You’ll go far my son….

…well, to Nepal at least.

Not the usual ramblings…this time a few thoughts on the recent visit by Rob (son), and Joanne & Ben (nephew & niece). With apologies in advance for the fact that this piece is largely being written for a somewhat limited readership! (It may be slightly more oblique than usual, but at least 3 other people will understand it…) . But hey, its my blog…

Firstly…dispelling the myth that I don’t photograph family!!

Rob, Ben & Joanne at Swayembunath. John Callaway 2011

Rob, Ben & Joanne at Swayembunath. John Callaway 2011

Nothing quite beats acting as ‘tour guide’ when you’ve been living somewhere long enough not to be ‘phased’ by daily life in a different city. Random cows & goats in the middle of the road, traffic ‘systems’ that seem to have their own hidden set of rules, the general noise and pollution, a language that at first seems to be impenetrable. I know…you’ve read it here before right!

But…its really quite special visiting places that are by now familiar to me, and revisiting them with a sense of surprise and wonder. (Once a week I cycle back from work through Durbar Square in Kathmandu, which is one of a number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Nepal. Occasionally its nice to be reminded that being able to do that is quite a privilege…)

It's hard work living in Kathmandu. John Callaway 2011

It's hard work living in Kathmandu. John Callaway 2011

So…here’s Johnny C’s Rough-ish guide to two weeks in Nepal with family members.

  • Arrive at Tribhuvan International Airport and, after fathoming out how to pay for your visa and clear customs, you will be met by your friendly tour guide who will direct you to your superbly appointed Suzuki taxi, (available in white only), to play the Nepali equivalent of  ‘how many elephants can you get in a telephone box’… a game called “can you fit 4 passengers, 1 taxi driver, 3 cases, and 3 rucksacks into one small vehicle…and avoid having to use a second taxi?”  (Bonus points are awarded if you can secure a taxi fare of around 300 Rupees).
  • Your accommodation in Ranibari will offer you a delightful range of sleeping arrangements. For the less adventurous-a bed; and for those with a taste for something a little different-the floor. (And for one lucky visitor, the opportunity to go and fetch a bed from (relatively) nearby, and carry it back to Ranibari on your head, much to the amusement/bemusement of your Nepali neighbours). Thanks Rob!!
If only we had a rickshaw... John Callaway 2011

If only we had a rickshaw... John Callaway 2011

…and so the scene is set.
More to follow.

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4 responses to “You’ll go far my son….

  • Lesley Callaway

    I suppose I’m one of the three!! Hope there’s at least one more picture of someone I recognise!! They had a wonderful time. perhaps tour guide is something else you can doXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

  • Rob Callaway

    An interesting blog this week. 🙂 In Abersoch now with Ben and Jos. Looking forward to the next installment.

  • emmaustrekker

    Haggling is always an art in Nepal, and fun too!

  • Joanne Ledger

    Hiya John, We had a fantastic time. I’ve just about recovered now! Thank you again for being our personal guide for two weeks and showing us all of the wonderful sights (and not so wonderful sights) – it must have been exhausting for you!! We were bowled over by Nepal and your haggling skills are second to none – and in Nepali too – amazing. We meant to Skpye you when we got back, I’m sorry that we haven’t yet. Maybe we can all Skpye when the Callaways come up. Love Joxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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