Monday, 11 August 2014

Day18 - Wanderings.

Woke at stupid o clock but managed to get back to sleep for a while. Up and dressed then went to Durbar Square as today is another festival. It was noticeably more subdued - this festival is to remember those who have passed away in the last year (and previously) and consists of a large procession through the streets of Patan. It was very colourful once again but the mood wasn't as festive; more contemplative.

I had a good look around then headed to Casa Pagoda for breakfast overlooking the square. I had the Indian breakfast of lassi, puri, vegetable curry, omelette and tea.
after an hour or so things started to liven up so I went back to the centre of the square and climbed up onto one of the temple platforms to have a better view. I stayed there for a good half hour just watching what was happening. Many people were dressed in white which is the colour of mourning in Nepal. Some were in very ornate dress, especially the children who were given small gifts of Fanta, bread or sweets by worshippers. Some people had headdresses on with a cow's face on the front and a picture of Ganesh on the back and with two "horns" of coloured windmills. Priests came out from the temples and sat under umbrellas. There were several bands and people playing instruments and a dancer who made me dizzy with his whirling.

Patan wind band!

Mobile Band

After about an hour I felt I needed a drink break and wandered through the back streets eventually ending up at Casa Pagoda once again. One iced latte and lemon soda later and I was refreshed. I walked through Durbar Square and all the crowds had dispersed, presumably on the procession round Patan.

I wandered down Laginkhel Road and looked in all the shops. There were metal workers, jewellers and the most wonderful material shops which are a sewer's dream. I browsed in several of them and found the saris material was chiffon or silk and the kirtas are cotton. The Kirta are sold as lengths of material - you have to sew them up at home! They are beautifully decorated with embroidery and I am looking forward to buying some. Unfortunately my watch strap broke again so I tried a few jewellers to see if they could help. They were all extremely grumpy and unhelpful.

I detoured off the main street to the minor streets behind and found whole communities and specialised shops, including a sewing machine shop. It was quieter in these streets but people were sitting out and chatting. I eventually worked my way back round to Durbar Square then to Swotha for a much needed pot of tea.
Sewing Machine Shop

Patan is the metal work district,.

Goodness only knows what else they fit!

Not a laundrette but a local chemist!

After the tea I walked down to Kumbeshwar Temple to find that the water has already been drained out of the two ponds and the lingam dismantled. I went into a shop I have walked past every day to school and bought a carved wooden wall clock that I had been admiring.

On returning to the apartment I followed Bikesh's advice and booked a night at a luxury resort in Dhulikel (my plan-let!), just on the rim of the Kathmandu Valley. I am looking forward to it and am hopeful of some mountain views.

The rest of the afternoon was spent reading and drinking water then I met Anastasia for dinner at Cheenos. A really lovely day exploring the local area.

As I was walking along the road to meet Anastasia I met the procession returning to Durbar square. Here are some photos. This was followed by paneer skewers with rice and tomato sauce (proper not ketchup!) and coffee ice cream. Fab evening!



  1. More beautiful pictures and fabulous experiences Jane.

  2. I think I'd like to visit Nepal. If you give up teaching you can get a job as a travel agent, for sure. Gerald

  3. Hi Jane. I am finding your blog so interesting and the pictures are wonderful. I particularly enjoy reading about your time in school.
    You seem to be having such a rich mix of experiences - I'm glad your bites are better - not such a fun time. Keep blogging! Chris Divall

  4. Jane your blog is so interesting and what wonderful pictures!