This was a golden opportunity to promote Nepal as a destination for high-end adventure tourism. If a group of millionaire adventurers can drive overland to Kathmandu, we can attract more of their creed to this beautiful country. To my surprise, none of the drivers had ever heard of Kathmandu’s Darbar Square, or those in Patan or Bhaktapur. So, we hijacked the rally in the name of Nepal tourism promotion.
There were two hurdles: pre-holiday traffic, which would mean at least a 1-hour drive each way, as well as the fact that Hanuman Dhoka is pedestrianised. But beautiful cars parked in front of ancient temples would send a strong signal to motoring enthusiasts all over the world that Nepal is, indeed, the land time forgot.
The Nepal tourism authorities, preoccupied with forthcoming holidays, told us not to waste our time and it would take a month to get permission. We had less than four hours. Nepal Police pistons heads were much more excited. “Thirty vintage cars in Kathmandu? Really? We’re on our way.”