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June 2009

Miscellaneous photos of Nepal!

Finally, we are off on a trek!   Tomorrow am we will be leaving on a flight up to Jomsom through the mountains.   The Annapurnas will be on the right side of the airplane and Dauligiri will be to the left.   We will fly up the Kali Gandaki River gorge (the deepest in the world) to Jomsom (12,000').   Then we will walk 45 minutes downhill to Marpha, acclimatizing for 4 or 5 days, taking day hikes and getting used to the lack of oxygen.  

I'll be checking in when I can, but internet access is even spottier up in those hills!

Wait!   This cafe is faster than ever.   I'm going to post photos of what I couldn't yesterday!100_9819
Here's a shot of Shree's shy daughter in their home. 
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Punam with his portfolio fo Danger Dogs from earlier trips.  
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We took an early morning walk and got a little altitude.   Pokhara is a lovely town.
This is the northside of the lake.
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The beauty shop signboard outside this cafe with the requisite relaxing dog in the background.
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A typical Nepali Beware of Dog signboard.
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Young lads playing soccer (football) in Boudha.
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This is an Indian Honeymoon couple from the next hotel over going out on their evening stroll to dinner (I suppose).   This was probably an arranged marriage and they only recently met.   But they are holding hands, and shyly glancing at each other.   I wish them the best of luck.
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They are remodelling, but at least they kept the sign!   I have been following and photographing this sign since 1999.   So that's one answer to the question on how long do these signs last.  
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Here's where we sit and enjoy the sunset from our balcony at the Green Tara Hotel.  There is an amazing amount of birdsong in this town.   The trees are full of birds of all sorts.   There are 547 known species of birds that come though Pokhara.
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Sufraj has remodelled his studio, adding glass and wood partitions.   He explained that this wall was used to clean his brushes while painting.    He really hates cigarettes.
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And here is Sufraj and his wife in the newly remodelled studio.

We will be off to the mountains until further notice.    If you'd like to order a Danger Dog of your own, please send me your photo at ampage1@gmail.com.   I will be able to receive orders up until the 21st  of July, and even later probably.   All orders received to date are with at least three artists!  

Have a good summer to all of you.   And thanks for following the Danger Dogs.



Pokhara Part 2 - Why I love Nepal & what I do here!

Over the years, many people have asked me just what do I do when I travel.   Well, here is a description.   I'm feeling bold as I have found a Cyber Cafe that is quick!   Here goes.   For breakfast yesterday, we went down to the Lakeside and went to Mike's Breakfast.   The changes were disconcerting at first, but here is the view...
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Hard to beat that view.   Along with the bottomless coffee and the sweet dog chasing the crows away and the delicious masala omelets, it's one of our definitions of paradise. 
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This is the face and soulful eyes of a typical Shikuri Kukor (Nepali hunting dog).   They also have their trademark magnificent fluffy curling tail.   Here he is taking a break from chasing the crows.
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Then off to order from the great Shahi.  I'm really looking forward to seeing his new paintings, as the last time he was busy and had Ram Badahur Lama step in for the Danger Dog portraits.   He is not so busy now and promises that it will be his personal work on the new signboards. 
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Noticed that Jit Gurung was left handed for the first time. 

I also ordered from Santosh, but forgot to take a photo.  

But the best news of the day was that Shree did not go to South Korea for remittance work.   Of course, he was disappointed, and he will try again next year.   I just feel glad that he will get to see his kids in their formative years instead of spending three years simply sending them money.    He was glad to see me, too.   He loves to paint the Danger Dogs, as he gets bored only doing lettering and license plates.   He also moved shop two doors down and is now in one large room with his wife and two kids.  
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It's nice to find an artist that likes the Danger Dogs so much he hangs them as personal art!   That's Fannie, a chow-pekingese Dangers Dog mix, up there on his wall.  

I also ordered from Punam, who showed me his file of Danger Dogs that he photographed and displays proudly.   More photos tomorrow, as I have already spent 2 hours here in this cafe downloading this blog!   But at least you have photos.

The rest of the day was spent delivering gifts of banana plants and avocados to neighboring gardeners here in Pokhara, delivering 40 pairs of shoes for Keg Beni, and topped off the evening with wine and pizza at the local Italian Restaurant Cafe Concerto (with an Italian chef), just down the road!

As always, any questions or comments are appreciated.   Either here or directly to me at ampage1@gmail.com.

Doggedly,

Michelle


Pokhara!

Pokhara is a lakeside community built in the last 50 years or so to take advantage of the extreme natural beauty of the area.   This morning we were greeted with the Annapurna Mountain range peeking out at sunrise.    This is Machupuchare or Fishtail Mountain.   We also saw Dhaligiri, and a few more of the Annapurna range.100_9793
And at sunset last night.  
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These photos are taking so long to upload that maybe I should just talk about the town.   Pokhara is truly lovely when you get out of the cybercafes!    Breakfast was at Mike's Breakfast Pokhara.   Much has changed since last time, not all for the worse!  They have torn down the balustrades and put up a fence, but added a dog and a pretty walkway that locals and water buffalo can stroll down.   Tit for tat!

Tomorrow is another day, another cyber cafe.   I will try again tomorrow.  

Please order quickly if you are so inclined, as I am leaving for the mountains soon!   Please contact me at ampage1@gmail.com with any questions or comments.



Kathmandu Guest House

We also went to the tourist district of Thamel -- busy and bustling, as always.  We stopped to see our friends at the Kathmandu Guest House, an oasis in Thamel's midst.   Great rich deep dark delicious coffee!   100_9562

This is the hotel where I first stayed in 1986.  This garden has fond memories.   100_9564

Of course, then I stayed in the little rooms overlooking the garden on the far right.   These are now converted into little shops.  These weren't the cheapest rooms, but they were delightful.  The Kathmandu Guest House is unusual in that they to this day have both high and low end rooms, ranging in price from $2 to over $100!   Don't find that too often.  

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This being the slow season, they are taking advantage by building a new pavilion off the main lobby.  100_9566

No trip to Thamel, or anywhere else for that matter, would be complete without a good signboard.   And no, this isn't an ad for the gym at the Kathmandu Guest House!


Why we love Kathmandu

We left the hotel early yesterday morning and took a long bus ride around the Ring Road to the other side of town -- to the Buddhist enclave Swayambunath.   Of course, we look at it differently than other people.   100_9555

Signboards of interest everywhere!

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And signboard artists.  

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Even a painting of a dog or two.  

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And the sleeping dogs to accompany them.   100_9560

This is the reverse side of the above signboard.   But life here in Kathmandu is not all crowded busrides along the dusty Ring Road and looking at signboards and sleeping dogs.  100_9543

Sometimes we stop in at the Saturday Cafe overlooking the Boudhanath Stupa and have a selection of homemade sorbets and ice cream.  This day we had plum sorbet and lemon sorbet.   But the Mango ice cream and especially the lychee sorbet are not to be missed.   It went well with the date cake.  

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Here at the Stupa Garden Restaurant, Dan is picking peaches from a tree made for climbing.   Perhaps you've heard of the HoneyHunters of Nepal who scale cliffs in search of honey.   Here's Dan's version.

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The prize!  

We are leaving Kathmandu tomorrow for the resort town of Pokhara, then we will be heading up into the mountains for, we hope, a month.  

You can still order your Danger Dog signboard, but if you want any Pokhara artists, you have to order soon.   The Pokhara artists include Punam, Santosh, Shahi and Jit Gurung.  

Any questions or comments, please contact me at ampage1@gmail.com.

Thanks.