Reliving The Nepal Experience


On a whim, I decided to pack my backpack to leave the warm summer of Australia and head to Nepal, the land of Buddha and Mount Everest. The main inspiration for this mythical destination was the PS3 game, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. The game follows the exploits of the hero, Nathan Drake as he traces the journey of Marco Polo from China in 1292. A major portion of the game was set in Nepal. Hence I thought, why not relive the gaming experience in real life.

Note: It was exactly a year ago when I travelled to Nepal and now am planning (or at least thinking of) the next trip. Thought I’d re-post this and give the blog a bit of a refresh.

Mother & Child

Mother And Child

Old Market, Kathmandu, NEPAL.

The old market around Thamel is lined with narrow lanes with buildings on each side. At random there will be an opening, a gateway that opens up to a hidden world, away from the traffic. It is often built low which forces you to bow as you enter through it. This gateway led me to a courtyard.

Cheeky

Cheeky

Old Market, Kathmandu, NEPAL.

And in the courtyard I discovered some kids playing around a makeshift fire. The older kids appear unperturbed at strangers, probably more concerned in keeping the fire going or at least enjoying the warmth. Not the younger ones though…

Chapati Vendors

Chapati vendors

Thamel, Kathmandu, NEPAL.

These guys make an awesome breakfast wrap made of chapati omelette and filled with cabbage and carrots. Price fluctuates between NPR $50 – $60, pending on who is looking after the food cart.

Turmeric Vendor

Turmeric Vendor

Old Market, Kathmandu, NEPAL.

Sharing Warmth

Sharing Warmth

Old Market, Kathmandu, NEPAL.

Heating in Nepal is non-existent. During the day the temperature hovers around 15 degrees Celsius and at night, it’ll drop to about 1 degree. It is very common to see makeshift fires being lit along the streets and people will just huddle around sharing the warmth.

Gam

Gam

Thamel, Kathmandu, NEPAL.

Each morning I get my chai fix at the street corners of Tridevi Sadak and Amrit Marg in Thamel. That is also a hangout place for taxi drivers and rickshaw cyclists. Gam is one of the rickshaw cyclists. I decided to give him the opportunity to take me to Swayambhunath Temple in his rickshaw. Not an easy ride as the roads were filled with potholes and some parts required us to get down and push.

Smoke & Candles

Smoke And Candles

Swayambhunath Temple, Kathmandu, NEPAL.

Hindu and Buddhist devotees gather in harmony to offer their prayers. Buddhists spin prayer wheels whilst Hindus ring the bells and light candles.

A Little Ray Of Sunshine

A Little Ray Of Sunshine

Swayambhunath Temple, Kathmandu, NEPAL.

It is a common sight during Winter to see people sit under the sun as heating is non-existent. Here, basking in the morning sunshine, a Nepali shopkeeper prepares her wares for sale.

He Walks Alone

He Walks Alone

Nagarkot Road, Nagarkot, NEPAL.

Dwellings are scattered alongside Nagarkot Road, and villagers often walk to the village centre either to get supplies or to deposit fresh milk at the milk centre. This person however was walking empty-handed and away from the village centre, perhaps just off on a walkabout.

Sunset Over Ganesh Himal

Sunset Over Ganesh Himal

Watch Tower, Nagarkot, NEPAL.

Some images are best captured with the eyes, not the camera. This is one of them. I literally sprinted the final 200m or so to get up the watch tower as the dying light was receding. Not sure whether it was the thin air or the sprint or perhaps even the grandeur of the sight but it was just breathtaking.

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