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Jun 11

Kathmandu…

First impressions of Kathmandu matched what had been described by friends who had been before…bustling, hectic streets with scooters and bikes vying for space amongst run down vehicles and the occasional group of sunbathing cows! Dusty roads are lined with broken down and half constructed buildings, shabby shop signs, colourful materials for sale and rubbish heaps picked over by the cities poorest inhabitants. In the distance every now and then I could catch a glimpse of a golden temple or an intricate statue, almost camouflaged by the manic array of life and squalor surrounding it.

It may seem that I am painting a grim picture, but in actual fact altogether it has a charming and vibrant feel. I was met by Nava, from the Elite Hotel, who was hospitable to a fault, and kept me entertained for the taxi ride to the Thamel district. He seems a very resourceful guy, an ex-trekking guide now running his own travel advice/trekking business as well as his work for the hotel.

Sadly, having not yet changed dollars to rupees, and having no Lonely Planet to guide me I have no idea if and how much I should be tipping! After my very long and sleepless journey from London I haven’t the energy to work it out so have retreated promptly to my room, most likely offending my kind hosts with my apparent lack of genorosity! Too tired to worry about this now and with plans to rectify the matter when I wake, I collapse on my bed and crash out.

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.clairemariethomas.com/2011/06/kathmandu/

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