathmandu and Pokhara, we highly recommend this place. Who knows- maybe you'll spot the two boys sporting Canada pins.
For our last night with Shorty, we had dinner together at the Bricks Cafe, in Pattan. The restaurant is an old, three story brick house, which has been converted into a cozy and unique restaurant. There was a curvy Nepalese girl, demonstrating traditional dance on the second floor, while we ate our Thali (with forks) in a quiet corner by the windows on the top story. Some new gems have surfaced in our eating catalogue since our return to Nepal- peanuts masala (a raw peanut dish, with chilies and diced red onion); veg curry with zucchini, carrots and broccoli (yay for color!!); and carrot pudding. Ok, carrot pudding did not surface until Bricks- how ever this delightful little treat is bound to be served along side my Mom's Christmas Pudding this year. We enjoyed a couple bottles of our favorite grape juice and devoured yet another great meal in this lovely country.
This morning, Shorty took us on the last of our sightseeing of the city (which we missed because of staying in Delhi an extra day). Kathmandu is actually three cities combined- Kathmandu, Pattan and Bhuktapur. We slept in Kathmandu, ate in Pattan, so naturally for our last excursion- we shopped in Bhuktapur. The city is a living heritage site, as such, Dhurbar Square is restricted to foot traffic (and the occasional vehicle). It is far cleaner than the other cities, and holds a very rustic charm which cannot be found in Kat or Pattan. It feels like it has been frozen in time. We wandered some sights before being set loose by Shorty, to purchase our last souvenirs that we had been holding out on (our bags weigh too much as it is...)
When we finally arrived back to the hotel at 7pm, we collected our laundry and desperately tried to smash it into every nook and cranny in our backpacks. B has a nifty little compression sack (MEC, I think) which I am entirely jealous of, as it seems my bag explodes every time I undo a snap. So far we have all managed to travel quite well with 55L backpacks- although the weight varies between 12 kgs and 16 kgs between the 3 of us!!
And now- we're at the Kathmandu airport. 3 hours early, with little to do. We tried some chocolate with corn in it (random). Drank some more coffee. Stood in a few line ups. And watched the Cricket on TV. Very few ways to waste some time in this airport... But finishing the blog post for Nepal, seems like a great option.
So, final parting words before we leave Nepal- the people are warm, the culture is rich, the view is amazing, and the experience- just might change your life.
With love, Nepal. We'll be back.
The Tender Trio
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