Saturday, September 16, 2006

Om sweet Om..

Bing! in 3 words i managed to tell you both that i made it to India and to my home.. I'm going way late on this blog but as you see, i'm doing my best to catch up!

So we were in Kathmandu, weren't we?
It was nice to see it in the sun after the past rainy week.. and i thought the rain season was now over.. I could admire the old royal palace and it's beautiful wooden windows.. and i never felt Kathmandu was as dirty as i'd been warned.
Actually I just learned that "Kathmandu" means "Wooden market", from "Kath=wood" and "Mandu=market".. thought i should share this recent discovery!

I also made a quick day trip to the old city of Bhaktapur, just 30km east of Kathmandu (although with the maoists demonstrating it's not that easy to reach!).. but the fee for entering the old town was way overpriced, so i gave up.. same thing in Kathmandu for free!

So from there, after finally managing to get my Indian VISA and shipping a new batch of photos to France (that one felt like the 12 works of Asterix!), i decided a last quick hop before reaching my parents in Lucknow..

Well, ok.. when i say "quick hop" i actually mean 20 hours by bus plus 10 by jeeps, all in pouring rain (including inside the bus).. from Kathmandu to Darjeeling.
When i picked my bag from the bus's luggage box, it was completely soaked in water.. the worst mess.. i'm so lucky i could ship the photos just before; that would have been a disaster!

When arriving in Nepal i had the firm impression i was in India already.. yet, when crossing the border to real India it seemed to me there were at least 2 major differences (not including the language since they still speak nepalese in Darjeeling): the density of population had just doubled, and so did the prices!

So i reached Darjeeling on my knees, damp and down! But Darjeeling is worldwide famous for it's amazing tea plantations with a direct view on the Himalaya.. and indeed i could totally.. hum.. imagine the scenary behind the heavy clouds!

So after 2 days of this crap i decided i'd had enough and i'd be much better off chillin' with mummy!

Caught the cute little hill train that covers the 100km track from Darjeeling down to New Jalpaiguri in 9 hours (!).. after 3 months of bus riding, this slow but funny train was a real pleasure!
One night at the station of 'NJP' and another 24 hours to Lucknow, but i'm home!

It's good to see my family again.. and i switched straight to the laziest mode! Haven't done anything, nor shot any pictures... i'm on holiday!! ;-)
So don't expect too much to happen in the next couple of weeks!

Here's bunch of old pics i'm dumping here..

Some last random shots of Kathmandu..

Day trip to Bhaktapur

Trying on the nepalese hat..

the rain stopped for 5 minutes on the way to Darjeeling!

Just to say i was there!

in a shop window.. i guess i'm still in hippies-land!
Darjeeling hill cart

Sunset on the way to Lucknow (you probably wouldn't have guessed!)

My cousin Tanu has just finished a new hand design.. pretty good what do you think?


meghna said...

hey stranger :)
welcome to india....


lalita said...

That "handwork" is awesome!!!

Dilip Datta said...

Hi Joune, come again, Darjeeling will wait for u.