So I just got here and it's raining already? Challenge accepted, weather gods.

Kathmandu is the capital and largest municipality of Nepal. It is the only city of Nepal with the administrative status of Mahanagar (Metropolitan City), and is known informally as "KTM" or the "tri-city".

The city stands at an elevation of approximately 1,400 metres (4,600 ft) in the bowl-shaped Kathmandu Valley of central Nepal. It is surrounded by four major hills: Shivapuri, Phulchoki, Nagarjun, and Chandragiri. Kathmandu Valley has the highest population density in the country, and is home to about a twelfth of Nepal's population.
So many guest houses. Guest houses everywhere, and not many tourists this time of year.

The locals are friendly and the food hearty and cheap.
Night time is different here. The sounds are different. Howling beasts and muffled shuffling, the occasional bang as you burrow under the covers to keep the chill at bay.

I've been having strange dreams.

In the mornings, you're stirred awake by the hustle and bustle of the market and the children playing in the streets.
Rooftop view from the guest house. Sometimes there is electricity, sometimes there is hot water. Prayer flags are everywhere.

A prayer flag is a colorful rectangular cloth, often found strung along mountain ridges and peaks high in the Himalayas. They are used to bless the surrounding countryside and for other purposes. Prayer flags are believed to have originated with Bon, which predated Buddhism in Tibet. In Bon, shamanistic Bonpo used primary-colored plain flags in healing ceremonies in Nepal. They are unknown in other branches of Buddhism. Traditional prayer flags include woodblock-printed text and images.
Lots of children in the streets. Lots of dogs. Occasionally monkeys. See? Puppies! These two little flea-bags are just waking up. The rest of the city has been awake for a while.
Incense, wicks, and offering containers for candles. The streets and alleys are rife with strong smells. Incense, spices, stale food, filth. Rain. It's going to rain again soon. Souvenirs at the market. I was so caught up with the badass ram skull when I snapped the picture that I overlooked this little gem.
Hanging out at the Monkey Temple with Sandesh, Amesh, Siddharta, Ram, Sanjay, Manu, Rajiv, Babu, Amita. And Steve.

Swayambhunath is an ancient religious architecture atop a hill in the Kathmandu Valley, west of Kathmandu city. It is also known as the Monkey Temple as there are holy monkeys living in the north-west parts of the temple.
A good reminder. The Monastery at Swayambhu.
The city at dusk, as seen from Swayambhu. Carbing up before the trek. That apple stroodle was out of this world! Oh, you know. Just a little early morning hike.
I don't know about you guys, but I could get used to this view. Mani stone in the valley.

Mani stones are stone plates, rocks and/or pebbles, inscribed with the six syllabled mantra of Avalokiteshvara (Om mani padme hum, hence the name "Mani stone"), as a form of prayer in Tibetan Buddhism. The term Mani stone may also be used in a loose sense to refer to stones on which any mantra or devotional designs are inscribed.

Mani stones are intentionally placed along the roadsides and rivers or placed together to form mounds or cairns or sometimes long walls, as an offering to spirits of place or genius loci.
Steve is less than enthused with the service. So that ice tea was more like vaguely chilly tea, I feel you man, but c'mon. No need to get salty about it. Just take a deep breath and enjoy the scenery.
Never in my life I thought I'd need this stuff but boy, was I wrong.

In the unfortunate event of a close encounter with a leech: don't yank it off. Don't use salt. Don't stab the thing or set it on fire (and trust me, you'll be tempted). Use something sharp to pry it off, and chuck it. Because the little asshole will try to latch back on. If you're a patient person, you can wait until it's had its fill and let it fall off on its own. I am not a patient man.
I've crossed so many of these little bridges. This one was surprisingly sturdy. Laundry day in the valley.
Patan, also known as Manigal, is located in the south-central part of Kathmandu Valley. It is the third largest city of the country, after Kathmandu, and Pokhara.

It is best known for its rich cultural heritage, particularly its tradition of arts and crafts. It is called city of festival and feast, fine ancient art, making of metallic and stone carving statue.

Patan is on the elevated tract of land in Kathmandu Valley on the south side of the Bagmati River, which separates it from the city of Kathmandu on the northern and western side. The Nakkhu Khola acts as the boundary on the southern side.
Good morning, world. More markets.
Climbing with a few guys I met back at the guest house. Check out this stone-cold motherfucker. There doesn't seem to be much of a middle ground. Everything is technicolor bright or post-apocalypse grim. Kirtipur is an ancient city in Nepal. It is located in the Kathmandu Valley 5 km south-west of the city of Kathmandu.

Originally a Newar foundation, Kirtipur is still a center of Newar culture. It consists of many temples, gumbas (Buddhist monasteries), and churches.

Due to the presence of Tribhuvan University, Kirtipur is also a popular area for out-of-town students and professors to rent houses and they are major contributors to the local economy.
I'm not much for taking pictures of my food (would rather be eating it, ya feel me?), but I'm happy to make an exception when it tastes as good as it looks.

A bowl of traditional Newari food, or samhebaji: beaten rice, roasted black beans, spicy ginger and garlic bits, white bean curry, potato pickle, roasted buffalo meat, egg, and a lentil pancake on a leaf plate, enjoyed with a glass of rice wine.
Bagh Bhairab Temple is one of the most popular temples dedicated to the God Bhairab in the form of a tiger. This god is regarded as the guardian of Kirtipur and the locals call it Ajudeu, a grandfather god.

Ceremonial rituals in relation to the important events of life such as rice-feeding, puberty, marriage and even the construction of houses cannot be done without propitiating this deity in most of the towns and cities of Nepal.
I just really like dogs.