Why I Love Nepal Feed

Live from Nepal: Beautiful Pokhara

Pokhara is a lakeside resort town in Central Nepal.   This week the views of the Machhupuchhare (Fishtail Mountain) and the Annapurna Range have been off the charts!

Machhupuchhare as seen from Pokhara Lakeside
Machhupuchhare in the evening glow

The tourist area of Lakeside abuts Lake Fewa, and when the Himalayas are out, they are magnificent from almost any location.

Machhupuchhare (also known as Fishtail Mountain - much easier to promounce and spell) is a sacred mountain and is forbidden to climb.   It's profile is stunning.

Himalayan view from Hotel Green Tara
View from the Hotel Green Tara

After the long 8-hour bus ride from Kathmandu, we arrive at the Hotel Green Tara and enjoy a cool drink on the terrace.   This was the view with which we were rewarded.

The string of lights in the foreground are for the Nepali holiday of Deepawalli, aka Tihar and Laxmi Puja.

Boats along the shore of Lake Fewa
Lakeside at Lake Fewa

The lovely lakeside footpath along Lake Fewa provides a chance to see the colorful boats (you can rent one!) as well as young lovers and families strolling along enjoying the views.   

Nepali boxer dog
A very friendly Boxer at The Castle Resort

A quick hike up the foothill to The Castle Resort (31 story climb according to my friend's Apple phone pedometer) and we have more magnificent views, a very cold beer and a spot by the pool.   There are 3 live Boxers at The Castle Resort and...

Taxadermied Boxer Dog
The taxidermied Boxer Brannigan

One stuffed one!

The stuffed Boxer Brannigan holds sway over The Castle Resort's Brannigan's Pub.   This Boxer was too beloved to bury and he keeps an eye on the goings on.   Notice that Brannigan was not forgotten when it comes to blessings on Nepal's Day of the Dog.

Boxer Dog in Nepal
Brannigan's daughter alive and sniffing

This is Brannigan's daughter.  I have to wonder what she first thought when she saw her stuffed Daddy.   

Folk art portrait of a Persian Cat hand painted on metal by a sign board artist in Nepal
Folk art portrait of a Persian Cat

I am here in Nepal to commission more portraits of pets from around the world.    This is Leon, a Persian Cat hand painted on metal by Megh Raj Thapa, Sagar Bitsa and Sufraj Khadka (clockwise from top left).  This is similar to what you can expect if you send me a photo of your pet.   I will give the same photo to 3 different Nepali artist and then you can choose which you like best.   Or you can buy all 3, as did Leon's human...

Stay tuned.   More adventures in Nepal are sure to follow.

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I am in Nepal right now and accepting orders.

Now is the time to order:   Be ahead of the Pack!   Orders now being accepted for the October 2016 trip.  I will be back in early December 2016 in plenty of time to mail holiday orders.

1. Please send me a photo of your pet.  I will give it to three different artists, giving you a choice of 3 paintings and three people will get work.   Each painting is about one square foot and is on metal with synthetic enamel paint.   These can be hung indoors or out.

2. Let me know what you would like it to say.

3. Let me know what style of portrait you would prefer:   naive, realistic, colorful, etc.

4. Tell me your pet's name and breed.   

5. Send your photo to me at:   ampage1@gmail.com  
That's it !

Satisfaction is guaranteed as I accept no money up front.   If you do not like one of the three, you pay nothing, and the 3 artists are paid in full in any case.   Let me know what you want it to say and that's it!

The cost is $250 plus shipping.   Shipping is around $18 per sign (to and from the US).   And 9.75% California sales tax for California residents.  
Pay after choosing your portrait. 
Multiple pets on one sign cost more ($325 for Double, $400 for Triple).

Let's keep these artists painting.

This hand-painted art form is fast disappearing in Kathmandu, as it already has in most parts of the world.   I pay fair trade wages, the artists get to paint again, pet lovers get a choice of three paintings for each commission, and I get to help Nepali artists make a living.   Everybody is happy.   Rescue dogs from America get to rescue artists from Nepal!


Live from Kathmandu: Nepal's Day of the Dog 2016

Nepal is the only country in the world to have a day that honors dogs.   And they do it spectacularly!

Nepali street dog on Nepal's Day of the Dog
Nepali street dog on Kukur Tihar

 This lovely dog has found a soft spot to relax after being treated on Kukur Puja, Nepal's Day of the Dog.   

Tihar is a Hindu religious holiday and is widely celebrated throughout Kathmandu.

Nepal's Day of the Dog in Kathmandu
Another happy dog with his bone

 This guy is too tired to eat that bone!   

Nepal's day of the dog celebrated in Kathmandu
Spaniel dog in the window on Kukur Tihar

Not only street dogs, but house pets get the treats.

Golden Retreiver on Nepal's Day of the Dog in Kathmandu
Dog and his master on Nepal's Day of the Dog

It is plain to see that this dog is well loved.

Accord to Hindu lengend, the dog is revered as the guard of Yamaraj, the God of Death.  This Retreiver is not a guard dog!

Nepali child and her dog on the Day of the Dog Kukur Tihar
A Nepali girl and her beloved dog

This little girl is in her new dress.  A Tihar tradition is that one wears new clothes.   

Tibetan lady feeds the dogs on the Boudha Stupa
Tibetan lady feeds the dogs on the Boudha Stupa

Even in Buddhist Boudha, the dogs get their mallas (marigold garlands) and tikas on their foreheads.

This woman feeds the street dogs around the Boudha Stupa daily.

Please make sure that every year is a day of the dog in your life.   

Jack Russell dog hand painted on metal in Nepal
Zoe the Jack Russell by 3 Nepali sign painters

This is what you can expect when you have your own pet immortalized on metal in Nepal.  Zoe was a commisisoned portrait from a previous year.   Her portraits are by Sanjib Rana, Megh Raj Thapa and Sagar Bitsa (clockwise from top left).

To see previous years' blogs of the Day of the Dog in Nepal, click here.

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I am in Nepal right now and accepting orders.

Now is the time to order:   Be ahead of the Pack!   Orders now being accepted for the October 2016 trip.  I will be back in early December 2016 in plenty of time to mail holiday orders.

1. Please send me a photo of your pet.  I will give it to three different artists, giving you a choice of 3 paintings and three people will get work.   Each painting is about one square foot and is on metal with synthetic enamel paint.   These can be hung indoors or out.

2. Let me know what you would like it to say.

3. Let me know what style of portrait you would prefer:   naive, realistic, colorful, etc.

4. Tell me your pet's name and breed.   

5. Send your photo to me at:   ampage1@gmail.com  
That's it !

Satisfaction is guaranteed as I accept no money up front.   If you do not like one of the three, you pay nothing, and the 3 artists are paid in full in any case.   Let me know what you want it to say and that's it!

The cost is $250 plus shipping.   Shipping is around $18 per sign (to and from the US).   And 9.75% California sales tax for California residents.  
Pay after choosing your portrait. 
Multiple pets on one sign cost more ($325 for Double, $400 for Triple).

Let's keep these artists painting.

This hand-painted art form is fast disappearing in Kathmandu, as it already has in most parts of the world.   I pay fair trade wages, the artists get to paint again, pet lovers get a choice of three paintings for each commission, and I get to help Nepali artists make a living.   Everybody is happy.   Rescue dogs from America get to rescue artists from Nepal!

You can tell that this is a valued family friend.

 


Live from Kathmandu: Mannequins galore!

The streets of Kathmandu have some wonderfully strange mannequins.   Today, I am featuring mannequins from Boudha.

Mannequins of Nepal
Mannequin in Boudha

This mannequin is just outside Boudha's famous Stupa and she is dressed to thrill.   The hat, the sunglasses, the fancy Chuba - she always makes me smile.

Funny misspelling on a t-shirt in Kathmandu
Another 'Lost in Translation' moment

Je Parle Fianois?  Not very well, I'd guess.   

Nepali native clothing on mannequins in Nepal
Tibetan children's clothing for sale in Boudha

What little girl would not love to dress like a native Tibetan girl?   The jewelry is amazing as well.

 

Mannequins in Tibetan dress in Boudha, Nepal
Mannequins in Tibetan dress

Women are not left out in this little arcade of splendid dresses.   Their jewelry looks very heavy, and they are incredibly ornate, encrusted with coral, turquoise and set in silver.    Very colorful.

 

Child mannequins on the streets of Boudha, Kathmandu, Nepal
Mannequins in Boudha

On the main road outside Boudha Gate, you will find many, many mannequins of various sizes and condition!

Male mannequin on the streets of Kathmandu
Male mannequin on the main road

 This mannequin cracks me up!

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Want to immortalize your pet?   It is not too late!

Now is the time to order:   Be ahead of the Pack!   Orders now being accepted for the March 2016 trip.  I will be back in June 2016.   Orders close for this trip on June 9th, 2016, but sooner is always better as we need time for the paint to dry!

1. Please send me a photo of your pet.  I will give it to three different artists, giving you a choice of 3 paintings and three people will get work.   Each painting is about one square foot and is on metal with synthetic enamel paint.   These can be hung indoors or out.

2. Let me know what you would like it to say.

3. Let me know what style of portrait you would prefer:   naive, realistic, colorful, etc.

4. Tell me your pet's name and breed.   

5. Send your photo to me at:   ampage1@gmail.com  
That's it !

Satisfaction is guaranteed as I accept no money up front.   If you do not like one of the three, you pay nothing, and the 3 artists are paid in full in any case.   Let me know what you want it to say and that's it!

The cost is $250 plus shipping.   Shipping is around $22 per sign (to and from the US).   And 9.75% California sales tax for California residents.  
Pay after choosing your portrait. 
Multiple pets on one sign cost more ($325 for Double, $400 for Triple).

Let's keep these artists painting.

This hand-painted art form is fast disappearing in Kathmandu, as it already has in most parts of the world.   I pay fair trade wages, the artists get to paint again, pet lovers get a choice of three paintings for each commission, and I get to help Nepali artists make a living.   Everybody is happy.   Rescue dogs from America get to rescue artists from Nepal!


Live from Kathmandu: Nepal Fashion Bloggers Bazaar

I came across this lively crowd of young Nepali fashionistas while walking through Boudha yesterday.  The Nepal Fashion Bloggers were holding their first Bazaar at the Hotel Harmika in Boudha.

Nepal Fashion Blogger Bazaar
Nepal Fashion Blogger Bazaar

Everyone was having fun trying on new clothes.   They all looked like sample size to me, but were lovely.

Nepal Fashion Blogger Bazaar

This long beaded sheath was particularly attractive.   It was made of a stretch material, but it was still too small for me.   The lady holding it up would have looked good in it though.

Nepal Fashion Blogger Bazaar
The Hotel Harmika played host to the event

Though it was drizzling, the band was doing a sound check, there were photos being taken... All were enjoying the day.

Nepal Fashion Blogger Bazaar

There was even a photo station for the models and designers.

Nepal Fashion Blogger Bazaar

There were bargain boxes and young women trying on new clothes.   There was a prize giveaway of 15,000 NR!

Nepal Fashion Blogger Bazaar

Since it was raining, things were a bit compact, but everyone made the most of it.

Nepal Fashion Blogger Bazaar
Looks like there were some press photographers there, too.

The grounds of the Hotel Harmika were nicely decorated, including Transaval Daisies (Gerberas) floating in the pond.

Nepal Fashion Blogger Bazaar

Even the bar area was full of racks of clothing.   

You never know what you will come upon while walking the streets of Kathmandu.   This was a nice change of pace.

 It is nice to know that Nepal has such a lively fashion blogging scene.   5 different bloggers opened their closets to this event.   I find that Nepalis (both genders) are well dressed in general and passionate about looking good.

You can follow the group on Facebook as Nepal Fashion Bloggers.

====================================================================================

Want to immortalize your pet?   .,

Now is the time to order:   Be ahead of the Pack!   Orders now being accepted for the March 2016 trip.  I will be back in June 2016.   Orders close for this trip on June 9th, 2016, but sooner is always better as we need time for the paint to dry!

1. Please send me a photo of your pet.  I will give it to three different artists, giving you a choice of 3 paintings and three people will get work.   Each painting is about one square foot and is on metal with synthetic enamel paint.   These can be hung indoors or out.

2. Let me know what you would like it to say.

3. Let me know what style of portrait you would prefer:   naive, realistic, colorful, etc.

4. Tell me your pet's name and breed.   

5. Send your photo to me at:   ampage1@gmail.com  
That's it !

Satisfaction is guaranteed as I accept no money up front.   If you do not like one of the three, you pay nothing, and the 3 artists are paid in full in any case.   Let me know what you want it to say and that's it!

The cost is $250 plus shipping.   Shipping is around $22 per sign (to and from the US).   And 9.75% California sales tax for California residents.  
Pay after choosing your portrait. 
Multiple pets on one sign cost more ($325 for Double, $400 for Triple).

Let's keep these artists painting.

This hand-painted art form is fast disappearing in Kathmandu, as it already has in most parts of the world.   I pay fair trade wages, the artists get to paint again, pet lovers get a choice of three paintings for each commission, and I get to help Nepali artists make a living.   Everybody is happy.   Rescue dogs from America get to rescue artists from Nepal!


Live from Nepal: Jajala pass in full bloom!

Off the Beaten Path in Nepal, part 6.  This spring in Nepal, the haze is unprecedented.   However the Lali Gurans bloom is in full swing.   Nepal is famous for their huge Rhododendrons and this year's flowers are big and beautiful!  

Jajala Pass with Lali Gurans (Rhododendron)
Jajala Pass with many Lali Gurans

The trek from the Dhorpatan Reserve through the Jajala Pass to Moreni was a 7 hour walk.   We hired a porter to carry our load.   It was not such a big uphill, approximately 500 meters, but after the pass there was a precipitous drop of 1200 meters in only 2 or 3 kilometers!   Not easy on the knees.  

Jajala pass with Lali Gurans
Jajala Pass in full bloom

The views were breathtaking.   I can only imagine what it must look like when the Himalayan Mountains can be seen...

forest fire devastation in Nepal
The fires came through here 2 years ago

In the 7 hour walk, we passed through at least 7 kilometers of remnants of a forest fire that struck the region 2 years ago.   There are signs that the pines are returning however, and many Lali Gurans made it through.   Rhododendrons are hardy.

Lunch break on a trek in Nepal at Jajala
Lunch break at Jajala with our porter Badahur

Lunch was at 3414 meters at the top of Jajala.   We had a little apple brandy to prep us for the 3 kilometer and 1200 meter drop!

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This spectacular Lali Gurans was along the way...


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This post is part of a series of posts of our adventures (without guide) through a rarely visited part of Nepal.   We started in Baglung, went north to Burtibang, through Bobang and up to the ex-Royal Hunting Reserve in Dhorpatan.   Then we walked through the lovely Jajala pass and out through Myagdi province.   This year was unusually hazy, so the Himalayans were not out - not even a single glimpse of Dhalaghiri or the Gurja Himal!   But the magnificent bloom of Nepal's national flower, the Lali Gurans made up for that.   Known in the West as Rhododendrons, these flowers ranged from a fragrant white to lilac and many shades of pink and red.   

Hotels are not posted with signs, but you can trust the Hotel symbols on your map and just ask a lot of people until you find the only hotel in town!   Prices were 100NR per person a night and Dahl Baht - the only food you are likely to get - is 150NR per plate.   The food is simple and tasty and clean.   Water is available in every town from the local spout and is safe and delicious.   Bring along some bottles for the long treks between hotels.   We enjoyed eggs every morning for breakfast, sometimes with chapatis.   

Even the locals here have supply problems, which is why we could not always get chapatis.

Along our way, we did not see any other foreigners until the 2nd to last day when we met a pair from South Korea who were on their 6th trip to Nepal.   They did have a guide.   

For parts of the trip, buses and/or jeeps were available, but their schedules were erratic and they were never comfortable.   

The highest point of our trek was 3400 meters (11,000 feet) and it was about 1100 NR each day.   Prices were never posted and there were no menus, but that was food and drink (including local wine aka roxi) for 2.   Millet roxi was 50NR for a Tuborg bottle full or 660ml.

In May, 2016, there are 105 NR to one US Dollar.