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Monday, April 23, 2001
Katmandu, Nepal
Nepal's FlagKatmandu Valley's Flag

Map
Katmandu, Nepal:
Latitude: 27° 42' 53" North
Longitude: 85° 17' 25" East
Altitude: 4610 feet
From Seattle: 8447 miles
Lodging: Hotel - Pheasant Lodge

Map
Today's Travel:
Country: Nepal
Region: Katmandu Valley
Weather: Sunny

Available Photos:

Shrine on street Katmandu, Nepal

Durbar Square Katmandu, Nepal

Preparing body Pashupatinath, Katmandu, Nepal

Preparing body Pashupatinath, Katmandu, Nepal

Pyre Pashupatinath, Katmandu, Nepal

Pyre Pashupatinath, Katmandu, Nepal

Pyre Pashupatinath, Katmandu, Nepal

Shrines above ghats Pashupatinath, Katmandu, Nepal

Temple roofs Pashupatinath, Katmandu, Nepal

Looking through row of shrines Pashupatinath, Katmandu, Nepal

Door decoration Pashupatinath, Katmandu, Nepal

Pyre Pashupatinath, Katmandu, Nepal

Pyre Pashupatinath, Katmandu, Nepal

Linga Pashupatinath, Katmandu, Nepal

Roofs Pashupatinath, Katmandu, Nepal

Roofs Pashupatinath, Katmandu, Nepal

Monkeys Pashupatinath, Katmandu, Nepal

Monkeys Pashupatinath, Katmandu, Nepal

Monkeys Pashupatinath, Katmandu, Nepal

Monkeys Pashupatinath, Katmandu, Nepal

Monkeys Pashupatinath, Katmandu, Nepal

Trident and linga Pashupatinath, Katmandu, Nepal

All photo images © 1997-2000 Anthony Jones - Images may not be used without prior written approval.

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Map
Trip Stats to Date:
Day: 1474
Linear Dist: 232059
Countries Visited: 76
Regions Visited: 287
More stats...
Hotels: 601
Friends / Family: 338
Camping: 130
Hostels: 262
Transit: 99
Other Lodging: 13
Beers: 4595
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Journal Entry:
We had breakfast at the Pumpernickel Bakery again. Afterwards we found a travel agent and bought bus tickets to Pokhara for early tomorrow morning. Rest of the day was spent window shopping (except they don't have windows). I was on a quest for an ATM and was only partially successful - I found a place that would give me an advance on my Visa card. From the money changer we walked through some random small streets - lots of photo ops and just plain interesting or bizarre things. We made it to Royal Nepal Airlines so Amy could try to confirm her ticket again - this time completely successful and in less than half an hour.

The next major task was to find Amy some shoes - she only had sandals which were completely inappropriate for hiking. We walked back through Durbar Square to one of the stores we were in yesterday. Amy must have tried on every pair of shoes there but eventually she found a pair of Asics that would work - we can't figure out if they're real or knockoffs. After the shoes we'd accomplished everything we had to do so went back to the room to drop off our purchases and pick up the real camera gear (I'd only been carrying my digital) and then caught a taxi to Pashupatinath.

Pashupatinath is a temple complex (the most important Shiva temple in Nepal) located on the holly Bhagmati river. There are burning ghats there and Amy had never seen a pyre - so that was our main reason for going. Our timing was perfect we got there just in time to watch them finish preparing the body of a young woman. They finished the bathing and sprinkled vermilion and carried her to the pyre and lit it. Unlike Varanassi the preparations seem to be done by members of the family so there is a lot more feeling and also some stumbling. After the sobering experience of watching someone cremated (the slowly blackening feet sticking out of the fire was the worst part) we needed some air. We walked around the complex - there are hundreds of lingas, both out in the open and in little temples. As it started to get dark the monkeys came out in huge numbers - they were everywhere. One of the little ones was chewing on a cigarette butt, but the way it held it made it look exactly as if it was smoking - unfortunately a kid chased it off just as I was about to snap my photo. Later there was a second body - interesting because there was a lot more preparation and the shrouds were of gold and silk - we thought it must be from a richer family. There was also mourning where the women walked around the body wailing at full volume - I found it even more disturbing. We walked a little more then caught a taxi back.

Back in Thamel I bought bag a locking duffel bag so I could leave most of my stuff behind on the trek. Afterwards we went to a fixed price store that Amy had seen. It was very reasonable and had a decent selection. We'd gone there to just get an idea of what prices should be, but I ended up buying a very cool wool pullover. We picked a random restaurant for diner - I had an enchilada that was good but not even close to Mexican and we also had momos - a Nepalese food that we'd been meaning to try (basically small spring rolls or gyozas). After diner there was a very quick Internet stop - I didn't even manage to send my email or update my journal, but at least I got off an email telling my parents where I was going. Back at the hotel I packed then ended up staying up very late getting my photos organized so I could have two empty memory sticks for the trek - finally got to bed just before three.


Related Sites:
CNN: Current Weather in Katmandu
US State Department Consular Information Sheets: Nepal
CIA - The World Factbook: Nepal

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