|Women and children queueing. The people in front of the rope were begging, giving tikka and merchants.|
|I love the umbrellas - sun shades rather than against rain this time.|
I went up to the Shade Collection which is a silver jewellers to have a look at the bracelets. I had seen one which I really liked. The collection was beautiful and the bracelet was tourmaline and silver and exquisite. However, on enquiring I found it was 24,000rs, about £240!! Too much. I had a look at the earrings which were similarly beautiful and expensive and left without buying anything.
I walked up to Patan Durbar Square past many stalls selling everything from spices to clothing to key rings and to Cafe du Temple for breakfast. I am sick and tired of eggs in every form so it was with great relief that I found muesli with the local curd on the menu and it was delicious. I sat and read for a while and watched the line of men edging forward to the temple. For some reason they separated the men and women out and the two lines came from opposite directions.
|A shop selling thanka (Buddhist religious art)|
|Selling peacock feathers for luck,.|
|In the Krishna Mandir|
I wandered through the square and had red tikka applied to my forehead by a man who then insisted on being paid - I gave him 15rs rather than the 100rs he was demanding. I was also offered peacock feathers but explained that in the UK they can be considered bad luck although here they are good luck.
|Stalls selling all sorts of things.|
|Items for puja.|
|The men and boys' line. The girl in green is a Nepalese Scout in her uniform. They were helping to control the crowds.|
|Small shrine set up in Durbar Square, later the scene of much singing and cheering.|
|Lighting candles outside the temple.,|
I had put today aside for buying gifts and I made my way to the Lagankhel Road and back to one of the material shops I had visited last week. There I purchased embroidered material for myself and Mum. I then walked through the back streets purchasing little things for everyone and finally making my way to Swotha Kiosk for some well earned tea.
|For Dad - local version of Feasts!|
|Swotha Square turned into a motorbike park. Later it was full of people having singing and drumming contests.|
After a break and returning to the apartment to drop off the shopping I headed back out to Durbar Square for a delicious lunch of vegetable pakodas - rather like onion bhajis but mixed vegetables with tomato sauce to dip them in - and an iced coffee. Then I was intending to walk round a bit more but the streets and square were much much more crowded and not pleasant. I bought some essentials (toilet roll, water, twix!) then fought my way across the square to the gate to the apartment. This was locked and my keys had slipped to the bottom of my bag but I was rescued by one of the Cosy Nepal owner's wives and returned to the room.
|Selling snacks of beaten rice, corn and puris,.|
|Making fruit slush- the wheel grinds up the ice then the bottles hold cordial which is poured over to flavour it.|
|The increased crowds in Durbar Square|
|More items for puja.|
I decided not to go out again due to the crowds so had a relaxing afternoon playing patience, reading and watching an episode of Bake Off on You Tube. I also manged to Skype mum and Paul. It's very noisy outside with drums, singing, tambourines and flutes and much jollity and apparently it goes on all night! I've been told that the night market and dancing is worth a look but I think I will see how thick the crowds are as I'm a bit apprehensive about going out with so many people...I think you have to choose your risks. This is definitely a more rowdy festival than those last weekend. The first at the Kumbeshwar Temple was joyful; the second, "cow" festival was more sombre remembering the dead and this one is one huge party from what I can gather.
School again tomorrow and I'm going to have to wing it a bit as I left all my planning at school before having 2 days at home unwell. I have some ideas ready and I know that the afternoon is ICT and another scrabble masterclass with the children....my knitting lessons continue on Tuesday!!