Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Kathmandu, Nepal

After a 12.5 hr. flight from Newark, NJ, I got to sit in transit at the New Delhi Airport in India for 15 hrs. For some reason it seems that all planes from the US arrive just after the last flight of the day to Nepal. Well I finally made it to Kathmandu and was picked up by my tour guide. Then I got to witness the insane traffic of Kathmandu, a city of over 1 million, but only two lanes of traffic. But that doesn't stop 5 different vehicles from trying to drive side by side, weaving in and out with reckless abandon. My viewpoint is see everything there is to see in one day and get out of Kathmandu. The street merchants are relentless. One followed me for 6 blocks until I threatened to get a policeman.

Kathmandu, Nepal {Durbar Square)

Durbar Square has more than 50 temples, shrines and old palaces within a few blocks.

Kathmandu, Nepal { Hindu Cremation Ceremony}

The Pashupatinath Hindu Temple, next to the holy river, the Bagmati, is a very popular place for Hindus to be cremated. While we were on the other side of the river there were 4 cremation ceremonies going on at the same time. For a moment, life's temporary existence seems to stare you in the face.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Kathmandu, Nepal {Buddhist Temples and Stupas}

The first 2 pictures are paintings done by monks which explain the life of Buddha and the Path to Enlightenment. I purchased the first one and the pictures do not show the meticulous detail. The rest of the pictures are of Buddhist Temples, Stupas and Prayer Wheels. The Bodhnath Stupa is the one pictured. A Stupa is a sacred Buddhist shrine. The Prayer Wheels contain a piece of scriptural writing and are activated by spinning them clockwise, which causes the prayer inside to revolve.

Kathmandu to Lukla to Phakding

Sunday March 18, 2007

My Everest journey begins today. Ram, my guide, picked me up at the hotel in Kathmandu and we went to the airport. We left on a small prop plane at 8:40 am to our destination, Lukla. I had heard that landing and taking off at Lukla, which is located on the side of a mountain, is an experience in itself. They were right. It is only a 30 minute flight but what a view. The runway seems less than 300 ft. long. After arriving, we hired a porter, Santos, to help with the large bag. We trekked until our arrival at Phakding. I am getting excited.

Phakding {2610 m.} to Namche Bazaar {3535 m.}

Monday March 19, 2007

Woke up very early {5:30}. The stars seem to be sitting on top of the mountains. Today we walked up and down mountains for 6 hrs. It was so difficult. There was a Nepalese woman about 80 yrs old walking along the same trail. I would rest and she would pass me and then she would rest and I would pass her. Finally she passed me and I would never see her again. Quite a humbling experience. I should have done more cardio. I was always looking for a reason to rest {taking a picture, sip of water or to let group of yaks pass}. I finally made it to Namche Bazaar at 1 pm and had a great lunch of yak pepper steak.