A Lovely breakfast and we head off to Boudhanath

Previous page - Finding Birendra's house

 

Waking up to interesting noises

To save Birendra’s wife any extra work we decided to use our sleeping bags rather than use the family’s bedding. It was warm at the start of the night so we had unzipped our sleeping bags and slept just on the bottom of the sleeping bag. As the night progressed and cooled off a little we were able to pull the top part of the sleeping bag over our bodies. It worked well until daylight arrived.

There is no chance of sleeping in here with dogs barking, roosters crowing, mosque bells ringing and, what sounded like, a trumpet playing. We had our ear plugs in too. Birendra kindly made us omelettes for breakfast and we had a lazy start to our day.

 

Sheep were one of the interesting things we saw on our walk to Birendra's office We walked past sheep in their shelters
Busy street scene on our walk to Birendra's office Busy street scene

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Business comes first

Our first stop was a walk to Birendra’s office as we wanted to pay him the balance we owed him for our Tibet tour and for hotel accommodation whilst in other parts of Nepal. With that all tidied up Birendra wanted to take us to Boudhanath and then later to Monkey Temple.

 

Boudhanath

Boudhanath is a very sacred site and is about 11 kilometres from the centre of Kathmandu. We will be going there to see the massive stupa. In 1979 Boudhanath was named a UNESCO World Heritage site so we knew we would be seeing something special. Apparently it was an important stopping point for Tibetan merchants who plied the ancient trade routes for many centuries. It is the holiest Tibetan Buddhist temple outside of Tibet. Here is a link where you can read all about the history of Boudhanath.

Birendra organized a taxi and we set off for the short journey. To say it was a hair raising ride was an understatement. The drivers here move around the streets like mad men. A few days later a taxi driver was telling us that 75% of drivers in Kathmandu get their licences by illegal means, i.e. they bribe someone to get them. Consequently most drivers have not had proper driving lessons and are unaware or disregard even basic road rules. I guess you could say it was organized chaos. Fortunately we didn’t see any accidents though.

It cost us 150 Rs. (about $2 AUD) to enter the grounds. My gosh it was certainly a huge stupa. We wandered around the outside and on top of it. It is a very picturesque area. After a while Birendra suggested lunch at one of the roof top cafés. He pointed out a building with large red and white umbrellas at the top of it - Cafe du Temple. We thought it was an excellent suggestion. Even under the large umbrellas it was still quite hot in Boudhanath. Jeremy ordered pizza, Birendra had a fried rice meal and Ian and I both had a chicken and mayonnaise toasted sandwich, chips and salad. It was a good choice of restaurant for lunch.

 

We visit the famous Boudhanath Stupa Boudhanath Stupa
Restaurant where Birendra took us for lunch Great place for lunch on a hot day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We wandered around some of the shops that surround the stupa. Jeremy bought a bangle for Tanya. It was supposed to be real Tibetan silver. The seller wanted 1200 Rs. for it to start with but settled for 500 Rs. (about $6 AUD) after Birendra bargained on our behalf. Surely real silver would not be that cheap. We didn’t want to ask or know the answer. It was pretty – that was the main thing.

 

Next page - Monkey Temple

 

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