Having just returned from our day exploring Kathmandu, I (Toby) have to report that it is nothing special. Kathmandu does nothing wrong, and other travellers who speak tales of the dirt and the noise evidently have never stepped foot in India, but it doesn’t really have anything special going for it – it’s just a city.

We visited the old parts of the city, including Durbar Square, which does have some interesting buildings which appear more of an oriental vernacular than other places we have visited. The Stupas are also nicely decorated in expanses of coloured flags and of course there are streets upon streets of tourist shops selling identical products, most of which are just utter tat.

We did find a fantastic restaurant last night called ‘Funky Buddha’, one that had been mentioned to us by a French lady we met whilst trekking. As a live DJ mixed house and techno music to the covered courtyard I unashamedly consumed both nachos and a burger topped with cheese, bacon and a fried egg. My first beef, bacon, burger and nachos since leaving the UK and thoroughly enjoyed! Joe dived in on a big bowl of pasta and a `side` salad enough for a main! Tonight the Buddha will get a repeat visit to see what else its wonderful (and good value) menu has to offer! Then tomorrow we’re on a short bus out to a village called Bhaktapur for a taste of real rural Nepalese life, although having featured in the Lonely Planet for the past decade it remains to be seen how authentic it still is.

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