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!

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Nepal 3: Craft

Thamel is the tourist suburb of Katmandu. It is where you will find all the backpackers and budget accommodation, the trekking and adventure companies and of course the craft shops.

The narrow streets are lined with small shops selling everything from clothes to trekking gear. Buddist and Hindu statues, traditional crafts and other obvious touristy trinkets are everywhere.

I loved the clothes!

Felt made from yak-wool is very typical of Nepalese culture. Obviously it had to be adapted for the tourist trade.

Yak wool

Cotton yarn

Rayon from Bhutan. I always thought rayon was a synthetic material, but apparently not. Although it is a manufactured material it is made from natural fibres. I bought a piece from this shop to make into a tablecloth. I have since found out that the process of producing the material causes a lot of environmental pollution. I am now less impressed with my purchase.

Silk shop

Sari shop

A woven throw from a road-side stall

Crocheted truck-decorations sold next to the road. We never had a chance to stop at one of these stalls, so this is the best photo I could get. The women sat on the ground next to the road in small groups crocheting. The trucks coming from India are all heavily decorated inside and out.

This boy was working his pedal-powered Singer at high speed. He works in a shop that sells decorated t-shirts. He can make any design you want, even brands like Reebok and Hard Rock! He was wearing a school uniform so I assume he was the owners' son and not child labour (which is rife in Nepal).

Street art on the side of a delapidated building.

This man carried a tray with small bottles of coloured pigment. He had a range of minute little stamps with which he could make beautiful patterns on your body. He made one on my hand. It is really pretty but unfortunately it doesn't last very long.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Nepal 2: Bricks and Stones

The temples and older buildings in Katmandu are all decorated with detail brickwork. They sometimes get lost in all the other colours and chaos of street life.

A dado here..

and a corner detail there..

When I go back (yes, I'll be back) I will look for a building supply store to buy some of these.

Outside the city we were surprised to see the quality of the stone masonry. Simple rural houses and walls were built with the greatest precision and skill.

In the building walls the openings were filled with mud, but in the garden walls they were just dry stacked...

..and moss covered

Nepal 1: Wood carvings

My family spent the past week travelling through Nepal.

It was kind of a whirlwind tour as there are far too much to see in one week.

We travelled by road from Katmandu to Bandipur and Pokara and from there to the Chitwan National Park and back to Katmandu.

In the next few posts I will share a few of my favourite images from our trip.

Hinduism is the main religion, with Buddhism also very popular.

Every building or property has a shrine or temple devoted to some or other god.

The religious aspect really did nothing for me,

but I loved the architectural detail everywhere.