Nepal Travel Stories, Page 13

Backpack Blues

Backpack Blues

I am trying to make a good sample of my dream backpack here in Kathmandu, Nepal. It is hard on my emotional status, hard to have patience, it is incredibly insane.

Nepal is better than Thailand, Vietnam, Peru, and Bolivia; however, there are many problems. In the city of Katmandu, Nepal there are many backpack stores, every street in the Thamel area is wall-to-wall backpacks or gear store. This is what I am buying in Nepal, a desire to think about gear. It is not travel gear, it climbing or trekking gear, there is a difference.

Copy, please copy, exact, not changes, the exact same, nothing is to change, I want the F%^King exact same, I do not care, I want it perfect.
I have a perfect example of a water bottle holder; this did not work with one company. This is a simple device, clean, easy, and not difficult. However, he did make a copy, not perfect or even close to be in a copy.

Nepal has the parts, clips, zippers, and materials; they have what is needed to make backpacks.

I am wondering if I would take 100 U.S. Dollar a pay a person, could I get them to work faster or listen, probably the word is concentrate.

I have the solution, I am going to go to the market and buy all the parts needed to make a perfect backpack. I can send it to the USA, and maybe a few other countries and have it in inventory to make a perfect sample.

There are 5 steps more or less to the process of making a backpack. The bottom line is being able to repeat the design, this is the trick, the world can make a close copy.

1. Make one perfect sample.
2. Make cardboard templates or patterns of the pieces.
3. Buy all the clips, materials, pieces, etc and have in one location.
4. Cut all the pieces.
5. Assemble or sow together.

I can will try to make the perfect sample, and then paper patterns, then I will proceed to buy the zippers and clips. This is crazy, contrary to any imagined idea; you cannot pay enough to make persons jump.

Backpack Blues

What is Significant in Nepal

What is Significant in Nepal

I purchased a used Lonely Planet Nepal Guidebook for 950 Nepal Rupees, or about 13.50 U.S. Dollars. I always feel that there must be some type of copyright violation by buying a used book�

Nonetheless, I am perusing the book, it has two major themes.

1. Trekking
2. Buddhist Monasteries

There is much more to this country than these two things, however the guidbook is not very helpful as obsessed with the two biggies.

I do not Trek and for sure, I do not pay to Trek, however maybe going to the Mount Everest Base Camp is significant, I am told, not sure, but I think I must walk to the camp. I suppose I could take a Helicopter. Therefore, I need to Trek to get there.

I used to believe there were two times to go, March and September; I am now feeling that the only time for me to go is in March. I believe the ability to get close to a Mount Everest climber is significant.

I try to understand the lure of Trekking, I think it is for a city kid that never seen the mountains or countryside. In addition, you have some bragging power if you go on a long one, you can say you survived. I personally believe about anyone can survive and not an accomplishment.

What is significant?

Hmm, hard to say for sure, however Nepal and Tibet are on a fringe cultural area between China and India. The faces, bodies, color of skin, the eyes change.


There are cultures that are isolated because of the incredibly difficult Himalayan Mountain range. You can have pockets or places where very few persons enter or see. Tibet has this, however difficult to see because of restrictions on travel by China. I would suppose it is possible to find really unique and primitive cultures. I am trying to suss out how, however presently it is difficult from the guidebook. I am thinking I need a good map of Nepal.

What is significant?

Architecture, buildings, tools, animals and cooking.

What is Significant in Nepal

Kevin Sites in Nepal

Kevin Sites in Nepal

Four taxi trips and 400 Rupees in fees; this is where I ended up on my search for Kevin Sites in Nepal.

Info on Kevin Sites

The two Reception men at the desk of the Shangri-La in Katmandu says Kevin checked out on May 23, 2006. The suspicion says he is going now to Kashmir, India.

This is the Shangri-La Kathmandu Hotel in Nepal.

This is my patient 300 Rupee Taxi drivers; he took me from Thamel to the office where the Kahtmandu Post is published. Waited a half hour while I went in and talked with Dinesh Wagle. We stopped at the Hotel where Kevin stayed in Katmandu, then returned to Thamel for a total of 4.35 Dollars in taxi fees.

I paid 100 for a round trip to the Kings Palace and the Annapurna Hotel where the BBC and CNN stayed earlier in the day and did not fine any smell of Kevin.

10:30 to 4:30 and many stops to play.

6 hours of tracking the spoor and I feel 95 percent sure I have accessed the situation pretty good, this was only one day of work? pretty good, if I do say so myself.

120 Dollars per night and for a 5-Star Hotel in Katmandu, Nepal

This Hotel has broadband Wifi in the room; this would be a good reason to live in the Hotel.


This is Dinesh Wagle; he spent some time with Kevin in Nepal. He works for the Kantipur Publications or the Nepal language side of the Katmandu Post. The Katmandu post is an English language paper in Katmandu.

I found the trail on the website as I decided. Kevin does not just tell me where, when, or what he is doing. Therefore I will go find out from person he references. The task was much easier then I anticipated.

Dinesh has a blog on the internet, maybe in conjunction with other persons.

Biography Page:


Official or something:

I called up Mr. Dinesh Wagle and instantly had an appointment to go and talk with him, he was very helpful. I spent maybe one-half hour with the young man, however was not able to find a clear path of understanding.

The interpretation I now have about Kevin as explained to me by Dinesh was difficult to understand.

Dinesh says he helped with Translations and also was out in the field, maybe for 10 days. I am not so clear on this. I wanted to understand what equipment Kevin had or what are the brand names of the Satellite systems. Dinesh did not know, however he said he used Kevin?s Satellite system for 30 minute at a cost of 6 dollars per minute.

I wanted to know the exact brand, I would like to know what the big boys use for their systems. Names, people, etc? Dinesh does not know.

Dinesh says Kevin he is off to Kashmir then to Sr Lanka.

How to describe Dinesh.

He was sent to the USA by the government and stayed in 175-200 Hotels, wanted to know if it was possible to travel cheap in the USA.


How does Kevin work, according to Dinesh you can read it all on the WebPages, I do not see it.

However, Dinesh says he takes the photos, writes the articles, and then sends all to - Mission Control. - Mission control is three people that works for, Kevin?s sponsor or benefactor in this trip. There is a researcher, and again this is all sketchy. I feel this was more speculation on the part of Dinesh. I do not believe he gave Kevin the one-two-how do you do this quiz. More of along for the trip, I am trying my best to be one of the big boys.

I have to admit, a person from Nepal, from anywhere could be impressed if a person said,
- I am from
- I am from BBC -
- I am from CNN -

I am impressed when Dinesh says,
- Kevin is a one-man show -

Two notches up, and even though for sure living in a 120 dollar per night 5-Star Hotel with internet in the room, does make your job easier, he still must use the technology. I was expecting him to have a technician with him making life easier. He sends the information to Mission Control, and then they spin it into cotton candy.

The communication is difficult.

I will hold my thought here? Nepal is not a free country.

What is a success for Andy the when he talks with a Journalist?
- No photos were taken of me, I took the photos. -

I do not like my photo taken or put on websites, I like traveling below the radar. I suppose I should go to Kashmir.

Kevin Sites in Nepal

First Things First

First Things First

I woke up, went to make a cup of coffee, turned on the TV as I passed it. There is a black girl singing Hip Hop something and dancing like a stripper with clothes. I think, I need to change, however I enter the toilet to fill up my glass with water, then use my one cup coffee cooker to heat some water.

Suddenly the station Z-Studio changes and a lady starts to give a speech, I think what a contrast, from strippers with clothes on to older lady.

There is only 3-5 stations that are in English, sometime though a channel can be English and then change to Hindi or some language unknown, one in French and one in German.

Nonetheless, the lady says,
- First things first -
Then she says,
I will talk about,
- Letting the main thing be the main thing.-

She goes on to say, how we need to keep our priorities in line. I am thinking, well is the station about girls stripping with their clothes on, or is this station about a lady trying to inspire me?

I do not have a clock, it broke, I had turned on my computer to check the time. I need to buy a new one; I walked around yesterday for one hour trying to find an alarm clock. The one I want seems to be hard to find, it is crazy. If I purchase the wrong one, it will break again. They all break, just some sooner than others or I lose it.


Ooops, I told that boy at the tailors I would come at 8:00 this morning, I want to listen to this lady�

NO, as she says, keep your priorities in line.
I think to myself,
- This is Nepal, the person will not be there, and will not be on time. -

I put on some dirty clothes, on a dirty body, and run for the door, grab my handy dandy neck pillow that I am enlarging. I need to get to the very close tailors quick.


I am on time; however, one young boy is opening he door, starts to clean. I am happy; I have done first things first. I told the boy I would come back at 8:00 and performed as agreed.

First things first, I know I must trust myself, therefore I say what I am going to do, and do what I say. I then trust myself.

The boy arrived about 15 minutes late.

However, I am sitting on step, doing my job; I am here to be a people watcher to watch Nepal. I am dwelling on my head about how many times in the last couple of days the concept of keeping first things first came up or I thought about it.

A man walk by, stops, looks at me, I say,
- Hello - Namaste -

He speaks slow, ask me where I am from, what I am doing, he tells me he is a schoolteacher.

He ask,
- How do you feel about Nepal? -

I want to say, same same, but different as a joke, I just left Thailand and that is a Thailand thought. I say, it feels the same as the last time I was here.

I say,
- I hope they have ONE government -
Not three,
- King
- Maoist
- People

One that represent the people.

I say,
- Hope -
I start to think about Kevin Site, I am going to go to the Palace and find a large 4-5 Star close to the Palace, and I would think that is where Kevin Sites may be staying. At least a good place to find his trail.

Kevin is a journalist that is supposes to be finding the pulse of the people in a conflict zone, or more or less explaining.

I say often,
- I am a culture traveler; I like to learn about cultures -

First things First,
- Damn you lady, I cannot abort my first things first -
I am too prioritized in a situation where many things want to compete with my priorities.

In the 15 minutes before the tailor boy arrived, the older man had sat down next to me. He puts his hand in a soft way on my leg, makes himself close enough to touch me, this is the custom here among good friends that are men. They will hold hands or hug each other, ok, I wish to understand, I know enough about the bleeding from India to China culture here that I must allow him to be himself, IF I want to learn.

His English is good, however laboriously slow; I am at this office to talk with the boy tailor. He also deserves to be listened too, or talked with. This many is older, he has a higher level of social priority. Moreover, he is wearing one of them beanies that are a typical hat of Nepal, this is like a status or I want to be a serious man and be of respect.

Priorities or First things First �.

Learning about culture is a tearing at the soul, a mix of my culture fighting with their culture. Where does my culture end, and their culture begins. He is a man, wanting to learn about my culture, I am a man, wanting to learn about his culture. He wants to talk politics.

He says,
- The Maoist are not in the villages, they are in the city -

He says the word
- Terrorist -
He says they are not problem for the village, they are in the city.

- LEADING the Witness -
I keep hearing the judge say,
- You are leading the witness -

First things First when I am trying to learn about a culture is I do no put words in their mouths. I do not complete or guess what the end of the sentence is or what they are trying to say.

I am listening; however, he is not being interviewed. He wants to learn about me, my country, and my opinions. This is not a one-way conversation. I must give or share and he will give and share, we must be completely honest, no agendas, nothing but two persons being honest and having a conversation.

I want to sneak inside the mind of a Nepal person, feel what they feel, understand what they think, know the truth.

I know this is not possible, for one thing, one person is not a country, too understand a people; you need to talk to a people.

I am thinking again about Kevin Sites, this man probably has a camera crew following him around. I am thinking,
- It is possible to feel people to sneak inside and learn about people, the culture, the thoughts, those inner person thoughts, those small real, however sometime secret thought when,
- You have a Camera Crew -

I do not have my camera with me, culture become what you want it to become when a person is photographed.

I am needing to go find the trail of Kevin Sites, he has left, could leave the country, he may be here, or he may be one. This is a mess country, information is not easy.

I am leaving and stop typing on the computer.

I know now, better, first things first, I want to learn about journalist. I want to suss this out in my mind. What do they want to do; they sometime destroy more than then help. I believe that Journalist are the moral police, they try to expose what is morally bad, and this stops corruption. On the other hand, they is no moral police on the Journalist, they often lie to make a story. They put words in the mouth of the witness; the culture can be made to say anything you wish.

What is my goal, my first priority is to enjoy the day. The prime directive of travel is to do what you like to do, the reason I am in Nepal is to make backpack to sell on my site.

Rai Bhesh wishes me to order or buy many things, I say,
- First things First, I want to make a perfect backpack -

He says, the travelers buy what looks good, I explain or say, I believe that - Form Follows Function -

First, we make it work well, and then we make it look good. I am making a travelers backpack, it is not to climb mountains, I do not care if it looks good, I want the perfect home made for me, then I will believe in it, and then I can sell or recommend easier.

The old man follows me to the Hotel, he really wants to talk, he arranges to come to the Guesthouse at 7-8, not 7 and not 8, 7-8.. Aagh. The rules I must obey to listen to a culture. I have to sit around for one hour waiting to find his culture.

I wonder, will a Journalist pay the price, can they, is it possible. The price to get a good photo is cheap. The price to get an interesting story is cheap. The price to learn or understand a person, culture are real person is expensive; it takes or requires I give myself to them, it cost me, I must give them what I feel. I must pay with my feelings. It is an emotional price.

In an overwhelming cultural experience the senses are bombarded, your brain is buzzing, there are too many thoughts. A person needs to remember first things first. IF not they could forget to survive.

I am being sneaky; the lady that brought this up on TV was a Christian giving a sermon. I know that a great way to stop a person from reading or listening is to talk about religion. IF I talked about Monks and Buddhist, everyone would be reading. I say Christian or God and I lose half the people. Too stupid, why do people have contempt, before consideration?

On the other hand, it is a novel idea that on TV in an India influenced TV, why is a lady giving a Christian Sermon. There are Monks, Hindu, and all that stuff, however not in English.

Let the Main Thing be the Main Thing
Joyce Meyers

First Things First

Windows and Doors

Windows and Doors

As I walk around the world, peeking, smiling, and with a curiosity for many things, I start to come to conclusions. One is that in the whole scope of looking at buildings, the Windows and Doors are what is interesting. All the rest just is there to hold the windows and doors.

This is a unique building, it is old, dumpy, and I have no idea what they are doing with this building. There are some throwback buildings in Katmandu. They do not seem to belong; I am not sure why they are here. Maybe it something to do with a bunch of Buddhist Monk in the construction trade. This window peaked my curiosity; eventually I was carrying my camera and was happy to photograph the unique window in the wall.

The shape of this window to me is unique, I do not know where it came from or why. The screen or maybe fencing on the inside I would guess is not significant; however, there is a mystery here for me.

Windows and Doors

Katmandu Nepal is Home

Katmandu Nepal is Home
Today I am living in Katmandu, tomorrow I do not know. I will live where my backpack resides. I am having a new model made here. Many problems with the Internet..
- Very slow and stop.
- Blocks emails sent from email client.
- No electricity.
I do not like to walk, therefore I have interviewed 5 so far, the one I used to use the last trip has moved on the other side of town.
It is raining now, I carried my computer here with NO bag, because I gave it to a person to copy.
Nothing is working, however life is good here, they smile quick.
I am saying Nepal is Home because I need to do some self-talk accepting that where sleep is home, until I move.

Kathmandu Nepal is Home

Nepal Cotton Spinning

Nepal Cotton Spinning

Maybe yes, maybe no, this is maybe a cotton-spinning device that would make yarn from the raw cotton. I did one of them, is this a spinner with my fingers, asking with sign language what it was, this does not mean I am correct.

Nepal Cotton Spinning

Searching for Guidebooks

Searching for Guidebooks

I am here in Katmandu, somewhat bored, ready to find something interesting to do, I do not have a guidebook. I have an India guidebook, however was not able or did not have time to figure out the Nepal guidebook.

Scan Guidebooks Projects

I am carrying three guidebooks, Lonely Planet India, Philippines, Southeast Asia, then one language book and two books on travel health. I am going to drop them off in Bangalore to have scanned and made into digital files.
Already finished:
- Europe Lonely Planet
- Caribbean Lonely Planet

In process
- South America Lonely Planet

My goal is to be able to quickly move around the planet and still have a Lonely Planet as a reference. I am guessing, however I think I have purchased 3 Lonely Planet Southeast Asia in my life, 2 Europe and 3 Lonely Planet South America. I have purchase half new and half used. Anyway, I do it, I am paying a lot for guidebooks, and it is a lot of money.


It strikes me as strange, that a person that is so involved on the internet cannot figure out a way to use the internet to travel.

In the end, the internet still sucks for budget hotels; I could easily pay 30-50 U.S. dollars per night and find hotels on the internet.
However none of this is that important, what I am constantly searching for is the connection with other travelers.

Borrowing a term from Alex Garland and his book - The Beach - I call this the Center of the Backpacker Universe.

I search for a core area of a tourist destination whereby there are other long-term travelers. I can suss out information from them, access quicker the area, learn quickly what I may want to do, or not do.

I think the problem when always traveling is I want to stop just doing anything and everything. I believe most tourist or travelers are happy doing about anything, just wanting to keep busy and have enough change in front of their cameras that they feel they got their monies worth.

I know that nobody cares; I am the only one that cares where I go, if I think or pay attention to blog readers that is silly. I am alone in this concrete room on the other side of the planet. I am responsible for my happiness, I cannot do what people want to do, or want to see, I need to make myself happy.

However there is always a sinking feeling when I pay a fortune for a Hotel that is empty. Most of the expensive hotels here in Katmandu look empty, I see very few tourist. My Hotel for 6 dollars has many people; I can find a conversation easily. However, I have been to Katmandu 3 time before, therefore I know more or less where I like to go.

The guidebook helps me feel I have a good value for my money. That I am paying the correct amounts for things.

Yesterday, I purchased some popcorn in the street, the first lady gouged me, and not so honest and asked 20, and the second asked 5 Rupees. I now know the going price is 5 Rupees. It makes me feel better to get good value for my money that to know I was stupid.

I know I am not stupid, however when you find out you paid way too much for something, that is how you feel.

This is why I want a guidebook, it is the only way or GUIDE I know of that will QUICKLY allow me to learn.

However, to QUICKLY travel, to jump from county to country, I want to spend less time searching for guidebooks. Thus, or therefore I am scanning in the biggies, then can work on the little countries. In reality, the information I need does not change dramatically. I can use a guidebook from 5-10 years ago or a real old edition and it works. Telephone change and some things do change, however the core does not change.

The cost to scan a page is 4 India Rupees or about 8 cents U.S. This is nothing in comparison to paying for a 25 dollars room here in Katmandu when I can be living in the same quality of room for 6, the guidebooks helps me to save 21 dollars per day and make my life better.

I guess I do dream of a guidebook on the internet, as of now, the internet is greedy and dishonest.

Searching for Guidebooks

Hobo Members save 1000's of dollars by joining HoboTraveler and asking pro travelers questions on the Hobo Talk Wall.