[Christmas in Kathmandu: at the start of the trip I hadn’t expected to still be there for the 25th – a return plane ticket should have been waiting from Asian Greyhound. But it was a very happy day with all the right ingredients: good food, drink and lots of friends with which to share it – and a dusk walk with a magical moment when musicians came out of the dark like a group of Biblical shepherds playing their pipes.]
SATURDAY 25TH DECEMBER, 1976
When woke, Di gave me and Heidi a little Xmas stocking filled with nuts, sweets, bics and tangerines! Got up leisurely and had breakfast with Sally and Anders, Heidi and Di at about 11.30! Sally and Fran gave me a little bead choker and card. Had porridge at KC’s – all a bit chaotic from the night before – some suffering!
Nipped down to corner shop and bought vodka, spicy nuts and sweets for Di and Heidi and peanut butter for Sally and Fran. Back to hotel for cocktails in Chris and Nikki’s room again! Went on till about 3.30! Great atmosphere – chatted with guy off Contikee – trip where bus rolled – didn’t get on together etc – not like Swaggies!
Went for lunch with Di and Heidi – had gorgeous mushroom and chicken roll at Shangri la served by sweet grinning waiter! Went for evening stroll with Di round streets – lovely dusk with moon and evening star and mist settling on hills around. Passed a little band playing drums and pipes and bells – lovely rhythmic beating in the half dark. Streets busy still (passed shop stacked with coloured glass bangles). Di still not better.
Met Sally and Heidi in KC’s cake shop and Heidi treated us to piece of pie and coffee.
Had a drinks party in our room with selection of spirits and nuts – Bill, Shirley, Sally, Fran, Adrian, Anders all came. They all went off to KC’s and I went down to ‘Cafe de Star’ where Rob and Maree prepared a fabulous dinner – we stood around having “Crispin’s aperitif” ie country liquor, water and orange, until meal served. All sat in far room at long table – Rob, Maree, Geoff, Jan (Fred ill) me, Diane, Mike, Hans, Ian, Chris, Nikki, Mark and Pam. Really super evening – all stuffed ourselves with turkey, chicken, carrots in butter, peas, cauliflower, stuffing and roast pots, follwed by Xmas pud and white sauce, presented with flaming Cleopatra whisky on top!
By the time it came to KC’s cake we were all so painfully ill that we sat there just looking at it! No one moved for hours because couldn’t face going up steps – Geoff and Jan had to stagger back with Fred’s grub. All gave Geoff his Xmas pressy – woolly waistcoat, pen, biro. Had my bottle of Muscadet wine from Channel crossing! (And hotel made us a punch). Everyone in good mood, cracking jokes etc.
Mike said farewell because off early – so I said, “Ceylon Mike!” Eventually all lights in other part went off and waiters went to sleep on floor – so we finally broke up and crept upstairs to bed with pieces of cake!”