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I am sitting in the Doha, Qatar airport at an ungodly 3am (or should I say unMuhammad hour?) in the morning, waiting for my 7:40am flight to Istanbul, Turkey. Yawn. I started this leg of my RTW journey, the day before on the 23rd of March, at 11:45pm, from Kathmandu. By the time I arrive in Istanbul, it will be the 24th of March. Double yawn . . . 


When I woke up yesterday morning at 6:30am (the 23rd for those of you keeping score), the day made much more bearable – actually enjoyable – due to the kindness and graciousness of the Shambaling hotel. They allowed me to have my room without charge until 9pm. Wow! Not exactly how the Sheraton, Hilton, or Hyatt Regency operate, huh?

However, that was only the beginning of the graciousness shown toward me. Jigme, the General Manager of the hotel, presented me a gift as well – a lovely Nepal journal/diary with a Buddha image and a gold mandala coin (Tibetan Om and a prayer mantra written on it). The binding and pages are made of rice paper. To top it off, I was surprised to find out that my dinner tab at the hotel was taken care of as well. Thank you Hotel Shambaling!

I met a new friend, Nadika, who had just arrived at the hotel  the day before. She works for the United Nations, coordinating disaster relief for this region. She joined me for dinner and I told her about my visit to Bhaktapur City, along with other places, including a couple of hikes, she would enjoy while staying in Kathmandu. Speaking of Bhaktapur City, these are the photos I shot while there . . . By the by, I apologize for not having photo captions as I normally do. However, I am tired and more important, information that I wrote down in regard to many of the shots, is located inside my check in luggage and who knows where that’s at (albeit, I am hoping on the same flight to Instanbul with me).

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