I was scanning through Facebook one day and I saw a post from a girl that I had met in Palolem, Goa. She put up an amazing photo from sunrise where the mist was in the valleys and she was staying in a place high above the clouds. The place was called Nagarkot and I immediately wanted to go there.
Into the Hills
I looked up where it was and it turned out to be very close to Kathmandu, just 30km away. I was planning on visiting for a Thai visa anyway so I made plans to spend a couple of nights up there.
The ride out was good. Along the highway which is newly built from Kathmandu to Bhaktapur and then a turning up towards Nagarkot and out into the winding, country roads. I really enjoy riding along those kinds of roads with their twists and turns as you make your way up high into the mountains.
I was going to stay in a place called something like “hotel at the edge of the universe” because two friends recommended it but when I got there the person running it was moody and not friendly at all so I didn’t bother staying. I went back down to a small junction where there was a young lad who had tried to get my attention on the way up. He took me to a place called Hotel Greenland where I ended up staying for 2 nights.
I had a really large room, double bed and a massive balcony which looked out over the valley. It was a little run-down inside but was still good enough. The staff were very nice, friendly and helpful.
I went for a walk around to a place nearby which was another hotel. I think it was called Hotel Himalaya Villa. The place had recently been refurbished and was also having a new block built to accommodate more people. The design of the place and decoration was very well done, with comfortable cream, material chairs, dark wooden tables and an exposed brick finish on the walls.
I would definitely stay there if I was to go back. I ate breakfast and dinner there a couple of times and got talking to one of the waiters who worked there. He was a young guy, 21 years old, and worked there 7 days a week from morning to night in the restaurant. He had 7 people living in his home – his Mum and brothers and sisters – but no father because he had died some 8 years earlier fighting in the army.
This guy was really friendly, happy and smiling all the time. I eventually got to ask him how much he got paid and it was 5,000 NPR a month which worked out at the time to be around £35 a month! It’s incredible to think that someone can survive on that little. He wanted to go back to school and get more education in business to be able to get a better job but he couldn’t afford not to work and didn’t have any spare time because working meant working every day of the year from early morning until late night. I gave him 1,000 rupees when I left and asked him to put it towards his college fund.
I met a girl staying in my hotel called Nitzan. It’s the 2nd person called Nitzan that I now know and they are both from Israel. It seemed funny at the time that I had met someone else with such a seemingly unusual name but I guess it’s like meeting two people from England called Rob.