That coach journey was hard, so, two weeks later, we came back by air, taking the Yeti Airways flight from Pokhara. Though that too wasn’t without drama.
As before, we stayed at the wonderful Kantipur Temple House, just one night this time, our stay was short and sweet. The airport transfer much the same, thankful not to be bartering, rush hour in Kathmandu, our driver excited to practice his English. Grey macaques scampered amongst the rooftops.
Tired from our adventure, we roamed the shops looking for a “Never ending peace and love” postcard, or an ornate brass lock and key, or a pair of open wooden hands - all mementos that held meaning for us, we found none. And after falling down a step and jarring my ankle, we returned to our old favourite, Third Eye, to enjoy our last evening meal in Nepal.
Sam had made plans for the morning, we’d get up early, explore Kathmandu, buy some souvenirs and be back in time for a 2pm pickup. Maybe go to Durbar square again, or a day trip somewhere new. In reality we got up late and didn’t leave the hotel, and we were happy about this. We did however find time to buy one of the lovely copper jugs this hotel uses.
Samantha took a meditation and yoga class in the hotel garden, while I spoke with the owner of the establishment — a curt businessman, we shared an enthusiasm for environmentalism and tradition.
We took lunch in the courtyard. Fries and momos, chicken choila, a chatamari and lassis. We started our trip with a Newari meal, and ended with one — the only Newari we found. Chatamaris are a type of crepe and topped with egg, like an omelette with a crispy pancake base. Scrumptious.
Before we were ready to leave our taxi was whisking us away, past the monkey temples and back to the airport for our Etihad flight home.
It wouldn’t be travel in Nepal without a little drama — like a rerun of Pokhara, we boarded the plane and watched as a great storm engulfed us. Behind me a family argued, they refused to strap in their crying 3 year old. Then the hailstones started, a deluge on the runway, “Kathmandu airport is closed” the pilot warned. Would we fly home today? After an hour delay the storm had passed and we were on our way, “I wish you an unforgettable flight”, our pilot says as he warms up the engines. Thankfully it was all entirely forgettable. We were whisked away to Abu Dhabi, and on to Brighton, and home again, back to our working lives.