SATURDAY 18TH DECEMBER, 1976 – Part Two
“Back in Kathmandu after lunch – at Utze Restaurant – really good, cheap Chinese food and quick service. Then out to Stupa at Boudhnath – big solid white dome with steps up and ledge round to walk on, then layered pyramid with face on and streamers of rice-paper flags strung from top! Extraordinary. Like a pagoda except solid not hollow.
Saw inside fascinating Buddhist temple – walked round with mouth open – up left and right were benches with four boys chanting very quickly – then banged huge gongs and clashed cymbals – very stimulating. Pillars with strips of material hanging down; candles being lit at the back, bowls of water; golden images behind glass cases in centre and one to side full of little Buddhas; smell of incense strong (took shoes off). Quite amazing and bewildering place.
Bought some cloth boots – rather good.
Tickets still not here [for return home]. Had gin and orange with Pam to celebrate her sister’s engagement! Then she, me, Fran and Sally went down for something to eat. Went into Shangri la for meal (jam pancakes!)
Talked to American couple from another tour – hassle at border – lost 4 days because some had tried to smuggle pistachio nuts into India. They’d had good weather. All fascinating to compare trips. We seem to be only group who’ve stuck together once in Kathmandu (we’re all at the same hotel!)”