Archive for the 'Nepal' Category

Motorcycling Katmandu Valley II

---> Wo ist das?

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007 Latitude: 27.773481387145207N Longitude: 85.27450561523438E

While I am already back in Germany, I still have a lot of movie clips and pictures left from my trip to Nepal to share. So here’s some notes and a little clip from my last full day in Katmandu. We stopped working on Friday and I had been able to again organise a motorcycle to go for a day trip the next morning, swapping the noisy, chaotic city for the beautiful mountains surrounding the Valley.

This time around, I was lucky: I had found a dirt bike, a 185 cc Honda. Much more comfortable for my size and also feeling safer in the traffic of the Nepalese capitol as you generally sit more upright. I started off from the hotel and payed a second visit to the Boudha Stupa, the huge Tibetan-Buddhist sanctuary on the north-east of the city. From there it was back on to the infamous ring road. After almost a half circle around the city, I turned right onto a road leading into the mountains. Immediately traffic died down to the occasional motorcycle, car or one of the notoriously overbooked overland busses with people riding on the roof. The road was in a state comparably well to what I had been riding on the week before: Few potholes, good tarmac. Beautiful views and quiet interesting encounters…

Turnaround point was a fish farm by the side of the road. Using the water coming down the mountains the “farmer” was breeding rainbow trout. He showed me around the steep arrangement of basins with the fish in different age and size. He hasn’t done anything like it before, but returning from the US and Canada, where he had lived for many years, he got interested in it and started his own business. Not an easy undertaking, he confessed, as the road conditions make transportation a real challenge: It is still easier to wait for people finding the farm, the fish, and the lunch that can be enjoyed on the nice spot than bringing the fish to where the people are.

Drachen am Straßenrand

---> Wo ist das?

Friday, November 9th, 2007 Latitude: 27.796942N Longitude: 85.269295E

2007-10-13_10-58-49_Katmandu_Nepal Im Herbst feiert ganz Nepal das Dharsein-Fest. Für die Kinder bedeutet das: Drachensteigen lassen. Überall kann man dann die aus buntem Seidenpapier und gespaltetem Bambus handgefertigten Drachen kaufen, sowie Spindeln mit ausreichend Schnur, um die tanzenden Schmuckstücke hochsteigen zu lassen.


Kids flying kites along the street out of Katmandu Valley. It was the time of the annual Dharsein festival in Nepal which is traditionally greeted by children flying these handmade kites. You could see them literally everywhere, flying from rooftops or here, from the side of the road. While handmade, these kites are comparably cheap, so loosing one isn’t to much of bad luck. What’s pricey are the spindles at about 20 times the amount you’d have to give for a kite.

Beim Schuhmacher in Patan

Friday, October 12th, 2007 Latitude: S Longitude: E

2007-10-10_12-19-28_Katmandu_Nepal Getting my shoes fixed at a local shoemakers shop in Patan, Nepal. 20 Minutes later, the only recently bought but already broken pair of Merrell shoes looked better than ever.

“Was ist denn der Hauptunterschied zwischen einem Schuhmacher in Deutschland und hier in Nepal”, wollte Deepak wissen, der mich auf seinem Motorrad mitgenommen hatte zum Schuhmacher in Patan. Na, am meißten vielleicht, dass unsere Schuhmacher nicht mehr auf dem Boden sitzen. Und vielleicht auch, dass der Beruf des Schuhmachers am aussterben ist. Und vielleicht auch, dass bei uns eine 20-minütige Reparatur inklusive komplett Politur und Aufarbeiten der Schuhe nicht nur 60 €urocent kostet? Schumacherpreise sind am unteren Ende der Preisschere in diessem Land. Manche Dinge sind fast so teuer wie bei uns in Europa, vor allem Güter und Dienste, die sich die Oberschicht und die Besucher leisten wollen. Andere bleiben bezahlbar für die Allgemeinheit, als Besucher bezahlt man dann eine Art Ausländer-Aufschlag, siehe meinen Besuch beim Friseur, für den ich fast das 10-fache bezahlt habe dessen, was man im Allgemeinen dafür bezahlt. Oder die Taxipreise, die für uns gerne mal ein ungenau vielfaches dessen kosten, was ein Nepalese bezahlen würde.


Eines allerdings war genau gleich: Die Art, sich über den Schuh zu beugen, den Leim einzustreichen in den vorher aufgerauhten Spalt zwischen Sohle und Leder, einen Faden mit einem scharfen Spatel abzutrennen, der Geruch in dem kleinen Raum, die gelbbraune Farbe, all das erinnerte mich an den alten Schuster in meinem Heimatdorf.

Motorcycling Kathmandu Valley…

Thursday, October 11th, 2007 Latitude: S Longitude: E

Stupa in Boudha, Nepal

This is the big “Stupa” in Boudha, close to Katmandu. It’s a buddhist sanctuary where many tibetian refugees go.


On our way to Nagarkot.


Two young ladies in a small village near Nagarkot. We stopped to get a drink.


Deepak, my friend and guide, taking a small break from chatting with the girls…

At the cow-wash, Nepal.

The local cow-wash.


Young boy with young goats…


Finally, Nagarkot tower. From here, the view goes not only over Katmandu valley but potentially also to some of the Himalaya peaks. Although the weather was nice, it was far from being clear. Clouds on the horizons obscured the view. Nevertheless, a beautiful day.


This lady was in the process of cooking and washing noodles for “Chowmein”, fried noodles. I photographed and interviewed her (with the help of Deepak), and later we of course had to also taste the freshly prepared meal.


The ladys husbands hands, preparing our meal.


Getting back into Katmandu, vendors under umbrellas at the roadside.

Waiting for the mountains…

---> Wo ist das?

Thursday, October 11th, 2007 Latitude: 27.724159000N Longitude: 85.524635000E