Saturday, November 19, 2011


[leaving Dhaka]

[I sat next to this guy on the plane - he kept leaning over me asking how far up in the sky we were and pointing to the sky asking if it was the ocean/sea. I tried to draw him a map explaining that our route from Dhaka to Kathmandu didn't involve any large bodies of water. The other odd thing was that he took his seat next to me during take-off, he must have left his initial seat while the plane was being taxied, but he chose to sit and lean over me even though there were many other free and available window seats. Note: Despite his breadth, he never used the armrest - presumably a concept/word he is unfamiliar with]


[fab breakfast for $2 - top notch]

[pretending to read a book in my hotel room - Kathmandu]

[Entering the town of Pokhura. I don't, nor want to, know what this is. I get a very bad feeling just looking at it. Kind of reminds me of Bart Simpsons crib]

[I found these local men more amusing than the paragliders.
I spent the afternoon reading next to them on the lawn as they most have snapped
a cellphone picture of every single glider that landed
- 70 at least, all the same angle]

[Pokhura lakeside]

[spent the day with these kids. really sweet and funny no-gooders.
met up with them again once I returned to Pokhura to play football]

[this monkey chased us around and bit one of the boys -
two of them were absolutely terrified of the creature. tragic, but very funny to watch]

[Me and 'the boys' sharing sandwiches]

[At dusk, the eve before I embark on my trek, I have my first sighting of
Machapuchare - aka the Fish Tail, aka My Beacon]

[closer glimpse of Machapuchare. after refusing to pay the ridiculous taxi fee from Pokhura to Nayapuli I opted for the local bus instead. I had to stand in the aisle for majority of the 3 journey, but I still feel it was worth it. Most of the guys sat rooftop, which I was happily offered, but I was too concerned with my well being]

[The bus stopped about a dozen times along the steep dirt highway. We came to one spot where there was 3 or 4 shacks, which I suspected was yet another stop to grab a bite. Turns out it was my destination, luckily I asked. I was the only one getting out there and it didn't really appear to look anything like a village or town. I asked the bus driver which way to Nayupili, and he said this was it. OK, I said, which way to Baharanati (the next village I was to walk to). He pointed first North, back to where we had came from, and then South further along the highway. Apparently both ways led to Baharanati. I went South, but oddly, he was right, both ways did in fact lead to Baharanati. Like Rome in some sense]

[just outside Baharanati (sp?) on the way to Ghandruk]

[rice fields at the end of harvest. little did I know when I took this picture
that I was lost. I was one of the only person on the trek without a guide.
not an issue most of the time, but a few times a day I would wander off
trail until I was turned around by local hill people]

[hard to make out, but that giant bush with feet
is a woman carrying a bunch of ivy]

[view from my window - Ghandruk, first night]

[getting closer]

[family's son that I stayed with]

[big dipper over South Annapurna]

[funny. I stopped on the side of the path here, completely wiped,
to catch my breath, and then was passed by a family carrying
a fashion shopping bag and teen daughter on a cell phone]

[Tadopani. behind me, Annupurna South]

[having a late night hangout with a guide - Happy Beamil]


[my room in Tadopani - reminded me a lot of a scene from
Davy Crocket, I think some kind of bedroom in the Alamo.
My brother might know what I'm talking about]

[very cold]

[ridge before Ghoropani]


[way to Poon Hill]


[Ghoropani at sundown]

[430am hike to Poon Hill for sunrise]

[twenty or so minutes later]

[very cool; just as the sun peaked it's head over the horizon the polar moon dipped
beneath the mountain ridge - literally within the same minute.
almost like two characterstaking turns sharing the stage]

[so glad my pal Frances could join me the hike up]

[Poooooon Hill]

[Sanctuary Lodge - back in Pokhura]

[monkey temple - Kathmandu]

[can't get enough of monkeys]

[god of energy]

[i feel ya, bro]

[monkey temple hq]

[I don't know why I bothered asking others to take my picture,
the result was always disappointing]

[spectators at Pashupatinath. out of respect I decided not to take any pictures of the dead bodies which were burned and swept (of what remained) into the river. but you can google it for yourself]

[there was this woman, presumably a mother, who went into this uncontrollable
cry as the body was burned. the mourning stuck with me for a long time]

[by Durbar square]

[Durbar square - at least I believe so]

[flight back home to Dhaka]

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