Sunday, 12 December 2010

Nepal 7: People and other odd things...

Taking a break

Every line a story to tell

Schoolgirls in Bandipur

A great home-made swing!

a silver smith at work

dentist anyone?

My family sightseeing in Katmandu

A "holy-man" photo opportunity

Our boys with some village kids near Pokhara

A square in Katmandu

Weighing produce

These singer machines were everywhere and always hard at work!

A typical rural scene

Rice harvesting phase 1

Rice harvesting phase 2

Taking a break from rice harvesting

This will be my last post for 2010.
May you all have a blessed Christmas time
and come back in 2011 with renewed energy and creativity.

Monday, 6 December 2010

Nepal 6: Buildings

In Katmandu old & traditional sit side-by-side with modern. Some of these old buildings look like they are ready to collapse, but are still occupied...

Nepalese are not afraid of colour!

The traditional woodwork is really beautiful.

These are part of the temple of the living goddess

In the country everything changes. The houses are mostly simple but beautiful

This is the typical farm-house. The houses are covered with orange coloured mud-paint for Diwali (Festival of lights). It wears off over time and are freshly painted every year. We were there about a week after Diwali

A typical farm set-up, usually surrounded by rice-paddies.

The lodge where we stayed in the Chitwan National park

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Nepal 5: Transport

I always thought Katmandu was an outpost. A final stop before the Himalayas. How wrong was I! It is a bustling city, filled with traffic, people, noise and colour.

Walking down a street is an attack on the senses. The streets are narrow and filled with cars, rickshaws, scooters, bicycles, pedestrians, cows and dogs. The bigger vehicles has right of way and everybody honks their horns to warn who ever is in the way. Lane discipline does not exist.

If you are a pedestrian, you better heed the honking, as no one stops to give you a chance...

Public transport comes in all forms and make no distinction between locals and tourists. The more the merrier.

Once you leave the city the pace changes. The 'highway' which links India to China across the mountains, is the main road out of Katmandu towards the west. It is busy and filled with trucks in every imaginable colour.

The typical Asian trucks with all their decorations are a sight to behold. The road is narrow and skirts the valleys of the Himalayan foothills. You drive on the edge of a huge drop-off all the time, and although the views are spectacular, it is quite nerve wrecking. The rule of overtaking on these narrow winding roads is 'honk your horn to warn the still unseen oncoming traffic that you are now in their lane and then just go'.

We hired a Toyota minibus with a driver to take us where we wanted to go, and I believe it was money well spent. He was an experienced driver and negotiated the road and the oncoming traffic with skill.

In the villages the pace is much slower. There are more rickshaws, bicycles and carts.

Once we left the highlands for the low laying jungle we were in a completely different world.

Elephant power rules! It is the best way to do game viewing. The animal photos in the previous post were mostly taken from the back of an elephant. The animals don't pay much attention to the elephants and it is possible to get right next to the rhinos and bisons.

Some of the other guests who were there at the same time as us were lucky enough to see a tiger quite close up from the back of an elephant. We will have to go back for that...

Katmandu is only a four hour flight from Dubai, but a world apart.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Nepal 4: Creatures big and small

The boys were fascinated by the spiders...

These ones had to be coaxed out of their dens...

There were butterflies everywhere

we managed to photograph 3 different kinds

Brahminy ducks


Spotted deer

Gaur (Indian bison)

One-horned Indian rhinos

Langur monkeys

Wild boar

Marsh mugger crocodile

and of course, the Asian elephants.

The closest we ever came to a tiger!