Nagarkot’s enchanting Himalayan views were not in our luck, but we definitely recommend a couple of nights there.
Having had to skip our trek in the Solu Khumbu region due to a cancelled flight, we were hoping to see The Everest, at least as a glimpse from afar. We decided that at the end of our trip to Nepal, we skip Kathmandu and head up to Nagarkot for the last three nights. We did not get to see The Everest, but we think that a side trip to Nagarkot is worthwhile, though a couple of nights there would have probably been enough.
We got on the bus from Pokhara to Kathmandu early in the morning of the twenty seventh day in Nepal and arrived at our destination late in the afternoon. As soon as we were dropped off in Kathmandu, we bargained for a taxi to take us up to Nagarkot. Our taxi driver asked for NPR3000, we haggled it down to NPR2200 and headed off in his small Maruti. As the first hour went by, it become obvious that Nagarkot is a long drive away from Kathmandu and in terrible road conditions. After passing through Bhaktapur, the road got intense. The Maruti swerved and dove into large craters in the road, getting out of them in a cloud of dust and we could feel our driver’s patience nearing an end. We understood that he had done a terrible deal with us and agreed that we will give him the NPR3000 he had asked for. Heading towards the hotel that lived up to its’ great reputation “Hotel at the End of the Universe”, our driver gave up and stopped. So, we strapped on our big back packs and headed up the rest of the hill on foot, hoping that the hotel would not really be at the end of the universe. Luckily for us, in a few minutes we arrived. We had not booked our accommodation beforehand but they had a great choice of rooms. Though we were very tempted to opt for a cute igloo shaped room, we were fortunate enough that a two bedroom apartment was available for us.
We visited Nagarkot, at a time when the views over the Himalayas are not clear at all. Nearing the end of March, it was a few weeks before monsoon starts, so the sky was really hazy.
On our first full day in Nagarkot we headed off to the viewing tower on foot. We arrived there near noon, climbed on top of the tower and tried to imagine where the Everest would show up. We also bought a whole bunch of personalised key chain souvenirs from a man who patiently strings together any name you ask him to, for a few rupees.
One of the things we look forward to in our travels, is getting to know people. On this day, we met with two guys, Anand and Ali who live in India and were there on vacation too. We decided to spend some time getting to know each other, so, that evening we headed off to the roof top of a nearby hotel, where we spent a great evening eating, drinking, chatting away and sharing experiences.
The next day was hot and we headed for a walk to the villages nearby. Well, being the last full day in Nepal, we thought we would go for a short walk “maybe one hour?” So without any water or food we headed off to what ended up nearly a full day trek, which was a great opportunity to go off the beaten path.
Evening fires in Nepal are a great way to get to know people, appreciate cultures and celebrate differences. So, we spent the evening around the fire at the Hotel at End of the Universe, discussing our adventures in Nepal and getting to know Kami Sherpa and the great bunch of people who run the hotel.
Early on the third day, the guy who runs the hotel, Nawa, arranged for our travel from the Hotel to the Airport and we did not have to spend hours on end in the chaotic Kathmandu traffic. From there, we flew back home via Istanbul, leaving behind us the country whose allure to go back cannot be easily ignored.