My transition back to KTM does not go smoothly. I wanted to try a well-reviewed guest house that has a view of the main stupa at Bodhnath. But upon checking in, I quickly discern that a neighborhing metal-works will hammer the day away. I opt instead for a street room, choosing motorcycle and pedestrian noise over hammers on metal. The only plus is warm sunlight and a view of the Hyatt Regency.
8:45 a.m., just finished with a tasteless breakfast, and out my Hyatt-facing window I see a maroon-robed monk, a western man with long beard tied in a knot and dressed in all white robes, and a biker-type Nepali in leather jacket and aviator sunglasses all leave the grounds via the back gate. Think charitable thoughts, I tell myself. Maybe they visited a patron? Maybe someone else paid the $250 a night room charge? It’s none of my business, really, and yet I can’t help but wonder.
Fantastic to be back at Hotel Shambaling. Without asking, they upgrade me to a big and wonderful room, even better than the last one shared with Max. I am honored and delighted, have lunch in the garden with sun on my legs and arms, then take a little rest. I ring the “singing bowl” in my room 3 times, and ride its reverberations into the neighborhoods in search of monasteries/gompas.