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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Pokhara to Kathmandu


I could have easily run away to Pokhara and never gone back to Istanbul, but I had to return to Kathmandu. I decided to split the long ride back into two days, the first day would be about a four hour bumpy bus ride to Dumre, then a twenty minute microbus up the hill to the town of Bandipur, where I'd spend the night. The second part of the journey would be getting back down to Dumre and taking a microbus to Kathmandu. Bandipur is a gem of a town, with rolling green hills, spectacular views of the Himalaya, and some of the best-preserved Newari architecture in the region— the only drawback is that it is a little pricier than I had anticipated. I could only stay the night, but made the most of it by hiking up the massive hill by the town's entrance that held a tiny temple at its tip, Thani Mai.

Hiking up to Thani Mai was an overwhelming experience; it was physically hard, but there was this point when I felt my body vanish, though I were floating up the hill's wet path like a breath. The mountains were to my right, silently watching above the monsoon clouds.



I started this sketch of a typical building in Bandipur, but the mosquitoes were driving me batty, so this was as far as I got. I've taken to using coffee as my brush water, and I quite like the earthy colours it creates. Below is a portrait of the microbus I took back to Kathmandu, which was a crowded and wild ride. The driver and his "bus attendants"— guys who yell "KATMANDOOKATMANDOOOO!" out the window for him and collect the fares— had great senses of humour and made the four sticky hours pass with ease. When we stopped for a break, I sketched our trusty micro and unintentionally gathered the small group of our passengers around me. We went through my sketchbook before hopping back onto the bus.



While hiking down from Sarangkot in Pokhara, where I drew the Annapurna range, I had slipped on a wet rock and gashed open my leg. I'll spare you the details, but it was pretty deep and bled like crazy. Once back in Kathmandu,
I noticed the wound was developing an infection. So I drew it.
I now have some very nice curved scars as souvenirs.

See the photos, read the story on my blog Harika!

16 comments:

lapin said...

nice way to bring back a souvenir, you will have to do so for each destination, getting it graved in your mind, and your skin ;)
all looks so different, exotic and far, it must have been a dream to be there.

szaza said...

Thank you Lapin!

It was truly a childhood dream come true— some little girls dream of ponies and princesses, I dreamt of the Himalaya and butter tea.

I was thinking of getting a tattoo for my journey, but I think these scars are my tattoo :)

You would love it there.

Rob Carey said...

love the sketches- reminds me of my time in Feb. in Katmandu-- take care of that leg!!

ally said...

you'll spare us the details? that sketch looks pretty detailed to me! ouch! great sketches. take care.

szaza said...

Thanks Rob and Ally!
My leg is all healed now, but with these two new lovely, curved scars.

lilasvb said...

very nice post!

TIA said...

What an adventure. Love the coffee brush work... refreshing!

James Clayton said...

I especially like the second one of the rolling hills and distant mountains.

There is probably no finer way to share a journey with the world than by putting it down in visual ink in a notepad. :)

Stay safe on the journey and hope that your wound has fully healed!

Matthew Brehm said...

"I noticed the wound was developing an infection. So I drew it."

Hilarious!

kumi matsukawa said...

Brilliant and powerful drawings! Great!!! Like you had scars as souvenir, mine from my first trip to Europe was a swell on my head caused from fight against a thief and that is a nice addition to my memory now.

Veronica Lawlor said...

It's wonderful to travel vicariously with you...

john ediger said...

Ha ha!!!! The true sign of a devout sketcher! Draw First , Medical Attention second!!!!!;>)

szaza said...

Wow! Thank you so much everyone!
I'm happy you like them.

Kumi— a fight with a thief?
My goodness! Did you defeat the thief?

kumi matsukawa said...

Actually, after a while of struggle, I gave up my bag and just the thief tried to run away, my friend threw a water pet bottle and it hit his back and he got soaking wet, then she took my bag from him! :)

kumi matsukawa said...

Actually, after a while of struggle, I gave up my bag and just the thief tried to run away, my friend threw a water pet bottle and it hit his back and he got soaking wet, then she took my bag from him! :)

szaza said...

Wow... You two are so brave!
Good for you :)

 
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