colours of kathmandu…
It grows on you…Kathmandu, or “Kathman-chaos” as we affectionately labelled it during our time there recently. For us it was the launching point of our Himalayan trekking adventure, a place to pick up last-minute necessities and afterwards, a place to celebrate our accomplishments with a post-trek G&T or two! It’s also a place, we found, that’s so intense with the mixed hustle/bustle of locals and touristos, that you literally feel like you’ve been slapped across the face with “life” every time you leave the calm sanctuary of your guesthouse (highly recommend ‘Thamel Eco Resort’ & ‘Ambassador Garden Hotel’ by the way).
Amidst this hive of activity and while navigating the maze of same looking Thamel district streets, we were met time and again by the familiar greeting ‘namaste’ meaning welcome, accompanied by a warm smile and genuine interest in where we had come from and where we’re headed next. I expect the response we provided was no different from 90% of the other visitors wandering around who were either sporting an air of excitement and anticipation at the prospect of soon leaving on their trek, or with a tired but smug look of satisfaction having completed the aforementioned challenge. This said, the enthusiastic energy the Nepalese folk put into their exchanges with us belied the fact that we were just another conversation in a long line of yet similar conversations for shop-keeper, rickshaw driver or tour guide alike. When you’re treated in this special way, you feel special, and we did.
So many sights, sounds, smells to absorb and the photos we have will no doubt help transport us back to this vibrant, chaotic city from time to time, but a few things that really resonated for us, in no particular order, were;
- the taste of dusty streets from which there was no reprieve
- constantly trying to dodge foot, bicycle and vehicular traffic (and not always succeeding)
- marigolds and tika’s in honour of the magical ‘Dashain’ festival that was taking place at the time
- stupas and flags, temples and cows…and the harmonious existence of the people who not only respect, but support and celebrate each others beliefs
and let’s not forget of course the colours, a sense of which is impossible to relay in words, which is why I’ve attempted to do it in pictures below!
(click on image to enlarge)
Unfortunately the camera chip carrying 600 x ‘Everest Trek’ related shots is currently with a data recovery specialist as it arrived home corrupt. So stay tuned and fingers crossed there will be some tangible evidence of the 12 days we spent taking in the fantastic scenery while battling our way up to the big hill.