The Nepalese are a very friendly race of people with beautiful smiles.
Their traditional greeting is “Namaste” aconventionalHinduexpressiononmeeting someone and usuallyholding thepalmstogetherverticallyinfront of their chest.
The rest of the world could learn something from this.
The spiritual leader, the Dali Lama fled from Tibet to India in 1959 and a guerilla movement fought the Chinese along the Nepalese border up until the 1970’s. The Dali Lama has been barred from visiting Nepal for fear of offending the Chinese, however, there is a considerable presence of Tibetan refugees living in Nepal. The Dali Lama and the exiled Tibetan government are based in India.
The weaving of Tibetan carpets and handicrafts has become a great source of income for both the Tibetan and Nepalese communities.
When inPokhara, we came upon a lovely Nepalese lady with her sister and child crossing a suspension bridge. We exchanged Namaste and with a natural friendliness, got talking to her. Who would believe that she lived in Ireland, not too far from where I live and worked in city centre, Dublin. She was back home in Nepal visiting her family. What a coincedence!
Nepal is a poor country and the average life span is 65 years. The average literacy rate is 65%
We continue our journey through Nepal and find our way around Chitwan – Day Two
We walk to the Rapti river and watch the elephants bathe. I certainly had fun watching the elephants use their trunks to spray water on their riders and being tossed from the elephants back and hurled into the river, splashing in utter delight.
Bhaktapur, founded in 12th century, is the ‘city of devotees’ and looks just like a medieval city built of brick and ornate wood carvings. It is one of the three royal cities in the Kathmandu valley and is considered a cultural gem.
A trip to Nepal in November 2014 proved to be very special and inspirational. In order to preserve these great memories, I would like to share some of these moments with you. I also intend using my photos as inspiration to create new paintings and I hope that you will join me on this journey. Continue reading “Art + Travel Adventure to Nepal – Setting out!”
No matter how tired, or how long the journey was, I could not permit myself to sleep on the coach. I would prop myself by the window, camera at the ready and all because – the Nepalese countryside had a hypnotic effect on me – I feared I might miss something!
Established in 1973, Chitwan National Park is the first national park in Nepal and was granted the status of WorldHeritage Site in 1984.
The journey would take us 6 hours along the main route from Tibet and Kathmandu.
Glued to the window of the bus, I found myself day-dreaming of the disparate lives of the Nepalese. Trucks, lorries, school buses, goats strapped to the roofs of moving vehicles, stray animals wandering down the main street, we see it all!
We arrive at the Jungle Safari Resort. A quick refresh, no time to waste, then off for a ride on two oxen along the lumpy, bumpy tracks.
Local villagers look on with an air of curiosity – how different our lives are!
We come upon the elephant breeding centre. This rural atmosphere seemed absolutely charming.
Next morning, at 5.45 am we find ourselves canoeing on the Rapti River. There was low visibility and the air was cloaked with a mysterious, haunting, grey mist.
The canoes crept along sleekly through the waters and led by officials from the National Park. We spot crocodiles along the bank – in the same water as us! – only a boat between us and them!
As we dismount from the canoes on the far bank the Guide points out the footprint of the Royal Bengal Tiger. It was an old footprint but enough to scare us all that we were now sharing the same land as these wild endangered species.
We go for a long walk, carefully picking each step along the way. We study this terrain for signs of animal life. We stumble upon reindeer, monkeys and magnificent bird life.
The Guide shares his binoculars with us as we pick out magnificent birds in flight and nesting along the banks of the river.
We watch an old man with a herd of water buffalo pick a path across the river. You can tell, this is a man of nature, a man of much knowledge!
We go on a jeep safari and encounter a rhino up close and personal but that’s another story!
We visit Gharial Hatchery Farm where crocodiles are raised before being released into the wild.
Later, we dine alfresco in the grounds of the hotel on a balmy evening. We enjoy the local dance with superb and graceful movement. The music sways us in unison with the brilliance of their striking and vivid costume.