First, sorry for the lapse in time since my last post. Internet in Nepal is slow, plus I did not bring the mouse for my lap top. Combining the two meant too much trouble and time to keep up the blog. We are back in Sharjah now, so expect a bunch of posts in a short while.
It is about two hours and a hundred years outside of Kathmandu. It sits at 2100 meters. The reason to come here is the views of the Langtang portion of the Himal. Himal, that is what the mountain climbers call the Himalaya. I’m becoming a local. I even bought a pair of used mountaineering glasses which supposedly went up to Everest. No boots though. I’m just pretending.
Nagarkot is a place the guidebooks say is a must see, but they say there is no use staying here for more than one night. Once you have seen the view, that’s it. Me? So far I think I would like to live here. It is very reminiscent of one of my favorite places on earth, Big Sur. No ocean, but it is very quiet and cool. Pine trees, hawks, and a lot of birds.
The hotel we are in sits on top of everything. Down below us are a couple other hotels, one of which has a big old hippy bus parked next to it. Right now, as I sit on the deck, it is cloudy. No view. But I can feel the sun trying to burn it off so we get the views. Word is that the 6 a.m. sunrise over the Himal is absolutely incredible, so we will get up early and have hope. I figure I have been good to all the Holy Men I have met so far, respectful in all the temples, so I might have some Karma in the bank. I have my fingers crossed.
OK so it is 6 A. M. and no mountains, bummer. I hear this even happens to people who trek for six or seven days to Everest base camp, only to have the entire mountain clouded over. Weather is a big factor in life everywhere, so just get Buddhist about it and take things as they come.
OK so it is 7 A. M. For a few minutes a part of the range made an appearance. I took a few photos, excuse me that they are not so good. I took a photo of a large poster they have here which shows what I should be looking at.
It is now time for some coffee and a good book. Our driver will show up when he shows up. Then we are going to take a short tour of the town called Nagarkot. In Nepal’s history there were a lot of warring city-states that dominated areas, 3 or 4 of them in the Kathmandu valley. Nagarkot was one of these. When it was powerful the local potentate commissioned some amazing architecture and that is what we will see.
Meanwhile I am reading a novel called Escape From Kathmandu. It was written in 1989 by a guy named Kim Stanley Robinson who obviously spent some time in Nepal. It is my style of writing, irreverent and goofy. So far the protagonists (a couple of space cadet yanks who are trekking guides and their sidekick who happens to be 500 years old) have captured a Yeti on his way to the zoo and set him free. Then they kept a group of people from bringing George Mallory’s body off of Everest and gave him a fitting burial where he died. A little history here. Mallory may well be the first person to summit Everest but not only didn’t he live to tell about it, he left nothing behind, like his camera or anything on the summit to prove it. If this novel is correct, Mallory was also the guy who said “because it is there”, and not Hillary. Now these guys are trying to save Shambala, otherwise known as Shangri-la from the encroaching development of 20th century do gooders. A fun read. And by the way, Everest was the name of the chief British cartographer back in the day when they still needed to name things. The real name of the mountain is Chomolungma. That means, in a Tibetan language, Mother Earth Goddess. Sounds a lot better than the name of some bureaucrat.
Ahhh, the coffee shop just opened. Gotta go feed the habit.
Now some photos of Nagarkot