Admin – Nepali style

A leisurely jetlag-induced start sees us planning to organise the rest of the week. A pleasant ‘light and nice’ breakfast, then off to get bus tickets, ACAP permits and Swayambunath – the monkey temple.

Nepali protestNepali protest

After finding the ACAP office closed and relocated to the Nepal Tourism Board, we asked for directions, didn’t quite understand, but set-off confidently, only to get caught in a demonstration of some sort. Blue camouflage-clad police with feeble riot shields and bamboo sticks scuffled rather than clashed with protesters. A lot of walking in midday heat eventually revealed the ACAP office where we were told that we needed more passport photos. A rather dusty and smelly walk in the blazing sun led us to a small photo lab, but not before a ‘helpful’ local ushered us into his place, tried to charge double and stole my one remaining photo. We were getting tired and irritable at this point, so were greatly relieved to finally receive our passes and TIMS cards.

Monkeys watching knackered touristsMonkeys watching knackered tourists

Lunch at Ganesh, then a pleasant stroll to Swayambunath, the monkey temple. It was getting late in the day and the long wobbly staircase was a bit daunting, but greeted by energetic monkeys and with steady progress, we climbed up. Turned out to be perfect timing as the sun slowly set over Kathmandu – spectacular views and a beautifully peaceful place, in spite of the tourists and screaming kids.

Multicoloured prayer flags rippling in the breeze. Gentle warmth of a setting sun lighting up the stupa, bringing colours to life, radiating energy before fading to a dull blue and slinking into the night.

Sunset over KathmanduSunset over Kathmandu

Prayer flags at dusk - the wind carries the prayers to the heavensPrayer flags at dusk - the wind carries the prayers to the heavens

Dusk from SwayambunathDusk from Swayambunath