Nepal Pics

Jan 3rd, 2009, 04:52 PM
  #1  
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Nepal Pics

We traveled to Nepal in October and had an amazing trip. Some of our favorite photos can be found by clicking on the link below.

I plan to write more about our trip soon but thought you guys might enjoy some images from Nepal. Thanks to all for helping me plan this great trip!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jackkos...7610859769082/

erwench is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2009, 05:55 PM
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Oh my gosh!! Are you a professional photographer? Those photos are gorgeous. I look forward to your trip report. This makes me want to plan a trip to Nepal. Did you feel safe there? I have traveled throughout Tibet and know that many of the monks have fled to Nepal. Yes, now I must go.
soleil is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2009, 06:22 PM
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Thanks Soleil! I really appreciate your kind compliments.

My husband took the photos...he loves photography but is not a professional (although I would love to see him pursue a career in travel photography so we could travel for free!!)

We did feel safe in Nepal. We took my mother-in-law who is 77 and my daughter who is 21 and never felt unsafe. Although I must admit we felt the need to be cautious in crowded areas where more aggressive beggars were prevalent. I also couldn't help notice the military presence along some of the roadways. This never stopped my husband who walked around Kathmandu solo without any incident.

We spent time in the city, country and jungle and had a fantastic adventure! Nepal is an amazing diverse country! I loved it and plan to return some day. If you were comfortable in Tibet you should feel safe in Nepal.
erwench is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2009, 08:15 PM
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Nice photos! We were also in Nepal in October I think we have some photos of the same sadhu!
Kathie is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2009, 08:38 PM
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Hi Kathie! Hope your trip was as wonderful as ours. I haven't had a chance to read any postings since my return but thought I saw a trip report from you.

I appreciate all the help and advice you and Dogster gave me before my trip. I loved Nepal and would love to go back... so much to see and so little time.

I'll bet we did wind up with pictures of the same sadhu! Did you post any pictures?
erwench is offline  
Jan 4th, 2009, 12:33 AM
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Pictures are amaxing! Love the one of the woman with the basket on her back
laartista is offline  
Jan 4th, 2009, 01:12 AM
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Very nice!
Hanuman is offline  
Jan 4th, 2009, 07:47 AM
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Wow - I agree with everyone else. Your pictures are beautiful. Thanks for sharing. Nepal's on my list - but the list is long, so not sure when I'll get there. I'm assuming these shots were taken with an SLR?
Thanks.
althom1122 is offline  
Jan 4th, 2009, 08:10 AM
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Ah Ha! I see you made it to Phulbari.

Now, I want a full report, erwench. Was my idea a success for you? Did you think it was special? I'm dying to know. I was very pleased you had taken it, but, as you now know, it's unique. Maybe you hated it. Tell me, tell me, tell me. I've been waiting for this.
dogster is offline  
Jan 4th, 2009, 12:33 PM
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Our photos are at www.marlandc.com

Nepal is such a photogenic place! Amazing people, amazing things to photograph.

Yes, I did post a trip report it's here: http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...7&tid=35166349
Kathie is offline  
Jan 5th, 2009, 08:36 AM
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Althom, you were right the camera is a Nikon D300 SLR. Thanks to all for the compliments on the pictures. I recently had a website made to share my husband's pictures as a gift for Christmas… if you want to check out more of his travel shots please visit www.jackkostelec.com Your comments on the site are appreciated.

Now, Dogster on to Phulbari! I guess you could say the place got mixed reviews from my family… of course you and I knew going into this that pleasing three generations would be nearly impossible. But I have to say that Apa Villa turned out to be the cultural experience I craved and provided my family with memories they’ll never forget! Okay, now for the trip report...

"So Close Yet So Far"

The farm and grounds of Apa Villa were absolutely beautiful! Finding the place was a nightmare! The driver got turned around and we spent a good deal of time heading up and then back down the mountain roads of the area looking for the turn off to the farm. Our young driver refused our repeated request to call Mr. Tiger ensuring us in broken English that he knew where he was going…he did not! His driving skills were…eh, umm “developing” and with the twisting narrow roads this made for a white knuckled and truly frightening experience. Believe me...many a prayer was muttered in that truck as our driver became more frustrated and drove faster and more erratically to make up time. I finally had enough and asked to use the driver’s cell phone to call Mr. Tiger for help. He answered immediately, voiced his concern that we had not yet arrived, and was able to direct the driver to the road that led to Apa Vila.

Even after the call it took a couple stops to consult with the locals to find the exact location of the place. When we finally pulled up to a muddy, wooded area and were told to get out of the truck, my already frustrated family looked at me as if I had gone mad…”is this what you were expecting?” my husband asked. My mother-in-law who had been jostled around quite a bit during the ride and who was now closer to Jesus just wanted out of the truck and my daughter gave me a curt “you’ve got to be kidding, Mom!” We were soon surrounded by a group of curious onlookers from the village. Mr. Tiger appeared and led us up the long muddy path with Mom struggling a bit with the difficult terrain. Our bags were collected from the roof of the 4x4, hoisted onto the heads of small skinny Nepalese men who easily breezed by us as we huffed and puffed up the steep trail.

Next installment to follow.
"I Underestimated the Creepiness"
erwench is offline  
Jan 5th, 2009, 11:07 AM
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WOW!!! What photos! Art! Thanks for letting me enjoy them.
Elainee is offline  
Jan 5th, 2009, 11:51 AM
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Great start to your report! More!
Kathie is offline  
Jan 5th, 2009, 01:19 PM
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Waiting for your report. Your pictures are amazing. Now I have to add this to my Must See Trips!
dgunbug is offline  
Jan 5th, 2009, 03:43 PM
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Just posted some additional photos of Phulbari.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jackkos...7610859769082/

"I underestimated the creepiness”

By now you may have guessed that Mr. Tiger is the caretaker of the farm turned guesthouse otherwise known as Apa Villa Phulbari. This is a gorgeous property tucked away in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains about an hour southeast of Kathmandu not too far from the pilgrimage spot of Namo Buddha. This hillside organic farm sits above a small poor village and produces delicious fruits, vegetables, jams and jellies that are proudly served to the brave guests who make the trek up the hill for a stay. Unfortunately, in the last few years, very few people have made the trip due to the Maoist presence in the area. And so, we were the only visitors to the farm for our three-night stay.

A bit of description...there are three main structures on the farm-- the main house, the sun house and the cave house. We stayed in the cave house which is a large two-story building built into the side of a hill. The first floor had a bathroom and a mudroom of sorts but sadly no hot water during our stay. On the second floor was a very spacious all-purpose room with a big pit fireplace in the center and a wall of floor to ceiling windows were you could gaze out at the beautiful Himalayan Mountains. The electricity was spotty at best and we did wind up spending several hours in the dark one evening. Again the property was gorgeous, inspiring, peaceful, and serene and definitely worth all the effort.

So we settled into our little piece of Nepalese paradise and were told we would be escorted down to the main farmhouse for dinner at 7pm. Mr. Tiger arrived on time with a flashlight and we made our way in the dark down the hill to our meal. Not so easy for Mom who again was having trouble with the uneven terrain especially now that it was dark.

So now for the creepiness…. Our meal was served in a small room that doubled as a bedroom and kitchen. It was just wide enough for a picnic table and benches and had two built-in large bed areas off to one side. This is where the cook and others (including our young driver) would spend the night-- I suppose. When I say kitchen I really mean a small portable two-burner stove and crock-pot set up on the edge of one of the bed platforms. As we sat down, we looked up to find no less than 4 of the employees of the farm sitting on the beds intent on watching our every bite. They would not join us at the table and instead stared intently at us as if we were an episode of “must see TV.” We were afraid to take a second helping of the meal… thinking the men must be waiting for us to finish so they could eat whatever we left. Okay, I knew this was coming from Dogster’s description but I truly underestimated the creepiness of having these men fixated on my family during our meal.

Next installment…”An uninvited guest”
erwench is offline  
Jan 5th, 2009, 04:00 PM
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Wow! Some really stunning photos at the Phulbari!
Kathie is offline  
Jan 5th, 2009, 05:38 PM
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Just reading now. Lol lol lol. It's making me smile as I read it. Fascinating to see another view. I'll wait for more. No Govinda? Only Mr. Tiger? The Beautiful Mr. Tiger? [I invented his name - it's totally inappropriate, isn't it - Misterrrr Tigah-h-h!' was how I said it.]

I love your description of meal time. Exactly the same as mine.
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Jan 5th, 2009, 06:14 PM
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Dogster...I think this Mr Tiger nickname is the name we must have adopted for Mr Govinda (et al) from your descriptions of the folks at Phulbari before we left. Of course Mr Govinda was there! Did we just start calling everyone Mr. Tiger? Yes, I think we did! Its all so fuzzy now, must have been all that homemade organic Rhododrendron wine!
erwench is offline  
Jan 5th, 2009, 06:20 PM
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Did Govinda tell you that about a year ago, maybe more, just after I stayed, the Maoists overran the property, beat him up, took over his house and stole his stuff? Did you meet his children?

I'm loving this. Really, I was very impressed that you took this punt. I think it's worth all the hassle. I'll be fascinated to see if any of your family are still talking to you.

Just blame me. lol.

oh, and how are the olive trees? I helped plant one of them.
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Jan 5th, 2009, 06:36 PM
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Govinda never shared the Maoist story he did say things were bad but getting better. I'm sure he didn't want to scare us. He really seemed happy to have visitors at the farm!

I don't think we ever met Govinda's children but we certainly met many of the little ones in the village. My husband spent a lot of time hanging out with the people of the area...helping with chores and soaking up the culture. Exactly what I was hoping would happen!

Oh, the olive trees were a growin' and thrivin' just like all the other wonderful food at Phulbari!
erwench is offline  

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