Nepal is a fascinating and extremely friendly but troubled country. Sandwiched between the two most populous countries in the world, China and India, Nepal contains 8 of the world’s 10 tallest mountain peaks.

Nepal is also a very poor country. This poverty has not been helped by a 2001 royal mass murder, continuing Maoist insurgencies and an overbearing king.

Colin (on the right in the below photo), an English friend I met in Germany, is currently in Nepal volunteering as an English teacher.

Colin’s email updates and photos are very enlightening. Following is an extract from his latest email:

I was in Kathmandu and Bhaktapur for the last 6 days. I travelled by plane, a 20 min flight versus a 7-10 hour bus ride and that’s without many roadblocks, bandas (strikes) and suchlike.
Bhaktapur is beautiful. There was no traffic in the ancient centre. Nice. Nagarkot a walk down the hill to Chengu Naryaan – the oldest temple in the Kathmandu valley, with the Himalayas to the north clearly visible, although clouds scurried around their peaks later in the day. I got sun-browned and reddened. Nice.
I’m going to Darjeeling in North-eastern India tomorrow by train so it will be interesting, as it is my 1st trip of this nature.

Mersin sounds very boring, indeed, although my current city has the same drummers as Nepal!

Recently, since sacking the government, the king has cracked down on freedom of speech. A blog covering this is Radio Free Nepal. I hope Nepal can soon progress and become peaceful once again. Its people deserve it.

Special thanks to Colin for the photos and for allowing me to quote his email

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