Our next rest stop was a mountain-top, banquet-style restaurant serving traditional Nepali thaalis (A large plate of a variety of traditional Nepal food). The air was cold and crisp, and we were close enough to touch the stars. Our bus parked next to other Kathmandu-bound busses and we went inside. DN waited in line, and I found us a table. No tables were free, so we sat with a middle aged woman who sat alone and finished her food quickly.
At this point, we noticed a particular change in the style of food: Less spice and flavor, and almost no salt – an extreme contrast to Indian food, North or South. DN seemed to have a bit of a hard time with that, but once again, I enjoyed the spinach, and feasted on spinach and rice.
The rest of the drive had an “old familiar” feel to it. Like driving through your old hometown for the first time in years. The scent in the air had changed. Again, the smell was familiar and comforting…
After about two more hours of driving, we stopped in a parking lot, and people began to exit the bus. DN confirmed that we were (in fact) in Kathmandu, and we were in the exact neighborhood we needed to be in! The problem was: it was 2 a.m. and almost impossible to find a taxi.
After everyone left, I waited quietly with the bus driver and his assistant, while DN tried to find a taxi, with no luck. The bus driver was extremely helpful, and after a short time, the two of them had finally arranged a taxi. We rode with two other girls on our way to our hotel, the Shree Tibet Family Guest House
We drove up and down gravel hills in narrow alleyways until we reached our hotel. It was night time, so DN had to yell into the gate and try calling the hotel to let us in. We could have been better prepared in that way… But none the less, a boy came to the gate and let us in.
The entrance hall had a row of Tibetan prayer wheels leading to the main room and front desk. The hotel was quaint, colorful, and taking it all in filled me to the brim with excitement. We climbed the stairs to our no-frills rooms. The assistant gave me the room with the view, and stuck DN with the room that had a view of the stairway.
When the hotel assistant left, DN inspected my room, and we said goodnight to each other. DN left and I collapsed on my bed.