Today’s correspondent is Della, our expedtition team’s nurse:
17 pile into the silver van “Napali style” on our way to Durbar Square. As we roll out of the van we are overwhelmed with sensory overload. The intense smells of smog, thousands of years of dirt and grime, raw meat and food. The sounds of continuous beeping horns magnified between narrow tile clad streets with ancient tall buildings on either side. The colours and patterns of clothing and wares decorate the shop fronts and we are catapulted into another dimension of utmost extremes from the magestic and beautiful mountains to the hustle and bustle of Kathmandu.
We vigorously follow our Sirdar Na Wang through a maze of hectic streets to the heart of Kathmandu, Durbar Square. Built between the 16th and 18th century the magnitude of the history and significance of these ancient buildings where kings of Nepal were once crowned and legitimized is very evident.
The air is thick and dusty in the creaky old museum making it difficult to breathe. The kids are in awe as they take in all the sights and sounds of a different world.
“Namaste” to Kumari. We are treated to a glimpse of a Hindu “living goddess” I am taken by how sad she appeared, her sole existence to appear at intervals to be worshipped as a pre-pubescent goddess, in the knowledge she will turn human on reaching puberty.
As we make our way to Kilroy’s Cafe we are treated to an alleyway of butchered carcasses, raw chicken and the undeniable smell of dried “baby fish” with flies adding to the decoration.
I am impressed with the food ordered at Kilroys with buff steak and fish & chips the most popular orders.
Reflecting on the day once again, I am impressed with the resilience and the ability of the Duke of Ed teenagers to adapt. I am left wondering which part of this whole journey has been the most adventurous.