Life

Adventures in Nepal XI, Into the Sky, Part II

This is my favorite poem about flying:

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, –– and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of –– wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air…
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark or even eagle flew ––
And, while with silent lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

–– John Gillespie Magee, Jr., “High Flight.”

Emma and Elizabeth’s paragliding session lasted for about 30 minutes.

What a rush!

The girls chilled for a while by the lake…

…and then took the shuttle van…

…back to the paragliding company’s shop in Pokhara to get the flight pics transferred from the pilots’ GoPros to their own devices.

Then back to Paljorling Camp, where they reviewed their image files over lunch in a Tibetan restaurant.

After the meal, they visited a camp artisan who weaves colorful jewelry, keychains and other trinkets for the tourist trade.

They bought bracelets for themselves and small gifts for friends and coworkers back home.

Here is an interesting decoration over a doorway in the camp.

Hello, picturesque camp sheep!


Much more to come!

Categories: Animals, Artwork, food, Friends, Holidays, kids, Life, Nepal, Poetry, Travel | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Weekly Sketch: Work in Progress

This is the drawing I’m working on. It’s taking forEVer to get the textures right, but I like how it’s coming along so far. I’ll post the complete image when I finish it.

Categories: Artwork, Family, kids, Life, Love, Weekly Sketch | 6 Comments

Adventures in Nepal XI: Into the Sky, Part 1

The next day, Emma and Elizabeth went paragliding over Phewa Tal.

For those following the pandemic subplot, January 23 was the day China suspended all public transportation in Wuhan, including all outbound trains and flights. The mysterious virus was still just a story on the news for most people in the US, interesting but not particularly alarming.

The girls took a shuttle van from the hotel to a nearby mountaintop overlooking the lake. During the drive they filled out paperwork and received wooden tokens with the names of their pilots.

Paragliders circled over the mountainside like giant birds:

It gives me a Jurassic Park vibe, like a flock of colorful pterodactyls over a tropical island.

A trail leads from the shuttle dropoff site up to the takeoff point. No stairs this time!

Pre-takeoff selfie!

Getting rigged up.

Ready to fly!

And off they go!

To be continued!

Categories: Covid-19, Friends, Health, Holidays, kids, Life, Nepal, Travel | Tags: | 2 Comments

Adventures in Nepal, Part X: On the Mountaintop

Shanti Stupa consists of two levels.

The upper level features depictions of the Buddha at various stages of life.

The middle veranda offers spectacular views of Pokhara and the surrounding countryside.


In the center of the next photo, a narrow dirt road winds up the mountain. Visitors to the World Peace Pagoda who are unwilling or unable to climb a gazillion stairs have the option of driving up.

At the base of the pagoda, there are other patios at different levels.

In the shade of a temple tree, Emma and Elizabeth pause for a healthful repast…

…and then continue exploring the mountaintop.

What a colorful country!

Zen Emma is zen.

Smol Buddha.

“Should we explore over there?”

“Look at all those stairs.”

“Yeah…uh..maybe we shouldn’t disturb that guy trying to meditate.”

“Yeah, good point.”

And at last they headed back down the mountain in the golden light of afternoon.

To be continued!

Categories: food, Friends, Holidays, kids, Life, Nepal, Travel | Tags: | Leave a comment

Adventures in Nepal IX: A Stairway to Heaven, Part B

When we last left Emma and Elizabeth, they were climbing approximately a hundred gajillion stairs up a mountainside to visit Pokhara’s World Peace Pagoda.

Our young heroes do not travel light.

I cannot imagine hauling that much weight up a mountain on purpose. Ah, the energy of youth.

They stopped for lunch at a precarious-looking establishment with great views of Lakeside.

And then, back to the trial by stairs. You have to earn the Pagoda.

Colorful Emma!

So. Many. Stairs.

A little Shiva temple along the way:

Surely we are almost to Heaven by now? Follow the light!

Adorable Elizabeth is adorable.

Almost there! The first glimpse of Shanti Stupa!

Zoom-lens shot of Lakeside.

AT LAST!

Shanti Stupa, the World Peace Pagoda.

M o a r . S t a i r s .

Sacred area: No shoes. Silence. Some well-earned selfies with the Buddha.

Much more to come!

Categories: Artwork, environment, Friends, Holidays, kids, Life, Nepal, Travel, trees | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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