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Journeys : Feb March 2012
A man brandishing a board with my name on it smiles as he places a garland of bright orange marigolds around my neck and welcomes me to Nepal. I feel the long journey here has already been worthwhile. I’m here for a 10-day writing retreat – this article is one of the pieces that will take shape over the next week or so. As well, I’ll be working on my young adult novel. The hotel sw imming pool is inviting after the flight. Refreshed, I head out to nearby Boudhanath Stupa, its towering spire blazing gold in the afternoon light. Passersby twirl hundreds of prayer wheels. Circumnav igating the undulating surface of the stupa, I gaze out to the ring of tourist shops selling shiny brassware, turquoise jewellery, wooden car vings and bright lengths of cloth. I decide I’ll shop later – now I just want to soak up the atmosphere. At a nearby temple a young boy leads me up a flight of stairs to see a huge brightly painted Buddha. It seems a ceremony has Himalayan sunrise Verity Croker ‘ Must be cos the trekkers can’t walk this far,’ says a wry American voice. We are on a bus that is unnecessarily transferring us 100 metres from the aeroplane to Kathmandu International Airport. The air is thin and much warmer than I had expected from my pre-trip consultation of a forecast for Kathmandu. Destinations 18 February / March 2012
Apr May 2012