Friday, May 2nd
After breakfast in the hotel we met the taxi driver we had arranged with yesterday to drive us to Dhulikhel. He charged us the equivalent of about 20 US Dollars for it. There was quite a lot of traffic in Kathmandu, but it cleared up as soon as we left the city. The landscape started to became quite hilly.

THis apparently is the largest Shiva statue in the world.

Dhulikhel is a small town at the edge of the Himalayas to the North-East of Kathmandu. The whole countryside is dominated by terraced fields, which seem to cover every little corner of every mountain and hill around here.

We stayed at the Dhulikhel Mountain Resort, which is in a beautiful spot with amazing views over the surrounding valleys. The resort consists of little red bungalows set among lush gardens near the top of a hill.

We had lunch in the resort and then embarked on our afternoon hike. We started from the hotel and one of the hotel porters walked with us along the road for about 10 minutes in order to show us the start of the trail. The trail took us uphill quite steeply. Near the top of the ridge we found a small shrine with prayer flags strung between the trees. From there on the trail flattened out and we walked through some fields before reaching a road. Unsure which direction to go we just walked along the road for about an hour which took us through a couple more villages and past some guest houses. We did not find the shrine we were trying to reach, so we just turned around and hiked towards the town of Dhulikhel (along the way we did spot the large buddha statue we had been looking for much higher up the mountain).

The city of Dhulikhel
There is something slightly strange about the architecture here. Even though there is lots of space and most houses are free standing, almost all are at least three or four stories high. They all look a bit like townhouses left in the middle of the countryside. It just seemed a bit odd to be building so high, when you have plenty of space.

We walked through town and then hoped to find a taxi to take us back to the resort. But that proved unsuccessful (largely due to the lack of English on the locals’ part, and of course our complete lack of Nepalese). So we ended up walking the last 4 km along the road back to the resort. This was the main highway from Kathmandu to Tibet, and there was was lot of traffic. It was actually quite interesting, seeing the colorfully painted trucks and totally overcrowded buses with people on the roofs, driving at breakneck speed along the narrow and winding road. It was a bit adventurous to be walking along this road as we had to jump out of the way of a speeding truck more than once.

  I hope “traising” the Lord will help him survive this road.
Back at the resort we had a couple of cocktails on the terrace and finished a great day with a very nice dinner in the hotel restaurant.

Saturday, May 3rd
After breakfast we went on another short 1.5 hour hike through some villages nearby. Everywhere we went children were asking us for candy, chocolate or pencils (we should bring some pencils with us next time we come here). But they were not very persistent and left us alone quickly when we said, ‘no chocolate sorry’.

After our morning hike we had lunch in the resort, and paid our bills (which was slightly more complicated than expected, because the credit card machine didn’t work, but we just managed to scrape together enough cash to pay for everything). We then got the car we had booked through the hotel to take us back to Kathmandu with a sightseeing stop-over in Bakthapur.


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