Despite the signs in English, Kathmandu can be a little daunting for newcomers.
I’m enjoying these Weekly Photo Challenges. WordPress’s Daily Post suggests a topic to give bloggers a nudge in the ribs. We then do our best to post something worth looking at, and check out what others have come up with.
This one is about ‘Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas any more’ moments.
Street signs I come across in Asia are a constant source of innocent merriment.
Australian buses sometimes have ‘Do not distract the driver’ signs. Buses in Singapore have other rules.
I’m testing out my theory is that you can cut a slice through any crowd shot and find that the world is full of fascinating people. If only we had time to meet them all!
It’s pretty simple really. Lots of places have great hiking, but Nepal has the greatest treks of them all. I was privileged to be invited on this trip, and ‘voluntourism’ was an excellent way to start. I can’t gush about this enough!
As we gasp for breath in the thin air above his village, Ang Tshering Sherpa tells us a story. When he was a little boy, his mother sent him up this mountain to tend the family yak. It was cold, so Ang sneaked some matches and lit a fire to keep warm. But the wind sent the blaze racing out of control, burning the whole hillside and bringing all the neighbours running to save their livestock.
Thirty years later, Ang has more than repaid his village for the trouble he caused them. At thirteen he became a mountain guide. Then when a grateful Australian client asked what his village most needed, Ang explained that the nearest medical help for many Sherpas was a gruelling 2-day walk away. Not only are there no roads here, there are no wheels. Sick or injured patients have to be carried on the back of man or beast.
Kushudebu Medical Centre. Photo - Rebecca Thornton
So funds were raised, and in 2006 the Kushudebu Medical Centre
opened, with Ang Tshering as its president, and support from organisations including Australian schools, travel company World Expeditions
and many individuals. It now treats over 10,000 patients a year, and pays for the medical training of young Nepalis who will be its future staff. We’ve just visited it, and we’re starting to realise we’re in an extraordinary place with a remarkable man.
Ten Australians and three Britons have come to Nepal to work on Ang Tshering’s next initiative, building incinerators to dispose of the garbage polluting land and waterways. Then he’s taking us on a nine-day trek. Continue reading
Nepal is the ‘number one MTB destination of the world’ according to a website I came across. There are companies that offer cycle touring in the Kathmandu valley, but I can’t claim to have tested them.
Our trek is in the Everest region, where they haven’t yet invented the wheel. No wonder, with tracks like this: Continue reading
Thupten Chholing monastery, Nepal
Why does the sight of a buddhist priest or nun always fill me with an irresistible urge to pull out the camera? There is no scene, whether in a crowded city street or in pristine wilderness, that won’t be enhanced by including a robed figure with a shaved head. Continue reading
Tourist town Thamel
Kathmandu is big, busy, dirty, noisy, touristy, disorderly, sweaty, confronting and generally unpleasant. It’s the people that make it fascinating… Continue reading