The hustle and bustle of Kathmandu was getting to be a bit much. The incessant honking of horns, pitching from shopkeepers, and calling out from taxi drivers even when we were walking in to a building had worn thin.
We decided to take a trip out to Nargakot to escape the clamorous noise of Kathmandu.
Nargakot was chosen as it was a quiet village in the foothills within reasonabld reach, not too far from the city.
We didn’t want to stray too far from town in the opposite direction of where the rest of our journey would take us. This would be far enough east for now.
Finding a bus that would go to Nargakot was difficult. So much so that we decided to take a taxi.
We later learnt that the only bus to follow the Kathmandu to Nargakot route was one that had been arranged by a couple of hotels.
20,000 Rupees and two hours of twists and turns later we arrived in the cloud covered village which was comparatively cool and damp, unlike the hot and steamy Kathmandu.
Nargakot clung to the steep hills. In the thin wedge of town that we stayed in it consisted of hotels built upon a chaotic foundations.
These foundations were a series of hessian bags that had been filled with rocks and cement, stacked upon eachother with star pickets driven through them for stability purposes.
We watched as one building was being constructed. The shallow depth of the foundations were troubling.
But what could be expected in a place where the building code is not enforced, much less known?
Six feet of stacked hessian bags on a 1 in 6 gradient seemed adequate for a three storey building, especially as they were reinforced with star pickets.
We checked in to our hotel and the view was one of thick clouds gently tumbling past our window.
When we opened the window they slowly swirled about in front of us, moving in and out like waves on a beach.
Just outside our widow was a strange sounding hum. It too ebbed and flowed. The source of this humming became very obvious as a number of large wasps moved about the opening to our window.
I poked my head out to see what was going on to discover that a nest the size of a football was clinging to the structure.
There was some pointless conjecture about them being killer bees and not wasps. Either way, a wide berth was in order.
Walking through the trails of the area is one thing that I found both rewarding and peaceful. We found a path that stretched off the road and cut through the thick forest.
Walking slowly and watching for any slight movements that indicated there was some kind of fauna in the undergrowth I had my camera poised.
The trail twisted and turned on steep muddy ground. Being so high above sea level we were in the clouds the whole time. It was a different season up here compared to Kathmandu.
The sound of teenagers having a party and getting out of control came from somewhere deep in the forest around us.
We kept on going about our own thing and a short while later a group of teenagers in school uniforms rounded the corner.
They looked to be in their late teens and two of them stopped to chat with us. They carried a bottle that looked like it had dirty water in it.
Asking what brought us here they found out that we were from Australia. One spoke of his being in the final year of his masters in boimechanical engineering.
After a while the conversation turned and I was asked if I could ‘loan’ one of the guys ten dollars.
‘Loan? And how would you arrange the repayments?’ I wondered. I knew that this was a request for a donation and not a loan.
This was discussed and he retracted his request. He did not look to be in dire need of money, clean clothes and a bottle of what turned out to be Nepali Fire Water, he was just trying his luck.
After they had moved on we rounded the corner and found a small camp set up deep in the forest.
This style of camp was not uncommon, even prior to the 2015 earthquakes. They could be found by the side of the road on the outskirts of Kathmandu.
On our way back from this hidden camp we met a couple who looked to be European. I had taken them for a couple based on appearance. It turned out they were brother and sister.
Mette and Sören were travelling through Nepal after a couple of weeks in India. The stories they had about the places they had seen fascinated me.
We found that we were staying in rather close proximity to eachother, but in a place as small as Nargakot that’s not difficult to achieve.
The rest of the afternoon was spent sharing travel stories and we have since kept in touch to this day.