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Himalaya

Day 56: Kathmandu

Patan, Nepal 
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A doorway in Patan shows the fine design and craftsmanship of the Newari people. As in most parts of the Himalaya, we are never far from men with guns.
Michael Palin - HimalayaPost-Annapurna elation will be short-lived. Higher mountains and tougher conditions are forecast for the crossing into Tibet, but for now we have breathing space in one of the most intriguing cities of the Himalaya.

My guide to the Nepali capital is Kunda Dixit, editor of the Nepali Times, an English weekly with a circulation of 8000. It's crisply laid out and well designed and has a sharp, well-informed, provocative style. The most recent edition carries the latest World Terrorism Index, which shows that, despite the Maoists, Nepal still comes below the UK.

So I'm not entirely surprised to find that Kunda Dixit is an urbane, elegant figure with a shock of prematurely silver hair, dressed immaculately in a pale grey labada and knitted tunic. I am surprised to hear that his real love is flying and his fantasy is that, with a pilot suddenly taken ill, Kunda takes control, lands the plane perfectly and is asked to take over the national airline.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Himalaya
  • Chapter: Day 56: Kathmandu
  • Country/sea: Nepal
  • Place: Kathmandu
  • Book page no: 125

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