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This morning we took another elephant ride; these things are addicting. Then we jumped on a bus and returned to Kathmandu. Unfortunately, the buses didn't take us into the city. Instead, the bus dropped us off at a roadblock on the outskirts of Kathmandu. A curfew had cleared the streets and the police weren't letting anyone enter the city. After waiting for a few hours among a restless mob, we became bold and strode through the police blockade. The police seemed baffled by what to do with tourists, so they let us pass (although no other tourists besides us tried to pass through the roadblock). Unfortunately, our ordeal was just beginning, since we were lost with only a vague idea about the distance and direction of our hotel. Then we walked through completely deserted streets; the city eerily quiet. People stared down at us from their windows on the second and third floor balconies. We smiled nervously back at them, walking down the middle of the street, trying to look like tourists in our safari hats, and hoping no one was going to throw anything or worse, use us for rifle target practice. After a few miles of this adventure, a pickup truck loaded with ten men dressed in army fatigues, flak jackets, helmets, and armed with rifles drove by and stopped in front of us. Luckily, they wanted to protect us from rioters, so they gave us a ride to the hotel. As we drove, we watched them yell at people to board up their windows. They even threatened some people on the streets with their rifles.
Climbing up the backside of a kneeling elephant.
Not a very comfortable way to travel. I got a little seasick on the swaying back of this elephant.
Armed troops all over Kathmandu meant business. Earlier in the day they opened fire on protesters, killing two people and wounding at least 15 others.