ONE NIGHT IN BANDIPUR
Updated: Nov 8, 2020
Bandipur, a charming hilltop settlement, 89 miles west of Kathmandu, Nepal. Walking through the main square felt like walking through an old movie studio in Hollywood. We stayed at The Old Inn, a restored townhouse, with low ceilings, narrow staircases and even lower doorways, requiring lots of bending and ducking. Maneuvering our way through it felt like being a giant in a dollhouse. No television, no phones and quite often, no electricity, which meant no hot water. So that long, hot shower I put off in taking until after dinner, just too exhausted from the steep hike earlier that afternoon was apparently not happening. But these unpredictable conditions were pretty standard, and if prepared, quite a nice way to appreciate how much we take for granted back home.
It was during this one night stop in Bandipur that I got the first use out of my flashlight and lanterns on the trip. The room windows had wooden shutters, but no glass covering, making it wide open for all sorts of bugs and creatures to fly in and spend the night. At one point, a bug the size of a grape came buzzing into my room and fell right into my open suitcase. All snuggled in on the saggy-cushioned mattress, I jumped out of bed, closed and zipped it up as quickly as I could. All night I heard it buzzing and bouncing around in there until it finally suffocated. Call me ruthless, especially for someone who can’t even bring herself to hurt a fly, but I had to take control of the situation. We were all feeling like we were already getting bitten all over, and not knowing which creatures were harmless and which were deadly, I had to take matters into my own hands.
All through the night the sounds of cows, goats and stray dogs moaning and howling, and roosters crowing way before dawn kept me up. Yet another night of not sleeping, but I felt grateful to have a bed to sleep in at least. I believe the forces above were preparing us for the next phase of the trip: camping in a remote village called Borang in the Lamjung region. Looking back at what came about in those days ahead, where we really began roughing it, the Old Inn was a true luxury!
But I have to admit, making it through that night definitely had its rewards: an early morning hike to watch the most unforgettable sunrise...