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The 2005 Everest Journals, Ready For The Trail. 

By: Mike Swarbrick.

Sat. Mar. 26th, 2005.  3:15 p.m. EST., (2:00 a.m. Nepal).

 Well, itís our final day in Kathmandu. Iím going to miss this wild city and the many new friends Iíve made, but weíre on to bigger and better things. Our video broadcasts from the Kathmandu Guest House roof to Ottawa have been a cause for curiosity among the Nepali staff and international guests, many of whom have never seen such a plethora of technological equipment.

     Yesterday we took time to tour some of the older sections of the city, beginning with the Monkey Temple. The grandest stupa of them all stands here, a large oval adobe structure adorned with intricate carvings, a great many prayer wheels all topped off with  a tall spire adorned with the traditional all seeing eyes.

     Our next stop was at the Pashupati crematorium, a World Heritage Site of Hindu origin. Some of the temples here, I am told, date back to the seventh century. At Pashupati, there are a number of busy funeral platforms at the rivers edge. Old people make there way to this holy site to await death when it appears to be imminent. They are offered accommodation at a hostel provided by the Kingdom until their passing. After death, the body is ceremoniously cleaned by family members at the rivers edge before being placed on a carefully prepared wood fire after which their ashes are committed to this tributary of the sacred Ganges River.

   Our next stop was at another World Heritage Site known as Bhaktapur. Here there are no less than twenty-one temples, devoted to both Hindu and Buddhist Gods. This 6.88 square kilometer littlecity, just 12 kmís. East of Kathmandu, was founded in the 12th century by King Anand Dev Malla. Bhaktapur is renowned for itís elegant art, fabulous culture and many festivals. We helped the locals in celebrating the Festival Of Colours,  a.k.a. Holi Day, by letting them paint our faces red and by taking part in friendly water fights.

     Well, pack-out time is in 2 hours for our early flight to Lukla, so Iím going to cut you loose for now and get a couple of hours sleep.

So, now it beginsÖ Wish us well.

Namaste! Mike.     

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