The last long bus trip from Sauraha (near Royal Chitwan N.P.) to Kathmandu was a fine 5,5-hour ride. I’m amazed with the driving skills of our driver, since the roads here are literally packed with almost every mode of transportation imaginable: pedestrians, bikers, rickshaws, 3-wheel minibuses, minibuses, buses, trucks and normal cars. And overtaking traffic in blind bends seems to be the rule rather than the dangerous exception it is in Europe.
The remainder of Saturday I spent relaxing a bit in Kathmandu, and planning activities for Sunday. I woke up in the middle of the night on Sunday, took a taxi to the airport, and checked in with Buddha Air. After sunrise the small plane took off for a mountain flight above the Himalaya. I got to meet the captain in the cockpit, and he pointed out the top of the world: Mt Everest. Then the plane turned around and headed back to Kathmandu. Needless to say, I made plenty of photos.
When I got my feet back on the ground I walked to Pashupatinath, a temple where the dead get cremated. I met Peter there and after exploring Pashupatinath we walked to Bodhnath, a large Buddhist stupa. From there we took a taxi to Bhaktapur, a town with a small car-free centre full of temples and squares. We met a guy who would be our guide, but he only showed us a small part of town, before leaving us at a tourist-trap where they tried to sell us paintings. We listened to the sales pitch, but got out of there as soon as possible and explored the city on our own. A taxi brought us back to Kathmandu.
In the evening I met up with Suzanne and Kim, two girls from the Eindhoven region, who were on the same flight from London to Kathmandu. Both of them are doing 3 months of volunteer work at a hospital in Kathmandu. We had dinner and drinks at a restaurant in Kathmandu and I ate chicken for the first time in 3 weeks, since the meat could not be trusted. But being a vegetarian is not for me, that’s for sure.