Chaos and Cows in Kathmandu

There is so much to say about my eye-opening trip around Nepal and India that I don’t know where to begin… and as I have since flown back into my wonderful but incredibly busy real life, I will need to keep my blogs brief if I ever want to get them done.  I plan on relying on the saying that a picture is worth a thousand words and overloading you with my photos with just a bit of textual commentary.  So… recap: Mum and I went to Nepal and India on a Gecko’s tour.  It was amazing.  Now I’ll drop you right into the thick of it with a photographic explanation of our time in Nepal’s capital of Kathmandu.  Actually, I should provide some introduction.  As we were flying into Kathmandu we were chatting to a lady from Australia who is currently working as a music therapist in Nepal.  She said that (and I really mean to cause no offense), “Kathmandu is a bit of a shithole, but it’s the nicest shithole you’ll ever find.  Something about it keeps bringing me back.”  When we landed, I got some idea of what she meant.  It was dirty.  There was garbage, mud and rubble everywhere (seriously, I have never seen so much unexplained rubble!).  Amoungst all this though were some wonderful smiling people who continually offered me tea and who genuinely love their country.  When i tripped on the uneven street outside a man’s shop and burst open my toe, he brought me in and bandaged my toe without asking me to buy anything from him (I did anyway, he made lovely pants).

In short: Nepal is amazing.  Photo time:

Just landed at Kathmandu airport
Just landed at Kathmandu airport
A street in Thamel
A street in Thamel (see all the rubble?!)
Bathing area
Bathing area near our hotel
Dinner on our first night in Nepal
Dinner on our first night in Nepal
Found a cow on our way to Durbar Squares
Found a cow on our way to Durbar Squares
Outside the temple of the living goddess
Outside the temple of the living goddess (there was a little girl in there who is a Kumari… look it up)
To an outsider, it seems like almost all animals are gods in Hinduism.  Rats are the vehicle of Lrd Ganesha.
To an outsider, it seems like almost all animals are gods in Hinduism. Rats are the vehicle of Lord Ganesha.
The "hippie temple"
The “hippie temple”

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So many pigeons!
So many pigeons!
Sitting outside the erotic temple.  Our guide told us that in some point in history Nepal had a problem with not enough population growth, so they started building erotic temples and the problem sorted itself out!
Sitting outside the erotic temple. Our guide told us that in some point in history Nepal had a problem with not enough population growth, so they started building erotic temples and the problem sorted itself out!

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Sitting in a rickshaw in 100% humidity and 30-something degrees, negotiating the crazy streets of Thamel
Sitting in a rickshaw in 100% humidity and 30-something degrees, negotiating the crazy streets of Thamel
Everyone carried things with their heads...
Everyone carried things with their heads…
Ghats at Pashupatinath Temple
Ghats at Pashupatinath Temple
Wood ready for a cremation at Ghats at Pashupatinath Temple
Wood ready for a cremation at Ghats at Pashupatinath Temple
As we stood there a cremation began, it was so moving to see the rituals of another culture dealing with their dead
As we stood there a cremation began, it was so moving to see the rituals of another culture dealing with their dead

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More cows...
More cows…
I saw a monkey breastfeeding!
I saw a monkey breastfeeding!
Smoke from a cremation
Smoke from a cremation

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This man was trying to sell me a prayer bowl for a good hour.  We got to chatting about everything from Australian politics to his family.  I eventually bought the bowl.
This man was trying to sell me a prayer bowl for a good hour. We got to chatting about everything from Australian politics to his family. I eventually bought the bowl.

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Prayer flags at Boudhanath Stupa
Prayer flags at Boudhanath Stupa
Mum enjoying the breeze at the beautiful Boudhanath Stupa
Mum enjoying the breeze at the beautiful Boudhanath Stupa

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This was the first time we were asked by a random group of Indians to have our photo with them... but it was not the last.
This was the first time we were asked by a random group of Indians to have our photo with them… but it was not the last.

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It was very hot an I wanted an iced tea.  I ordered a basil ice-tea to go with my momos to be adventurous.  It tasted like pesto.  I drank the whole thing.
It was very hot an I wanted an iced tea. I ordered a basil ice-tea to go with my momos to be adventurous. It tasted like pesto. I drank the whole thing.
we need to figure out how to get bins to be a common thing in Nepal.  it's sch a beautiful country and the garbage does not match.
we need to figure out how to get bins to be a common thing in Nepal. it’s sch a beautiful country and the garbage does not match.

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