Nepal Notes चार

October 26, 1989


(am Seti, Nepal)

The "Royal" plane, or "Kings favorite"

Our flight (Royal Nepal Airlines) from Bangkok to Katmandu was delayed a day because the King of Nepal needed the plane.

Katmandu, Capital, Home of the King

In Nepal the King is still the King (as of 1989!).

My sister Jane is having fun shopping until you drop

Monday we took a bus ride from Katmandu east to Jiri (in 2015 it is still literally the end of the road). The bus was mostly of local folks. I think there were a few western trekkers on the roof. It was crowded; 10-15 people over capacity.

Katmandu's version of "garbage pickup"

The ride was very slow due to overloading and many stops. We spent a lot of time in first gear in the middle of the road. Total ride time was 12 hours; total distance 184 kilometers (115 miles).

Unexpected Bus Rest stop!

I received a reminder that you can't always believe what's in the travel guides. Our guidebook stated that people in Nepal use their right hands for clean tasks such as eating. They use their left hands for unclean tasks (toilet paper is not commonly available). At one point when our bus was stalled along the road some of our fellow passengers got off to stretch. One guy had to answer a call of nature and didn't bother to go too far off the road. He totally shot down the "clean hand, unclean hand" concept. I don't know if handshaking will be part of my customary greeting for the rest of this trip!

First day of backpacking to Bhandar

The first day, Jiri to Bhandar, was a killer. Going up the second ridge (a 900 meter or 2950 foot climb from Shivalaya) was very slow. That night we thought about hiring a porter. We found out they wouldn't be easily available due to some regional festival.

Jane envying the porters...

 The trail itself is good; basically a well worn footpath. There are lots of switchbacks to accomodate the elevation changes. Groups of porters are pretty common, generally a dozen or so men (some women) carrying large triangular wicker baskets that look pretty well loaded. Most carry a sort walking stick with  a T-bar handle thus they can sit on it in a semi-standng position. 

~ Mr. Foresterman


  1. Hello my Feral friend, I have missed you so. It's good to see Fishducky has discovered your blog. She was a friend of my husband's for over 35 years and of course became a friend of mine as well. Like yours, her mind also works in strange ways, which is absolutely fabulous. I wish there were more people like the two of you. This post is so interesting. My friend Rachael went there also back in the 90s. It never occurred to me that one could do that......

  2. GW Feral Woman, and Mr. Foresterman,

    Funny how countries have different customs when dealing with ones hands, lol......

    It's always nice to learn different customs, and beliefs when visiting different countries. The only way to learn about the people and their customs is to experience it directly, instead of doing the traditional tourist things.
    Thanks for sharing!

  3. And so the journey continues. Most excellent. Thank you and yes I have also heard about the 'hand' duty BUT there is also in India, the 'side' if the sari to be used.........

  4. Maybe you could start a trend and touch elbows. I love the photos of this journey - and look at the size of Foresterman's backpack! Holey Moley! The narrative really gives you a good sense of the times and people - love it!

  5. I never was a big fan of shaking hands.....


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