To jump straight to a particular week - week 1 , week 2 , week 3, week 4

Day 15 - Udaipur - Jodhpur Saturday 25/11/06                  (click here for the map)

Narendra & me saying goodbye

Typical headwear
for men in Rajisthan

Well we have made it through our second week in India. Our driver is picking us up today at 9.30am to take us on our tailor made trip which we have asked them to arrange for us. We will first be heading north from Udaipur to Jodhpur, which we are led to believe is a five hour drive, we will stay there one night. Following a morning of sightseeing we will then head east to Jaisalmer, which is in the Great Thar desert close to the India and Pakistan border, which we are informed will take about 5-6 hours, here we will stay for two nights. After Jaisalmer we will return back to Jodhpur where we will catch an hours flight to Delhi, where we will stay one night before flying onto Kathmandu in Nepal for 5 days. So there you are you are now fully briefed on our busy plan for the next week or so, shall we see if it goes to plan. We say goodbye to all the staff and in particular the lad from the travel desk, Narendra, he seems to be quite emotional and sorry to see us go. We exchange contact details and agree to chat via email. We meet our new driver that will be with us for the next 4 days or so, his name is Munna. He is a well groomed, polite young bloke. We head out of Udaipur, both feeling that we have left behind quite a special place, both agreeing that we would like to comeback to Udaipur. Before long we are out of sight of Udaipur and for the first couple of hours we twist and turn our way up and then down endless hills and mountains. The landscape for the first couple of hours is very lush and green and with a very fertile looking soil, there is an abundance of various crops being grown in this region. After about two hours we stop off at a Jain Temple at Rankenpur for about half an hour or so to break up the journey a bit. We are shown around by a young priest, who we are informed is next in line to become the high priest. After an interesting stop, we set off again and before long we leave the hills and mountains behind us and the earth here is starting to get drier and more arid. At about 2pm we stop briefly at a small Indian road side cafe. A quick bite to eat and we are back in the car heading towards Jodhpur.
We notice that most of the men in this area wear the Rajasthani traditional dress which is a large strip of very colourful cloth, mainly one colour of bright red, green, white or yellow, twisted to form a rope like looking garment, which is then twisted and wrapped onto their heads, not dissimilar to a turban. The colours of these top heavy turbans,saris and headscarves all have arenot just decorative, but speak a language of their own. Turban colour may signify caste, religion and occasion. Brahmins (priest/scolar caste) wear pink, Dalits (untouchable caste) brown, nomads black. Jubilantly multi-coloured ones for festivals. White, grey, black or blue turbans are worn by Hindus to signify saddness, but these colours are also worn by Muslims. The way a turban is tied further indicates the wearer's social class and origin. As Hindus believe that some shades of blue, green and white to be mournful colours, they tend to be worn by widows, while wives and single women wear more cheery pinks, reds and yellows. They also have more signs such as one red and yellow combination may be worn only by women that have bourne a son. Hindu married women are carefully marked off-limits - wearing Chudas (arm bangles), bichiyas (toe rings) and a dash of vermillion in their hair parting.The trousers for men consist of a large white cloth wrapped around their waist and the piece at the back is pulled through their legs and tucked into the front, giving it a look similar to baggy trousers. There, you are learning so much on this diary, and it's not too painful is it?
We arrive at the hotel and are greeted by the charming owner, who shows us to our room. The hotel is a very nice, colonial style building. Our room is newly constructed and is large, light and airy. The bed is the widest I have ever seen, they must be expecting some Americans to stay.We relax in our room, Rita has a little snooze as I update this website.
At 7.30pm we make our way to the hotel restaurant for a buffet dinner, which although tasty is not served piping hot. We are served by a load of waiters who all have darker middle eastern appearances, moustaches and red army berets (worn in the Frank Spencer style), I sense after dinner we are going to be treated to a Suddam Hussain look alike contest. We are served some pumpkin soup to start, swiftly followed by the buffet, then a couple of small almond tarts are trust in front of me, then coffee. They must be in a rush to try and get the look alike contest started. So within 20 of walking into the restaurant we have had three courses and coffee and are heading back out to our room.The contest must have been cancelled. As there is no TV in our room I set up the laptop at the end of the bed and we choose a film from the selection I have brought with me and we decide to watch 'Monsters Inc', we know how to live eh?

Day 16 - Jodhpur  - Jaisalmer Sunday 26/11/06                  (click here for the map)

An Indian style traffic jam

Man playing flute in Jodhpur Fort

Jodhpur Fort on top of the hill

Breakfast is served by one of the Saddam Hussain contestants, we go for some fruit and an omelette each and say our goodbyes to the staff and are in the car at 9am for our morning tour around Jodhpur. We start off at the very impressive Jodhpur Fort, that sprawls across a 125m high hill. It is made even more impressive as a very professional audio guide has been produced telling us about the history of it, stories about what life was like within the fort and also tales and information from the present King of Jodhpur. There is an impressive view right across the whole of Jodhpur and you can see why they call it 'The Blue City', not because they swear a lot or saucy films are made here, but the majority of the little box type houses are painted a bright blue, predominately houses of Brahmin (members of the priest/scholar caste, the highest Hindu caste) were painted blue, but now just about everyone paints their properties bright blue. They also believe that the colour also repels insects.
We stroll about for a couple of hours before returning to our driver. After a couple of minutes of driving we arrive at the peaceful Jaswant Thada, which is a milky-white marble memorial of a building, in memory of the Maharana Jaswant Singh II, completed in 1899. As it is quite a small building we only spend about 20 min's there before making our way back to the car. Munna then takes us to the very large Umaid Bhawan Palace and Museum. Building of this monster of a pink and white palace was begun in 1929. It was designed by a British architect, which is very obvious in it's classical european style with neo classical columns etc. It took 3000 workers 15 years to complete. Part of it is open to the public, a very small part that is, and the present Maharana lives in the rest of it. As we enter the museum part of it we are pounced upon by an official guide who just starts to lead us around and tries to explain everything to us, but we struggle to understand him and just catch the occasional word or phrase such as
'Blah blah British blah blah mumble mumble architect blah mumble Indian airforce mumble blah mumble 1952 blah blah Prince Charles blah blah look a badger with a gun in a Ferrari' (anyway that's what I think he said!) so after about half an hour of being led around and with about twelve words understood, we do the typical British thing and thank him for a good tour and pay him 50p for his troubles. We leave the museum none the wiser than when we had entered it and returned to our driver for the 230 mile trip west, to the city called Jaisalmer. A dusty, once wealthy city in the middle of the Great Thar Desert on the famous Silk Route and only 70 miles from the India and Pakistan border. All the trade and camel trains used to pass through this city, but since the division of India, into India and Pakistan, and the tensions between the two counties so now the port at Mumbai (Bombay), on the west coast now carries most of the trade abroad and has stopped going through Jaisalmer.
As we head towards Jaisalmer the country side become drier and more arid and before long our road cuts through the desert. Although it is a desert, there are many hardy and tough shrubs and trees and we still see lots of wildlife surviving here such some small deer/antelope and wild peacocks in this area.
We arrive in Jaisalmer about 4 hours later, at about 4.30pm and are dropped off at our hotel that has been organised by the tour operator in Udaipur. First impressions of the hotel is that it is very interesting 230 old building (know as a Haveli, which is a traditional Rajasthan and Gujarat residence, oftenly ornately decorated and many have a courtyard just inside the entrance) that has been converted into an hotel, but when we get into the room we are disappointed with the standard, but weary and in the knowledge that we are only here two nights we will grin and bear it.
After relaxing in our room for a bit we head up to a restaurant on the roof, called The Saffron, which gets a good write up in our guide book. We enjoy a very nice meal of various curries. We sit next to a lady that was staying in our hotel in Udaipur (this is the second time that we have met someone from a previous city that we knew, spooky eh). After dinner we head back to the room, which resembles a dungeon.

Day 17 Jaisalmer Monday 27/11/06                  (click here for the map)

Kind, interesting gentleman
and his grandson.

Rita, sitting in Italian restaurant
with view of the Fort

Rita with the grandson.

We wake, after a poor nights sleep as the room is on the ground floor in a small courtyard opposite the main reception and due to the fact that there was no glass in one of the windows, just mesh, it was a noisy night. We set off to explore the main fort of Jaisalmer, which is a short walk through a street full of shops and shopkeepers saying 'Hello lady, hello sir where you from' and 'looky looky, come inside', you soon get very tired of 'England' and 'Thanks but no thank you', so I go for the option of just putting my sunglasses on and ignoring all the chatter, but Rita is too polite and decides to answer every question thrown at her.
On route we are stopped by a smart little Indian gentleman, wearing a pair of smart black shoes at least two sizes too big for him, that greets us with a big grin and asks where we are from, on hearing the reply he says 'Ah I have a friend from England called Peter, from Peterborough' and he was wondering whether I would write a letter on his behalf and before we know it we are in his shop, him dictating and me writing. I hand him the brief letter written on a scrap piece of paper and he says a grateful goodbye and we head into the fort.
On getting into the fort we find an Italian restaurant and decide to have some breakfast, before venturing deeper into the fort. The fort is fascinating as it has a living and working town within the fort walls and is full of shops, temples, restaurants and a lot of people live within the fort. It is just how you imagine an old medieval trading city in a desert would be like anywhere in the world. We meet a lovely man and his grandson who stops us and strikes up a conversation. We chat about the city and he wants to know about us and the Uk. He then show us how to write our names in Hindi, his grandson, who I mistook for a girl, takes a shine to Rita. After a nice chat we leave the gentleman and his grandson at their house and continue our exploration of the fort.
We stop at a shop that sells bedspreads etc. and after looking at various ones we opt for a very nice cream coloured bedcover and after a lot of haggling (I manage to get £15 off) we buy it. We then head to a restaurant with a great view over the fort and the surrounding valleys. We sit and have a few drinks and enjoy the scenery. We have a relaxing stroll back through the fort and head slowly back towards the hotel. Rita relaxes in the dungeon whilst I visit an internet cafe across the road to try and sort various things out and to make some phonecalls, which is quite stressful due it being so slow and the quality of the phone poor, due to a two or three second delay.
We finish our trip to Jaisalmer with another dinner at the Saffron restaurant in the roof as the food was very good the night before. Again we have a great meal and enjoy watching two young boys dancing and singing some Indian songs then suddenly they would break into a line of Frère Jacques, Frère Jacques and then carry on with the Indian song.
We head back to the dungeon as we need to get to bed early as Munna is picking us up at 5am to drive us to Jodhpur for our 2pm flight to Delhi.

Day 18 Jaisalmer-Delhi Tuesday 28/11/06                  (click here for the map)

Rita with our brilliant driver Munna

Rita and I getting flowers
from the Hyatt Hotel
for our anniversary

Rita with the Karate Kid
chef in Hotel Hyatt

We struggle to rise at about 4.30am due to another noisy night outside our room and a very hard uncomfortable bed. We meet Munna outside at 5 and after loading the cases we head off into the darkness of the city and before long we leave the city behind us and cut across the desert and watch the sunrise over the desert. Apart from stopping for a quick coffee at a small outdoor cafe we keep going until we get to Jodhpur, where we arrive just after 10am. I ask Munna to stop somewhere where we can get some passport photo's as we will need them for our visa's for Nepal. We have our photo's taken at a shop, but they cannot develop them for over an hour as a lot of cities turn off the power for a number of hours to try and conserve energy, Udaipur and Jodhpur both turn their power off from 8-11.30am every day. Munna kills time by taking us to a top of a hill nearby to look at the nice view. Here Munna starts to relax and open up and we chat about his life, he works as a driver for 4 months a year then when the season has finished he should have enough money to survive the year. We notice some builders building some houses in the distance and he tells us that the labourers earn 70p for a nine hour day and the skilled ones like bricklayers etc. they earn about £1.20 a day, shocking eh! After about an hours wait we head back to the shop and pick up our pictures and are then taken straight to Jodhpur airport. We say our goodbyes to our brilliant driver, Munna and head into the small terminal. Jodhpur airport is a small regional airport, not dissimilar to Manston. As with a lot of Indian airports, only those with a flight ticket can enter the airport, so this keeps the airport free of touts, beggars and anyone else that should not be in there. We check in nice and early and enjoy a couple of hours stress free time reading our books.
The plane leaves on time for the hour and fifteen minute flight. We are served a free soft drink, newspaper, lunch (consisting of a vegetarian or non vegetarian curry), coffee and tea and we take our last mouthful of dinner we are landing.
On picking up our cases we book a prepaid taxi, which are very useful thing to do as there is a booth at most airports or train stations and the price is fixed by the government, you pay your money and they give you a voucher, you then give this to the taxi driver. It saves haggling with the drivers and getting ripped off. We have booked a night at the Hyatt tonight, as it is our wedding anniversary. We arrive at the £200+ a night hotel and give the driver the voucher for £1.20 and a little tip. We head into the foyer, the size of a large football field, I wish I had asked the cabbie to drop us off at the front desk. We are informed that there is only a twin room available, on telling them that it is our wedding anniversary, people are spoken to and calls made and we are soon informed that a double room is available. We are then greeted by the manager who congratulates us on the occasion. Feeling very scruffy and run down we head up to our room to freshen up. Shortly after entering our room an 8 inch sticky rich chocolate cake is delivered to the room, compliments of the hotel. Shortly after that a lady from the front desk arrives with a lovely bouquet of flowers, mainly roses, for Rita and takes our photos. Once showered and wearing our best togs and I have to say looking very presentable,we head downstairs for a bite to eat.
We first have a drink in their 'pub' and you soon forget that you are in India, never mind all the Delhi madness that is happening behind the sound insulated darkened glass. We go for an change on the food front and decide to have Oriental. Japanese food cooked on a griddle in front of us consisting of fresh salmon and scallops and various vegetables. The chef asks the purpose of our visit, we make the mistake of telling him and before long another 8 inch sticky rich chocolate cake arrives at our table with 'Happy Anniversary' written on it. We act surprised and grateful and say as we are still full from the dinner we will have some later, fully aware that it's twin brother is upstairs waiting with just one slice out of it as Rita cannot eat cake and I am not overly bothered by it. We try and offer some to the waiters and chef, but with big smiles they decline saying it's all for us. We are told that they will deliver the cake upstairs, so we race upstairs to hide it's kid brother in the cupboard. Shortly afterwards we receive the cake and place it next to his brother.

Day 19 Delhi - Kathmandu Wednesday 29/11/06                  (click here for the map)

Kantipur Temple House Hotel

View of the Himalayas
from our plane.

Another view of the
Himalayas from our aircraft


We rise and get ready by nine. We both slept fantastically the luxuriously comfortable bed. After a large breakfast downstairs, which had a selection of everything you could imagine for breakfast. We pick up our cases from the room and leave behind two, virtually untouched cakes and a nice bouquet of flowers (as we have an international flight today to Nepal) and get a cab to the airport.
Again only those that have flight tickets can enter the terminal, so inside the terminal is relatively quite and we go through the various stringent security checks, such as your main luggage is X-ray and sealed before you make your way to the check in desk.
The Air Sahara flight leaves on time for the 1 hour 15 min flight at about 1.30pm. The air stewardesses have their work cut out on this flight as they first pass down the plane to give out free sweets as we take off, this is swiftly followed by a free soft drink, then another pass down the plane giving out free beer, then another pass down the cabin to give out the lunches (veg/non veg again) and finally they pass down for the final time force some coffee down our necks before we land just over an hour after we left. On the approach to the airport we catch a glimpse of the Himalayas and how impressive they look, they seem so huge and to go on for ever as we fly past them for over twenty minutes.
We retrieve our cases and proceed to the Visa desk where we hand over our two photos and $30 each and painlessly we pass through all this and make our way out to the arrivals where we are met by a representative from the hotel. After loading our cases into the car we head through the traffic of Kathmandu. The first thing we notice that there is a distinct lack of wildlife on the road, no camels, no donkeys, no dogs, no buffalo, no cows, no monkeys, no goats. It seems rather boring and fairly normal on the roads here in Kathmandu.
After battling through the busy traffic for about half an hour we arrive at the Hotel Kantipur Templehouse (click here for their website). We are greeted by the smart, chatty and well spoken manager , who we later find out is called Digambar Shrestha, who after having checked us in we are taken to the roof terrace to look at the spectacular view of the mountains and the Himalayas behind them. We relax in the room before heading downstairs for dinner. The restaurant is empty and cold, but before long a gas fire is place in front of us and we soon warm up. The temperature here at night is similar to the UK at this time of year, although during the day it can get into the late 20's C. We share a spicy Thai soup (Veg Tom Yum) and I opt for the Nepalese mutton curry for the main course which is not as spicy and rich as Indian curries, but never the less very tasty and Rita decides to go for a veg curry. We find out from the waiter that the hotel is fairly quite at the moment that is why the restaurant is dead, but they are fully booked the week after. We pay our bill (about £7) and head off back to our room and get the heater going.


Day 20 Kathmandu (Nepal) Thursday 30/11/06                  (click here for the map)

Nepalese grandmother, daughter and grand-daughter

Temple in Durbar Square

Window where the Kumari
(living Goddess) appears.

We rise at about 9am after a very nice comfortable sleep, I say about 9am as India is 5 and half hours ahead of GMT and Nepal is 5 and three quarter hours ahead of GMT and I have decided to leave my watch on Indian time, so it is showing the wrong time by 15 min's. We head down for breakfast, I decide to have a Nepalese omelette, which has chopped tomato's, coriander, chilies and onion it and Rita opts for the plain one. We are both going to look like an omelette by the time we get home. We decide that we are going to explore some of the old town, which is straight outside our hotel, then we will head off to Durbar Square. The old narrow streets of the old town are a fascinating collection of hundreds of small little shops and stalls, some no bigger than wardrobe and only about 3 feet high so more often than not all the merchandise sits on the street as does the shopkeeper. It reminds me of all those films showing street life in ancient China, if you remove the cars and the various adverts for mobile phones etc, these streets have not changed in centuries. As we stroll about the small streets, we notice that the appearance of the Nepalese people varies so much, from some looking like they descend from India, some from southern China, others from Mongolia, some look more east Asian such Thai, Malaysian. We later find out that that there are more than 40 different ethnic and tribal groups of people and more than 50 languages and dialects spoken. After about an hour of strolling we arrive at Durbar Square. Durbar Square is one of the most important heritage and cultural sites of Nepal. It is a complex of beautiful temples and shrines, both Hindu and Buddhist. Most of them are built in the pagoda style embellished with intricately carved exteriors, built between 12th and 18th centuries. The Durbar Square, with it's old temples, palaces, epitomizes the religious and cultural life of the people. It is here that kings of Nepal are crowned and their coronations solemnized. Until the early 20th  century the Durbar Square was the King's residence. There you are there is the history fix for that that can't live without it. After paying our entrance fee to enter this large square, we are greeted by a rather camp, slender Nepalese man, who is trying hard to look like an Italian film star, but failing miserably. After some haggling on the price he agrees to guide us around the square for about £3. He leads us around the square informing us about the various shrines or temples we stand in front of before swiftly moving onto the next. We are then rushed to the Kumari Ghar, which is home to the living goddess who is considered to be the incarnation of the goddess Taleju. The Kumari, or living goddess, is chosen from a select bloodline of only about a 30 or so families. About 36 young girls are taken away and the one who has the various features, considered to be similar to the goddess, such as her eyes, shape of her neck, colour and texture of her skin etc. will be chosen to be the Kumari. They can be chosen from as young as 4,5 or 6 years old and will remain a Kumari until they reach puberty, and then they will be allowed to return to there families that they have not seen since they were chosen. Just as we arrive, we catch a quick glimpse of her at a small window in all her finery, then she steps back into the shadows and as we are not allowed to take any photos we have no real choice but to buy a postcard from the lady on the way out of the courtyard. We are then led around various other temples and shrines before we pay him and say our goodbyes. As we make our way around the square at a more leisurely pace we bump into a guide again, who tries to sell us a days sightseeing for the following day. We inform him that we will think about it and we are just off to have a cup of tea, he invites himself along 'as a friend' so he will not charge us for the honour of us buying him a cup of tea. We don't mind as it gives me the chance to quiz him about life in Nepal, what it is like in Nepal since the truce/cease fire between the Maoists and the Govt and after half an hour or so he realises that he is not going to sell us a tour and departs. Once he has gone Rita and I order some lunch from the roof terrace restaurant we are sat in, that has a fantastic view of the square and the mountains that surround Kathmandu. We order some MoMo's which are Nepalese steamed dumplings that can be filled with meat, vegetables or cheese. We opt for the veg ones, I also order some Nepalese mutton curry and Rita orders some mixed vegetables and rice. All washed down with a couple of 7ups. The bill paid, about £6, we head back for a stroll through the streets and markets along the way. We get back to the hotel and decide to relax in our room for a couple of hours. Feeling a little tired, we decide to eat in our room tonight, so we order some rice noodle dishes and some small Nepalese vegetable bites that resemble small onion barghees and are very tasty. Tonight we discover that we have an electric blanket in the room, only because the room service boy has been in and turned it on, it is lovely!


Day 21 Kathmandu (Nepal) Friday 1/12/06                  (click here for the map)

Nepalese woman spinning wool
in the street

Me with the Himalayas behind me.

Rita with Himalayas behind her.

We have arranged to go out with the owner of the Hotel, Digambar, on a trip to look at the ancient city of Bhaktapur not far from Kathmandu and to drive up into the mountains to see the Himalayas closer up. We are picked up in a large 4x4 by the owner and his driver for the day. As we head out of the centre of the city and into the suburbs, the style of the houses changes from old, interesting and ornate buildings to three or four storey, drab, functional, featureless concrete blocks. Digambar informs us that there has been such an influx of people into the city, that it has caused problems such as all these building sprouting up, plus the sewage, electric power stations and water suppliers have all struggled to keep up with the demand. It also does not help that most governments here struggle to survive longer than a year, some only a matter of months, due to the amount of corruption, back handers and bribery present within all the politicians and most are only doing the job to line their own pockets and not to try and improve the quality of life for the average local person.
We arrive at Bhaktapur about an hour after we set off, although it is only about 10 miles from Kathmandu. Bhaktapur is the third major city of the Kathmandu valley and was once an independent state. The city is pure Newar (an ethnic group of people in Nepal, our hotel owner Digambar is Newari), the inhabitants speak a Newari dialect distinct from from Kathmandu's. The driver drops us off at the carpark and we walk up the hill to the entrance to the old part of the city. Rita and I have to pay about £5 each to enter, although locals get in free. It says on the sign that the money goes to maintaining and restoring the old part of the city. My mind drifts back to the conversation in the car with the hotel owner and I wonder if I am just making a politician or a minister somewhere a little richer.
Straight away there is a nicer feel about this old city than the Durbar Square we had visited the day before. It is the oldest habitation in Nepal and was the capital until it was moved to Kathmandu. Bhaktapur grew from a string of villages along the Tibetan trade route. It is like a living museum, shops are operating similar to the way they have for centuries apart from the obvious replacement of candles and oil fires with electric lights. People still live in the centre, children still go to school and life goes on as any other city or town. There is no traffic in the centre, which gives it a more authentic feel than Durbar Square that was buzzing with traffic flowing through it. Digambar walks with us around the streets and alleyways giving us great stories about the shrines and temples we meet along the way and tells us short stories about some of the gods and idols the Hindu's worship and how they took on the form the they do, normally being a mixture of half man or woman and some creature or animal. We stroll about the back streets and witness women spinning wool, weaving taking place, potters laying out pots in the sun to dry and various other types of craftsmen carrying out their daily work routine. After a couple of hours of strolling around this fascinating old Nepalese city we head back to the car where our driver is waiting to take us up into the mountains to get closer to the Himalayas. The four wheeled car we are in twists and turns as it powers up the winding narrow mountain roads. We slow down to manoeuvre around large lorries and cars coming the other way. Quite often there are only inches between our car and a sheer drop of hundreds of feet down the mountain. Rita appears very calm through all this, as she has with all the driving both here and in India. I think that she is finally cured of her ' nervous passenger' disease. After a good hour of driving we arrive at Nagarcot. Nagarcot was once the retreat of the Shah Kings and Prime Ministers of Nepal. We stop off at a restaurant that has to have the best view in the world. It has large windows with a view across the valleys and mountains with the Himalayas in the background. The food here caters to westerners so I have a chicken chasseur, Rita goes for a asparagus soup and Digambar opts for the same as me. As we wait for our food Digambar leads us up onto the roof terrace for a fantastic open air view of the Himalayas. We admire the view for about 10-15 min's before making our way back down to the restaurant for our lunch. In chatting with Digambar, we discover that he used to be a tour/trekking guide for a lot of the mountains in the Himalayas and after falling out with his dishonest business partner, he asked to be bought out and with his proceeds set up his hotel. Although chatting to him it is obvious that his heart and his soul is still somewhere up in the mountains as when he tells us about them it is as if they are living creatures and that they are his friends. After lunch we set off on a little mini trek with Digambar up the mountain for about an hour so that we can get an uninterrupted view of the Himalayas, as the view from the restaurant is slightly marred by the fact that there other buildings in it's eyeline. We arrive at an Hotel, which by chance is run by a friend and former employee of Digambar, much to his surprise. He invites us onto the roof terrace where the view can only be described as breathtaking. Digambar's friend brings us up Nepalese Masala Tea which is made with ginger and cardamoms, served sweet. It is delicious and warms us up as the cold wind starts to pick up. Digambar's friend points out a small winding pathway that goes off into the distance and disappears into the Himalayas. He informs us that if you follow that track in 3-4 days you will reach Tibet and until the recent building or the direct road to Tibet, it was the main trade route between the two countries. We watch the start of the sunset and the constant changing colours of the Himalayan mountains as the sun moves and starts to set behind us. We head back down the stairs of the Hotel and thank Digambar's friend for his tea and hospitality and then trek back to the car. As we drive back down the mountains, the sun sets and gives us a stunning light show over the Kathmandu valley. As we get to the outskirts of Kathmandu we are caught up in a traffic jam that holds us up for a further two hours before we get back to the Hotel at about 7pm. We order some food and drink to the room and fall asleep, tired from all our walking and activity for the day.

Well that is the end of week three, we are three quarters the way through our trip, one week to go.

To jump straight to a particular week - week 1 , week 2 , week 3, week 4