Thursday, August 7, 2008

Kathmandu and the trek to the Obseratory 7/08/08 Day 21


Well 3 weeks now, when I woke this morning I was very tired. I had promised to go trekking with my new friend Krishna but I hadn't heard anything yet. I went for breakfast thinking how nice it would be to go back to sleep. Just as I sat down he walked in ready to go. Deep breath. Let's go. Traveled 3 hours on a local bus crowded with people inside and on top. Traveled east to Bhaktapur then changed buses and onto Nagarkot. We walked for about 4km up a road through a few military camps then to this tower. There was the Geodetic Obseratory Nagarkot just sitting there. I was suprised. Krishna didn't know anything about it. After climbing the tower you could get a great view of the Observatory. I wanted to check it out. We walked over and let ourselfs in. It didn't seem like there was anyone there and the building wasn't finished on the inside. A grounds caretaker women found us and told Kashmir that the Observatory was built one year ago and was still being worked on but the funds had dried up. We left and went down the hill to the fenced in grounds that I had noticed on the way up. That's where the sign was. After calling out I told the cartaker the I had just returned from China to see the eclipse and could I talk to someone inside. I also said I was a member of the Planetary Socity. That seemed to work. The most senior person inside was a man who had some information but his job was to watch the place. He let me take some pictures and told us that the property at the lecture and offices belonged to the Nepal government but the Observatory property and funds came from someone in the Czech Rep. Couldn't get much more information from him. Looked like a great place and if they could get the observatory opened I'm sure there would be some good things happening here. The location was perfect. After having dinner at a local diner we started back on the 5pm bus. The weather started to change and rain begain to fall. The people on top had to move inside. When we got to Bhaktapur we found out that the bus had closed because of the fuel shortage. All the buses were stopped or were going to the various yards that were all over. Now it's dark. We walked from yard to yard trying to find a bus. None to be found. Walking in the dark in a hard rain in the muddy streets of a village in Nepal. I started to think I might have to sleep there for the night. Krishna was worried too. He was running all over trying to find one bus going somewhere. We walked about 5km and finaly found one packed with wet people. We crammed our way on and made it to Kathmandu around 10pm. What an adventure. And one last thing. My wallet was lifted while on the bus. No money but my cards are gone. I will have to start to work on that problem tomorrow.