While eating breakfast we were tempted to sit on our balcony a while longer enjoying the views of industrious activity down the high street, this was also fueled by the novelty of rain. We hadn't been rained on for the entire trip and were reluctant to give the skies this opportunity on our last day. Fortunately we had plenty of entertainment to keep up occupied, we took particular interest in the plight of the goat tied up outside the house opposite in front of which there was a meat hook to hang freshly butchered animals. We felt for the goat who was shivering in the rain wondering if we would be the last sympathetic people to see it. The local bus provided yet more goat excitement as an entire herd of goats was loaded onto the roof, obviously the goats could spot a bad idea and were soon jumping off only to be handed back up and tied down. Eventually the bus pulled away and we decided that our sacrificial goat might be alive longer than our patience so we set off in light drizzle. The road was by now good quality tarmac and the only challenge left between us and Kathmandu was a very long continuous uphill. However, given the unfamiliar oxygen our bodies were awash with it felt relatively easily and I only had to stop when two overtaking buses ran me off the road into a ditch. I'm also very pleased to say that I was the only one of the three of us not to catch a lift hanging onto the back of a passing truck today - petty I know but I'm still smug :-)
Once at the top of the hill we found ourselves in a little town where we bumped into a Western family who were staying out there for a year, quite a holiday - if only the children looked as excited as the parents. Now we only had an easy ride into Kathmandu, with the volume of traffic growing exponentially as we neared our final destination. Being the most fragile things on the road we had to give way to pretty much everything, but once the cars got bogged down in queues we found we could make good progress weaving around the traffic. All good fun but we soon started to realise that finding our hostel in the center of Kathmandu without an adequate map wasn't going to be easy. All eyes turned to me as I had been there before, and my eyes turned around to look behind me to see if Annabel was there with the map like she was last time I was here. After some false turns and dubious route choices we spotted a tourist bus coming from the airport with our hostels name on the side and grimly hung on to it's bumper as it shot through the back streets with an air of authority.
The Kathmandu guest house was full when we arrived, but they sorted us out with an alternative- the Budda hotel and at last we had a shower. Andy "Cheeky bugger" Cross sneaked into the shower ahead of me by saying he was just popping to the toilet, and being an English gentleman I held the door open for him despite being armed with towel ready for my shower, when I heard the shower start up. Steve "Twinkle toes" Wyatt tried to negotiate the shower door with less success than Andy "How hard can it be?" Cross and myself, slipping on the wet floor and jamming his toe under the door. This had the unpleasant side effect of removing his only recently grown big toe nail and judging by the sounds Steve "Fuck, bugger, shit" Wyatt was making it hurt quite a lot. Trying not to laugh too much we asked if there was anything we could get for the pain to which Steve "Quick witted despite agony" Wyatt replied 'a pint of beer'. We duly obliged.
We set out in the afternoon with the intention of having a quick bite to eat, a single celebratory beer before wondering around to see the sights for a bit and heading back out for more food. What we ended up with was a nine hour bender. Being pleased with ourselves we hit the beer quite hard early on and after a nice meal quickly replaced a 'wonder to see the sights' with 'find a good bar serving cocktails'. Back on the streets of Kathmandu our beer soaked vision rested on a couple of cycle rickshaws. With the owners of the rickshaws bribed off their rightful places in the drivers seat Steve "One last race" Wyatt and Andy "Bring it on" Cross set about racing through the street of Kathmandu, constantly misjudging the width of the rickshaw behind them much to the detriment of onlookers toes either side of us. Andy "Can't keep up" Cross was hampered by carrying me in the back snatching a quick video of the race, and the owner of the rickshaw trying to apply the brakes through the whole procedure. Wise man. With Steve "Beat ya" Wyatt the winner it turned out that there was only one real looser. Colin "Where's my wallet" Bolton had dropped his wallet from his previously mentioned trousers purchased earlier in the trip. On top of terrible colour and cut add shallow pockets to the list of bad points. A quick search turned up no wallet so I set about canceling my cards while the others carried on drinking. Calling the UK numbers I'd obtained from various websites wasn't free but well worth it I thought. However, my patience was tested by one Scottish chap who started to cancel my card and asked where I was, when I mentioned Nepal he got quite excited as he was taking his family here on holiday and asked all sorts of questions. Eventually I had to remind him that I was paying for this international call at top rates from some dodgy Internet cafe to cancel my bank card, not hand out travel advice.
Cards canceled I got over the disappointment of loosing my gaffa tape wallet with a couple of cocktails and a trip to a nightclub when the standard of dancing was so low even Steve "Dance like your dad" Wyatt would feel happy to take on the local hip hop boys. We watched the England vs France rugby world cup match on a screen behind the bar with a French bloke who brought us all a round when England won, nice fella but I suspect he knew just how much he was adding to our hangover with this last drink and had the last laugh. We eventually stumbled back to the hotel, which seemed to be shut but someone let us in. I tried to thank him but was struggling with getting the words in the right order and gave up. Back in the room we tried to record our last video diary session but this was somewhat hijacked by Steve "Utterly drunk" Wyatt and Colin "Trying to point out we'd had a few beers" Bolton. Apologises to anyone offended