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Ahh, Kathmandu ...

Those who have been to Kathmandu will understand. For those who haven't it's hard to simply describe. Chaotic and a bit grotty at one level, beautiful and intriguing at another. Mostly very friendly even if the language is well beyond those of us from faraway shores. A "namaste" and a "dhanyabad" goes a long way.

I arrived very late on Friday night, but the process through immigration and onto the Radisson was a smooth as could be hoped. That left the last three days to meet the travel group and explore. With one exception we're all of a similar age and collectively there's a lot of travel experience all through the Himalaya and many wider parts of the world. More than half the group are either family or very long term friends of the Dillons, and the rest of us (bar possibly one) have some connection back into the AHF. There are invariably stresses and strains when a group of relative strangers are thrown together, but I suspect at this early stage they'll be few and far between.

The trip didn't officially start until yesterday, so apart from meeting a few of the folk on Saturdaymorning I looked after myself for the day. Apart from the almost obligatory wander through Thamel, I went to explore Basantapur (as Kathmandu's Durbar Square is more properly known), then onto Boudhanath, one of my favouritest places on the planet. A few photos follow, first of Basantapur, which I was pleased to see had been largely restored since the last time I was here (in 2018, not long after the 2015 earthquake).

Then at Boudhanath:

And some words of wisdom . .

Sunday (yesterday) was the first group activity, first to Pashupatinath Temple, the largest and one of the Hindu temple templesin the world. Non Hindus are not permitted inside the temple itself, but a wander around the perimeter is allowed. It's full of colour, life and death. Some may find it a bit squeamish...

Then it was back to Boudhanath - no more photos necessary.

Today's highlight was a trip to Patan, which I don't recall visiting before. That was preceeded by a visit to Swayambunath (the "Monkey Temple").

Kathmandu from Swayambunath.

At Patan, which I must go back to and explore more ...