Yesterday we went to Bhakapur, more very old and impressive temples and pagodas and palace dwellings, 3 to 400 years old. Jennifer said it well when asked by a local what had impressed her about Nepal - that it had never been colonized which was a great advantage as it's culture etc was in tact but it also meant it had missed out on the infrastructure that colonialism brings! So right there appear to be very few systems in place to cater for the growth that has happened - narrow badly maintained roads, no waste management, unbelievably chaotic electrical wiring - like an informal settlement's entangled web of wiring, but on steroids, everywhere - thick ugly ropes of wiring along the roads and between the narrow buildings.
I am often struck by the similarities to parts of Africa - familiar trees - surprisingly many flowering jacarandas, rhododendrons, London poplars, syringas, huge strangler figs, bottle brush and many others whose names I don't know. Along the main roads are the equivalent of spass shops - an endless stream of crowded shop fronts selling everything spiking out onto the road there are no side walks or pavements and as one walks along the alley ways and roads one has to be constantly aware of cars, motorbikes, rickshas, taxis plus the potholed uneven road and sleeping dogs!!
The women are always working at something - making clay pots, separating the wheat - while we were driving I spotted a woman standing in front of a standard fan tossing wheat in a flat basket and using the moving air from the fan to separate the chaff! Little girls not more than 5, carry bottles to fetch water from communal sources while their brothers throw stones on the banks where mealies struggle to grow! I haven't seen squatter shacks as such but their are some very humble dwellings sometimes right next to 3 and 4 story homes. Akkal our driver says there are not affluent areas where 'rich' people live rather all in together.
Our stay has been really comfortable - Jennifer did us a huge favour by stating she could not sleep in the first room we were shown as it had mould ( which I had not even noticed!) so we were moved after lookiing at a second room to a really great room just below the viewing deck complete with two large windows with fantastic views - go Jen!!
It was very quiet compared to hurtle premium where we constantly heard the city dogs barking - it seemed they set a communication system - like in 1001 Dalmatians! They set off barking and howling and just when you thought they'd never stop they would as suddenly shut up - quite weird. I have seen only one instance of an intercity between humans and dogs altho they are everywhere - a smiling woman was carrying a dog - for the rest they are not abused just ignored it seems. at the VIN office two dogs spend their days in an elevated cage to be let out at night when they have the run of the place. We have been strictly warned not to approach the dogs as most are not inoculated - for the most part, they're a pretty sorry lot without much appeal anyway!!
So will post this and then off to get ready for the hike back!! Have a super day - it promises to be very hot here with low visibility so let's see - ha ha!!