Two Saltspringers in Bhutan:
Land of the Thunder Dragon,
Nights of the Barking Dogs,
Days of Gross National Happiness
Saturday, February 25, 2012
Stopover in Nepal
This is the start of something more intimidating than auto mechanics: starting up and maintaining a blog for a year! Jan 17th Tara and I flew Vancouver>Shanghai>Kunming>Kathmandu, which took a couple days. I didn't record much of China, except the incredible architecture of the Shanghai airport and the surreal experience of a 9-hour stop at a Kunming hotel in the middle of the night. I know China and I have more business together in the future...
The following comes from January 26th:
Today we fly Pokhara > Kathmandu > Paro. We’ve spent an amazing 4 days in Nepal with Reed and his wife Purnima and daughter Liza, along with Tara's niece and nephew, Natasha and Matthew, and friend Lara. Kathmandu was a zoo: traffic, bicycle rickshaws, motorbikes, contant horns, blaring cheap radios, pollution, cattle, monkeys, dogs, street shrines, backpackers, friendly people, military, bricklayers, beggars, Hindu holymen, Buddhist monks, shopkeepers, market vendors, lines of uniformed school children, grandfathers carrying babies, mothers biking children, spices, incense, mountains of oranges, stems of bananas, piles of garbage, jumbled confusion of overhead wires, leaking waterpipes, women washing at fountain, boys kicking around a crumpled paper ball, people sweeping their sidewalk entrances, people shouting, laughing. All of humanity here, though it seems there's almost no tension. Everything is as it is, flowing in its own rhythm. My eyes are popping less now, as this ordered chaos becomes familiar.
Pokhara was 5 hours by taxi Jeep and is by contrast a sleepy lakeside town by day, and a hustling tourist trap by night. Reed was so proud to host us with Parinima and 8 year old Liza. They’ve got a good thing going here, and Reed looks forward to planning his retirement so he won’t have to leave all the time to return to the Canadian oilfields for money.Purnima getting groceries.
Mt. Machapuchare, the "Fishtail", seen from our Hotel in Pokhara.
Meeting Natasha and Matthew here was amazing, and we’ve met up several times. Yesterday we hiked around the other side of Pokhara to a forested hill which we walked up, to a Buddhist temple at the summit. But the feature was the incredible view of the Annapurna Range, which contains three of the ten highest peaks on the planet, all in the Himalaya. Wow. Annapurna Range
Here she is, from our Druk Air flight to Paro, Bhutan: the highest point on our Planet!