This is written back in Prince George, all from memory. We left Chitwan heading for Katmandu, the road strike was over, and people were aloud to use the roads. Apparently this is something that happens all the time and really has little bearing on the life of a Nepalese. The drive was long, about 6 hours, and we went up a steep road. It was like driving in the Fraser Canyon, but the view was different, and better. Then we arrive in Katmandu just before dinner time.

Sadhus, the holy men of Hindu.

We see some of the sights in Katmandu, which are cool, but we are too excited to get to some civilization we don’t really notice anything. In hindsight, I wish that we spent more time to see more things. We didn’t go to Dunbar square, we didn’t go to the monkey temple. We did go to the biggest Buddha stupha in Nepal and the Biggest Hindu Temple in Nepal. Both of which were cool and interesting. When we went to the Hindu temple it was like we stepped though a portal. The people were more pushy, more demanding and more persistent sales people. It was like we were back in India. Very weird. There was a snake charming thing going on as well, about 6 guys, sitting down, blowing in flutes, snakes moving about.

I took some pictures, got up really close and then this guy comes over to me, put a boa constrictor around my neck. I thought it was pretty cool, I have no fear of snakes, not Boa’s at least. Then he gives me his hand and is like, “come on up here.” Being the brave Canadian Forester I am, I do. He sits me down, puts a funny hat on me, gets me to put out my hands and then places a container in it.

So, you want how many rupees to get this snake off my neck?

He pulls the lid of the container off and the King Cobra comes out of it….A boa is one thing, a king cobra is another, and then this guy goes and tells me that the jungle is a dangerous place, and that I need to be careful. In fact, he tells me that I need to pay Rs2000 (30USD). I then realized what the heck is going on here.

You want what? rupees?

This is a scam, but there is this cobra in front of me, and I really didn’t know what to do. I do the only thing I know how, I negotiate with him. I tell him that 2000 is too much. We argue about this for a while, and then I say all I have on me is Rs200 (a lie, I just changed money and have Rs8000). I remember that I put my money is my pocket a special way, so I go into my pocket and pull out two bills. There are both Rs100 bills. “This is all I have” I say to the guy. He accepts (I guess it is better than nothing), he takes the Cobra and the Boa away and I get off of the plat form. Kind of shaky, all I wanted to do was get away from that. What a rush, very cool.

The rest of our time in Katmandu was hanging out, eating the best food we had since we left, the food tin Katmandu was just great, and they had all the things you could want, real cheese (all they have in India and Nepal is Paneer, which is not real cheese) different types of meet other than mutton (goat) and chicken, Italian spices. It was great. The next day we start our next trip which was the Annapurna Circuit.

Posted from Kathmandu, Central Region, Nepal
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