A few weekends ago – over the weekend, I went to Kathmandu to have dinner with Tata.
As discussed in a previous blog, I have a dinner club with Tata and together she and I have enjoyed some great dinners at different restaurants around the world.
Kathmandu is an easy 4 hour flight from Dubai, so I was able to fly into Kathmandu in the late morning, enjoy the afternoon sight-seeing, our dinner, a half day of sites and then flew back to Dubai the following afternoon – basically, I was in Kathmandu for about 36 hours.
For me, 36 hours was more than enough.
Kathmandu customs took about an hour … and then I got into a tiny taxi which shuttled me to the hotel to meet Tata.
Immediately, I was in bumper to bumper non-stop traffic. Instantly, I noticed the thick smog and dust in the air.
A few weeks before my trip, I made a very silly, strategic mistake; a mistake that I would regret big time.
Over lunch one day, I (boastfully) told Sophie that I was NOT going to stay at the same hotel as Tata.
I had booked myself to stay at the best hotel in Kathmandu (Dwarikas Hotel) … which is much more expensive than the “Hotel Nepalaya” a $24 a night, back packer’s hotel where Tata was staying.
But Sophie “enouraged me…” into staying at the same hotel as Tata. (thank’s Sophie!)
After bouncing around in the tiny car for 30 minutes or so, we arrived in front of a building. The driver pointed to a tiny back street which he said was the way to my hotel.
As I walked down a dark, filthy alley leading to Tata’s hotel … the power in the 3 houses along the path went out.
Suddenly, it was very dark in the alley way.
The hotel was charming .. but completely dark because the power had been cut.
The woman behind the counter who sat in complete darkness, gave me my key and told me that my room was on the 8th floor … and giglged when she told me I would have to use the stairs.
I hadnt trained that morning, so I looked at the stair climb as a benefit to get me some extra exercise.
After dropping my bag in the room, I met Tata in the ridiculously dark lobby and we left to go site seeing – at was around 3pm
One of the first things I noticed as we walked out of the hotel was the power lines which hang very low from the buildings and poles around the center of the city. The power was still off, and I couldnt help but look at the mess of power cables which seemed to be every where.
Not to mention all the monkeys…
I hired a car and driver to take us to various sites in the city.
Although Tata had been in Kathmandu for the week, and had already visited everywhere , she came with me and we spent a few hours visiting the sites.
My flight the next day was in the late afternoon, and I had scheduled a car and driver to pick me up at 6am to visit a village and other sites before I flew back to Dubai.
A couple weeks ago, I made dinner reservations at what I had read is considered the best restaurant in Nepal, “Krishnapan” a restaurant located at the Dwarikas hotel.
Secretly, (without telling Tata) after coming back to our “back packer” hotel … the power still off, I decided I was going to stay at the Dwarikas and I took my bag with me when we left for our dinner club.
The Dwarikas hotel is gorgeous.
As we we walked through a door and onto a large patio, I smiled to myself and thought that I didnt care how much it cost, I was going to stay at this hotel tonight.
Seriously, the hotel is stunning.
We arrived early, and went to the bar to enjoy a glass of chamapgne.
Tata was on a break from one of the sessions on her 4th round of chemo, and had spent a great week site seeing, but because of the drugs she was taking for the chemo, she was very tired and didnt feel well.
I tried to buy her happiness by ordering champagne, and after 2 glasses she seemed to feel much better.
We have enjoyed our dinner club since 2007, and experienced some of the best restaurants in the world … we journal each meal, take photos and even keep the label from the wine bottle which we paste in the journal entry of each club.
Now we were enjoying a club in Kathmandu… Tata got teary eyed as discussed our great club, and the good times we have enjoyed together.
(Our next dinner club will be in Beirut, mid December)
After our drinks, we walked through the court yard of the hotel to the restaurant “krishnapan.”
On the wall of the restaurant were many photos of famous people who have visited the restaurant.
Apparently, Prince Charles had visited just a week or two before.
Everyone must take off their shoes and sit on the floor. (not my style of restaurant, and Tata enjoyed teasing me about this)
Each person wears a white smock … and as soon as we sat down waitresses put smocks on each of us.
The food was ok, but the adventure of being in Kathmandu was what we both enjoyed the most.
Ultimately, I decided not to stay at the nice hotel …and went back with Tata to the back packer hotel.
I said good night and good bye to Tata … and went to sleep around 11pm.
6am the next morning, a car picked me up and took me to several of the sites … and I enjoyed the monkey temple, a couple villages outside of Kathmandu … and a few other sites I don’t remember the names.
I will go back in 2016, but only to climb Mt. Everest.
Kathmandu was a good experience, but for me there are just too many tall, skinny, middle aged white guys with long hair in pony tails …