Tag Archives: road

A lorry headed to China. An Airtruck or a roadplane?

An ‘AirTruck’. Headed to China.

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One recent afternoon I spotted a few beautifully decorated trucks not very far from the China border north of Kathmandu. They were stuck there. Mudslides had blocked a long stretch of the narrow road, or what we in Nepal unashamedly call a highway.

I asked a driver why his truck along with others had images of envelopes and the Nepal Airlines planes painted on their bodies. Some lorries had the flag of Nepal in various forms painted on them. “It’s just one of those paint templates available in the workshop in Kathmandu,” he said. “I like this one.” His truck had  a stretched flag of Nepal and the national flag carrier’s corporate emblem portraying the sky god Aakash Bhairav.

The Kathmandu-Kerung highway has become busier lately. The Araniko highway remains out of order since the April 2015 earthquakes. It means that business has shifted to Kerung, which brought along a large number of lorries on this road. As if that was not enough, the Indian blockade happened last year forcing even more trucks to run on this fragile, winding and difficult road. This is being expanded and improved. But that’s another story.

A truck driver waiting for the green light.

A truck driver waiting for the green signal.

I saw this lorry on Prithvi highway, near Kathmandu:

A lorry in Prithvi haighway

This one came from India.

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tinkune suryabinakay road

Mobile photography: One evening– as I was walking and waiting for a camera to click. This image by Nokia Lumia 820. Sept 20, 2013

two people on a bike and a chair over their head

Bikers and a Chair

two people on a bike and a chair over their head

two people on a bike and a chair over their head

Spotted this on Monday. Can anyone tell where this is?

malangawa, sarlahi streets on a rainy day

21 June: My impression of Malangawa where I am now for the first time? Very basic bazaar. Feels like nothing here is in good shape. But that’s when you are frustrated. Feel good and you start realizing that the place is normal, like any other district headquarters that have unpaved roads, dilapidated buildings and dirty markets. That’s Nepal, of course.

All together..

All together..

पढ्नेक्रम जारी राख्नुहोस्

Rukum to Dang

Here are some photos from my bus ride on what people are forced to call a ‘highway’ that connects Rukum with Dang. In between these districts is Salyan. The road isn’t blacktopped which meant a bumpy ride that lasted for about 7 hours. The funniest thing is that I ended up, albeit reluctantly, sharing a hotel room with a man I met in the bus, at the end of the trip, and disagreed on the need of the road networks in Nepal. The bus halted at

Tulsipur, the final destination, where I got off along with the person. It was too late for me to go to Ghorahi (and stay there) to catch a bus from there to Rolpa the next morning. So the man took me to the hotel that he knew as he also stayed nearby and ate there when his wife didn’t stay with him.

Bangkok

bangkok lady collector in a bus

Woman at work.

Today is the 7th and second last day in Bangkok, Thailand. I’ll cross over to a neighboring country tomorrow. [The name the place literally means “Siam Defeated” according to Wikitravels.]

I am not posting here photos of high-rise buildings and glitchy malls of Bangkok in this entry. Will do that, may be, in next posts about the city. Lady collectors in the buses- beautifully dressed and some with their faces covered by masks- were new to me. (I liked traveling in airconditioned buses in Bangkok.) By today, I have traveled in buses, both trains (sky and underground) and over the Chao Phraya River in boat. Enjoyed that boat ride. But no tuk tuk yet. May be their turn will come when I return to the city again in a week. (More later.) पढ्नेक्रम जारी राख्नुहोस्

Cycling their way home. #Kathmandu

image

Two middle-aged men drag their bicycles on the slope leading up to Koteshwor, Kathmandu this evening. In these times of “environmental consciousness” I can safely assume that they are not trying to make any statements like “we are toiling because we care for our environment” and “we prefer cycling because we dislike traveling in vehicles that consume fossil fuel”.

Motorbikes are the most preferred form of transportation in the city for those who can afford them (and those who can’t afford a car). I don’t think people put their concern for environment before their desire to travel comfortably. Bicycling could be fun (or even fashionable) during the bandas in Kathmandu but this city is not bicycle-friendly. Not just because there are no separate lanes for bicycle on roads. There are far too many slopes in the city which means bicyclists have to get off their cycles and drag them, like in the photo above, every kilometer or two.

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Our Poverty [and dry food to Japan]

Have a look at the following tweet by Steve Herman, a journalist for VOA, based in  Seoul, Korea.

https://twitter.com/#!/W7VOA/status/50426467309465600

Very interesting and true, isn’t it? Japan’s Kyodo News agency reports about Nepal’s dry food offer:

Nepal plans to send dry food, particularly biscuits, to Japan to help the quake and tsunami-hit nation deal with dwindling food stocks, a Foreign Ministry official said Wednesday.

”We came to know from a Japanese Embassy official in Kathmandu about food shortages in Japan,” Rudra Nepal told Kyodo News.

”We are holding discussions to send dry food, including biscuits and other packaged items, to Japan,” the official said.

”Though the Japanese embassy official did not make a formal request, we want to do what we can to help Japan, a long-time friend of Nepal, deal with the aftermath of the disaster,” he added.

Nepal, he said, has already decided to send 5,000 blankets to Japan, which are being procured from South Korea by Nepali Embassy officials in Japan.

Meanwhile, Nepal has put on hold its decision to send a 15-member team of security personnel to aid rescue and recovery efforts in Nepal after being informed by Japanese officials that most foreign rescue teams are already returning from Japan, he said.

==Kyodo. Read a related report in eKantipur

I quietly thank Japan every time I walk on the Tinkune-Jadibuti section of the Tinkune-Suryabinayak six lane road (which I do at least twice a day) for building such a nice road in Kathmandu. Now their international aid agency Jica is helping Traffic police set up traffic signals on the road. I can see people are finding it very difficult to get themselves acquainted with the rules.

So quake and tsunami hit Japan. We prayed for Japan on Twitter. Some of us will easily agree with the view that even the quake hit areas of Japan, including those near to the problematic nuclear power plant, are far far better than the average condition of Nepal. Many of us will not think for a second to accept an opportunity to trade our life here with that of the remotest/least developed parts of Japan. That’s because of the stark difference, as Steve points out in his tweet, between the annual per capita income of Nepal (US $450) and that of Japan (US $33,000).

Phew! The difference makes me tired. But I appreciate our government’s effort to send biscuits to Japan. (I hear that they will be bought in Korea like the blankets Nepal is sending to Japan). A small Thank You to Japan for building nice roads and infrastructures in Nepal.

thoughtful

Extreme Nepal: Karnali Highway

thoughtful

An elderly Raute in a thoughtful mood

The extreme airport video of Lukla reminded me of an extreme highway in West Nepal on which I have traveled thrice. A documentary (below) on Karnali highway made by a French production company rates the highway as one of the world’s most dangerous. My first journey on the highway that lasted for 52 hours straight was the result of my unwillingness to wait indefinitely at Jumla airport (another not-so-easy-to-land-at airport) for a plane to come from Nepalgunj The weather didn’t improve thus I opted for the road. (Why and How I was in Jumla and where did I go. Plus: Rara Lake and a different Alchemist)

The second time I traveled on the highway, I started the journey from Surkhet as driver Tilak and his helper Muskan (and the Rautes) do in the film. After watching the movie, if you become curious about Tilak Nepali then Tales of a Highway Driver in Karnali is the page to go. It was such a memorable journey but at times I was so very tired too. (Super Tired. Nearly Depleted. Almost Finished) पढ्नेक्रम जारी राख्नुहोस्