Kathmandu - Leanna Immel and the Monkey Temple of Doom

Kathmandu Travel Blog

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Streets of Thamel

Although we absolutely cherish Hotel Utse, our first night's sleep was a little rough and included the following:

1. waking up at 3:00 am to put on bug spray after getting several bites on exposed areas!

2. a bar down the street blasting American hip-hop

3. cars honking (no surprise here)

4. dogs barking

5. people yelling

6. the loudest pigeon we've ever come across (and Larry trying to establish male dominance so it might leave, "Listen pigeons...!")

I guess this is why we brough ear plugs.

 

After a yummy Utse breakfast, nice and early, we headed out through the city. First we wanted to meet up with a travel agent we had been in contact with, Mr. Razzu of Samsara Journeys (a branch of Device Tours & Travels).

Our beloved Hotel Utse
His offices were very nice and everything seemed to work out well. He had a lot of recommendations for us for our time in Nepal and we were excited to finally begin our vacation.

However, because of the petrol strike, none of the taxis were running. We decided the best thing to do was to hit up the areas that were within walking distance, and save the farther destinations when we could get a car. First was Durbar Square. There wasn't much here that interested us, except when we scaled a small temple and sat above the square, watching the foot traffic go by. We decided to hail a rickshaw to take us to our next destination, The Monkey Temple. The Monkey Temple has a beautiful Nepali name, but for the sake of my spell check, we'll just keep it simple. The rickshaw ride there was, lets say, unique.

My unique rickshaw ride!
Considering Larry is the size of two and a half Nepali men, I think him just getting into the rickshaw was an accomplishment. So we set out in our bike-drawn carriage, with many the passerby staring at us and giggling. Things were going smoothly until we reached some uphill portions of the road. Our driver struggled mightily to get us up the hill, but to no avail. I'm pretty sure his bike would have broken if he kept at it any longer. Larry jumped off the rickshaw and got behind it, pushing as well. I, as any smart person would do, slid into the center of the rickshaw and took my rightful place as what Larry called  "the Queen of the Rickshaw". With two men pushing and pulling me to our destination, I certainly was a sight to see.
Swayambunath Stupa
We finally made it to the Monkey Temple, but to Larry's disappointment, there were no monkeys to be seen. Not to be defeated, we made our way up 365 steep stairs with a guide leading the way, pointing out interesting sculptures and spouting off facts like he was an encylopedia. The view from the temple was amazing, as we could see a good chunk of the valley.

Numerous pictures and stories later, we bid farewell to our guide and made our way back down the stairs. Just as we were leaving the temple, I spotted a monkey on the outlaying fence, to which  Larry's eyes seemd to light up. We followed him back to the gateway to see several more, sitting on Buddha statues and climbing walls. After about 20 minutes, we decided that was enough monkeying around (get it?), we started our walk back.

Luckily for me, Larry is a master of directions. It only took us 3 hours to make the 45 minute walk home. We had a good night's sleep that night....

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Streets of Thamel
Streets of Thamel
Our beloved Hotel Utse
Our beloved Hotel Utse
My unique rickshaw ride!
My unique rickshaw ride!
Swayambunath Stupa
Swayambunath Stupa
Utses rooftop garden
Utse's rooftop garden
Prayer wheels at the base of the M…
Prayer wheels at the base of the …
Beginning the long walk up
Beginning the long walk up
Mantra stones
Mantra stones
Thats a lot of stairs!
That's a lot of stairs!
View of the valley
View of the valley
Heading down from the stupa
Heading down from the stupa
Still a long way to go!
Still a long way to go!
Another view of Kathmandu
Another view of Kathmandu
Just hanging out
Just hanging out
Monkeys & Buddhas abound!
Monkeys & Buddhas abound!
Durbar Square, downtown Kathmandu
Durbar Square, downtown Kathmandu
Kathmandu
photo by: sharonburgher