I always believed that if you really want to experience a new country, you must do a road trip. So, during my recent trip to Nepal, I wasn’t going to miss the chance to hit the road.
Oblivious to the traffic and against the best advice of my friend Sachin, I decided to find somebody to drive me from Kathmandu to Chitwan (some 150 km). In my mind, this distance wasn’t supposed to keep us on the road for more than maximum 4 hours. I was proven wrong. The horrible traffic and road conditions stretched the time needed to more than 6 hours.
As I managed to get over the shock of getting out of Kathmandu, mainly cause by the desire of getting to my destination alive seeing all the trucks and busses speeding through the sharp turns and madly overtaking one another, I pointed my camera out the window at the side of the road in an attempt to capture something more.
This is a small selection of images taken from the car on the way to Chitwan.
Wearing different clothes and preaching different words doesn’t change the money-making, manipulative, evil and mischievous institution that every organized religion is!
A holy men day!
Bhaktapur, meaning the city of devotees, was founded by King Ananda Dev in 1197 AD.
The Durbar Square was the seat of the Malla Kings and the present structures were erected from the 12th to the 18th century AD.
I was always attracted by the peacefulness that most travel guides characterize Nepal with. And there might very well be some on a high mountain peak or isolated valley in the Himalayas. But the city…!! let me tell you it is not as peaceful. Don’t get me wrong, it is beautiful and it has a wired calm, but it is not at all as you would imagine (hard to explain , but I will try).
The calm seems to radiate from the crowds. While the narrow streets are full with people , cars and motorcycles that constantly sound their horns (which I find very irritating), everybody minds his own business. They barely take notice of the constant loud beeps or even of me taking a photo and when they do, they smile kindly and they carry on with whatever keeps them busy.
The narrow streets are like a wired computer game for a first time visitor, where you have to dodge people and those crazy bikers. Your reflexes must be sharp and you must be quick on your feet, otherwise you are bound to have a mirror from some kind of motorized vehicle caressing you behind (like I already experienced). And I am yet to see an accident worst than a scratch on some rundown paint-job (to me a bit unusual, but it is only my second day).
So the peacefulness proves hard to find , so far. But I was almost forced to feel the people’s calm that seems to be more like a necessity in this corner of the world. Otherwise the buzz of the streets, the crazy driving, the narrow roads can drive somebody insane.