It was a bit of a shock to the system to move to a guesthouse after the luxury of my birthday. Nevertheless we soon adjusted back to the traveller lifestyle and accommodation without 24-hour electricity. In the dry season Nepal doesn’t produce enough electricity from its hydroelectric power stations, so the current is switched off at different times of the day, in different towns. As a result you are often plunged into darkness without notice. It gives the city a very strange almost war-torn feel with candles lighting it up at night.
We spent our time seeing lots of temples and visiting the Durbar Squares of Kathmandu and nearby Patan. Kathmandu is an intense city with cows nosing though and eating the garbage (I saw one with a tea bag string hanging out of its mouth) and beggars and children sniffing glue, but nonetheless it held some charm with nice old buildings and a relative safe haven in the backpacker ghetto that is Thamel.
We then went to a resort near the Tibetan border where Jack did some canyoning (abseiling down waterfalls) and was also persuaded to do a canyon swing (like a bungy jump but with more freefall). We slept in safari tents amongst the lovely gardens set in a valley in beautiful countryside.
Bandipur was our next stop; a hilltop settlement several hours west of the capital. We wandered around the delightful cobblestoned streets and admired the preserved old buildings and gorgeous countryside surrounding it.