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Asia- Tibet and Nepal

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Photographs924 of 5172Photomatic Photograph by International Mutoscope Reel Company, Inc. of New YorkInfluenza Epidemic 1918
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    Posted 5 years ago

    (70 items)

    In the summer of 1998, I decided I wanted to see Asia. I was teaching and had the summer months free so I went. I wanted to go alone, and I didn't even want to book tours. I had three Lonely Planet guidebooks- Nepal, Tibet, and Thailand- for the three countries I intended to visit, a backpack, and a couple of changes of clothes. In retrospect, I could've planned better. My only planning aside from antibiotics (in the event of dysentery) was arranging to stay at the Kathmandu Guest House when I arrived in Nepal.

    Anyway, I thought you all might like to see some of the more memorable photos from my trip. I took hundreds upon hundreds (film) and came away with some favorites that still remain my favorites today.

    The first is a sadhu in Dakshinkali, Nepal.

    The second is a group of Khampas in Tibet. I hired a driver to take me overland to Lhasa (and then to Tsurphu), and there was a landslide after Zhangmu but before Nyalam. I had to wait for a driver coming from the other side as my driver couldn't make it across the gaping crevasse that was left after dynamite was used to clear the rocks and debris. I had to make it across, though, if I wanted to continue with my trip, and these kindly gentleman helped me get across without falling to my death.

    The third photo is of children on the Tibetan Plateau. You can see that they're impoverished, and they were very hungry as well. I had some crackers and gave the pack to them to share.

    The last photo is one of my all time favorites. It was taken near Tingri, I think, and I believe this was one of the times my driver stopped to adjust the carburetor because of the thinning atmosphere. I was feeling quite lightheaded as I was not used to altitude, and this, along with the scene before me, gave me a heady, otherworldly experience. All one could hear were the bells on the approaching rider and foal and the woman's laughter. The scenery was, quite literally, breathtaking!

    Thanks for looking at my photographs!


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    1. iggy iggy, 5 years ago
      Sounds like an awesome adventure!
    2. betweenthelens betweenthelens, 5 years ago
      Thank you for the love, Rich and vetraio50. Rich, it was one of the best experiences of my life.
    3. Newfld Newfld, 5 years ago
      Traveling & interacting with people from other lands is always an exciting, broadening experience. I commend you for putting yourself forward and getting these beautiful photos you are sharing with us now
    4. Caperkid, 5 years ago
      Ditto for me! I couldn't do a trip like that alone where I didn't know the language. Kudos Laura you got b@lls :)
    5. betweenthelens betweenthelens, 5 years ago
      Thanks so much, Jenni and Roy. Roy, I actually taught myself very rudimentary Nepali, Tibetan and Mandarin, and this really helped me. I wasn't in Thailand for as long as I was in Nepal and Tibet so I learned very few expressions in Thai.

      I believe the trip was more dangerous than I thought before going into it, and when I got home, I realized that it had quite an element of risk-taking. I think I was a bit naive at the time and very lucky the whole thing didn't turn out disastrous. There were greater inroads being made by the Maoist insurgents in Western Nepal when I was there, and in 2001, there was the murderous palace coup. I was grateful to be in the U.S. and not over there during the coup.
    6. jscott0363 jscott0363, 5 years ago
      What an INCREDIBLE experience this must have been for you Laura!! I love your story and your photos are outstanding.
      Interesting story. A local man, that I knew well all my life, and his son, went on a mountain climbing trip there in the 1980's. Halfway up the mountain, his son had an insulin attack and died on that mountain. The government there would not allow his deceased son to be brought off the mountain. So, he's buried on that mountain. His father said that is where he'd want to be buried.
    7. betweenthelens betweenthelens, 5 years ago
      Thank you so much for the love, buckethead and Scott. Scott, I am so sorry about your friend's son. Usually those with a passion for mountaineering will want the mountain to be their final resting place if disaster were to strike.

      I wish I'd had the chance to make it to Base Camp, at least, but that didn't materialize. There's always a next time! Trekking in the Everest Region (Jamie McGuinness) is a great guide, if you're planning on going there to trek.
    8. betweenthelens betweenthelens, 5 years ago
      Thank you for the love, SpiritBear!
    9. AnnaB AnnaB, 5 years ago
      What an incredible experience! I keep telling myself that maybe in the next lifetime i'll have enough courage to do something like that...Thank you for sharing.
    10. fortapache fortapache, 5 years ago
      That's the way to do a vacation. You made it a bit farther than I do. I generally don't go farther than I can drive in a day.
    11. betweenthelens betweenthelens, 5 years ago
      Thanks so much for the love:


      Anna, I'm not so sure it was courage on my part. It was more naïveté and pure luck that I made it unscathed.

      Fortapache, I love those kinds of trips, too. There's something to be said for enjoying what's right in one's backyard.
    12. PoliticalPinbacks PoliticalPinbacks, 5 years ago
      Free wheeling I found to be the most memorable trip too, Sounds like a great vacation, if I ever get out of here I'm going to Kathmandu ;p
    13. betweenthelens betweenthelens, 5 years ago
      Thanks so much for the love, Pasha, Sean and PoliticalPinbacks.
      PoliticalPinbacks, do you think Bob ever went? ;)
    14. PhilDMorris PhilDMorris, 5 years ago
      The pleasure is all ours. We all seem to accumulate so many photos and your photos were simply meant to be shared. The second photo is a masterpiece !~
    15. betweenthelens betweenthelens, 5 years ago
      Phil, thank you so very much. I really appreciate your kind compliments. I was sitting on my pack in the second photo, rather impatient to get going, and the Khampas were all smiles and joviality. It was as if they didn't have anywhere to go or anyplace to be but right there, and I know this wasn't the case as they don't stand around waiting for landslides. They certainly live in the moment and embrace it all, even if it's considered a hardship. We sang Tibetan Buddhist prayers together and it was quite the memorable experience. I wonder what happened to them.
    16. Zippo Zippo, 5 years ago
      Looks like you had a good time for sure...would love it if you posted more pictures we can all be on that trip with you ...smiling
    17. AnnaB AnnaB, 5 years ago
      Yes, more pictures!
    18. betweenthelens betweenthelens, 5 years ago
      Thank you so much for the love, Zippo. I will post more photos for you and Anna.
    19. kyratango kyratango, 5 years ago
      F A N T A S T I C !!!!!!

      My fav is the last photo, as you said I can hear the horse bell and the woman's laugh...
      This is a trip you come back different from :-D
    20. betweenthelens betweenthelens, 5 years ago
      Thank you so much, kyratango. You are absolutely right. The trip changed me and still has an impact, 20 years later.
    21. PostCardCollector PostCardCollector, 5 years ago
      Your photos and story are just great!!! That last photo ought to be in a gallery!!!! It speaks volumes for the solitude and way of life. You are so brave to have made the trip. As a mother, I wouldn't have let my daughters go. I guess I'd have had them kidnapped first. Were your folks in agreement that you should travel alone in a country so different from ours.. What an experience!!!
    22. betweenthelens betweenthelens, 5 years ago
      Hi PostCardCollector. Thank you so much for the love and kind compliments. Much appreciated! I was almost 32 so I was past the age of concern, I guess.
    23. PostCardCollector PostCardCollector, 5 years ago
      No age can be past the age of concern..... Did you tote a weapon?
    24. betweenthelens betweenthelens, 5 years ago
      PCC, I had a Swiss Army knife with multiple tools. lol
      Thank you for the love, Ron!

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