Kashgar Sunday Market

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Featured Image Cart Parking

Featured image: Cart Parking, Kashgar Sunday Market 1995

ORT_Logo   Breadtag Sagas ©: Author Tony, 4  November 2018

Kashgar Sunday Market 1995

Preamble

I’d always wanted to ascend the Karakorum Highway (KKH) to Hunza and to China ever since I’d first heard of the KKH from books, and in relation to the Great Game and Sir Francis Younghusband.

I’ve only touched on the Karakorum Highway briefly in my blog articles regarding Abbottabad and Osama bin Laden, but I’ll get to other things in Pakistan eventually. It was an amazing journey. I’ve been in contact with a couple of people who have been through the KKH and northern areas of Pakistan recently. One of whom is off to Pattale in Nepal on our recommendation.

Denise and I spent over two months going up and down the KKH. Most people take only a couple of weeks. It did affect us badly, healthwise.

Why should I write about Kashgar in 1995? I remember as a teenager being critically dismissive of friends of my parents talking about travel they did over twenty years ago.

Well, Kashgar has changed and it is useful to know how it used to be. The 1990s were also a transition in world travel from remote places being difficult to get to, to almost anywhere in the world being easily accessible.

I thought things changed quickly soon after we left Kashgar and they did, but not as quickly as they have more recently. There is also a humanitarian crisis brewing in the region.

An article and pictures in the New York Times in 2006, appears to show images of Kashgar not much changed from 1995. Although from 2009 the physical changes were drastic. Since 1995, awe inspiring changes have swept through Kashgar and other areas of Xinjiang, as they have across China. It is the greatest change in the shortest time the world has ever seen.

I cite two recent blogs by Josh Summers and Lesley Lababidi below to give detailed information about Kashgar today. Continue reading “Kashgar Sunday Market”

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Pattale to Pikey Peak, Solukhumbu, lower Everest

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Dorje Points at Everest Feature

Featured image: Dorje Points to Everest near Teahouse above Pattale

ORT_Logo   Breadtag Sagas ©: Author Tony, 1  October 2018

Pattale to Pikey Peak

Trek 2 Pattale to Pikey Peak, Junbessi, Taksinda La & Paphlu, November 2017

Preamble

In the last article Pattale to Juke, I described a visit to the Pattale Health Centre, which we are supporting and a short trek from Pattale to Juke, There and Back, in March 2013.

In November 2017, we returned to Nepal to undertake another trek to Annapurna Base Camp. Then, we wanted to return to Pattale to see what had changed in the village and the clinic after five years. And, to undertake a new trek from Pattale via Pikey Peak in a large circuit, with almost constant views of the major peaks in the Himalayas. The trek was to end in Paphlu where we hoped to fly back to Kathmandu.


Pattale

Denise, Lesley, Dot and I were to go up to Pattale ahead of the others so as to spend more time in the village. Denise in particular wanted to prepare a report on the health centre for the foundation. Dot who is involved in a charity in Kathmandu was curious to see another aid project.

We were up at 5.15 am. This time with eight of us we had a jeep or 4WD vehicle to ourselves. Despite the early start, with fiddling around, we didn’t get underway until 6.30 am and took an unusual back route to Bhaktapur to avoid traffic. Once we reached the main road the traffic was heavy up to Dhulikhel when we turned off the main road.

After a short piece of good road, the road deteriorated until we reached the Japanese Road along the Sunkoshi River. This was marvelous and quick. The bridges were all completed unlike five years ago. We stopped a couple of times at reasonable places and unfortunately ate all the cinnamon rolls we’d brought with us from Kathmandu. We crossed the Sunkoshi on a real bridge this time and headed into the hills before where we stopped for lunch at a spot where there is a large market nearby.

Despite a gorgeous looking teenage girl serving, one of two sisters, the place was indescribably filthy. We barely ate anything but I foolishly asked for a second cup of tea. It was only lukewarm, probably not properly boiled and was the cause of my troubles for the next three days.

Once we got into the hills proper the road became tar and the forests and the hills were lovely all the way to Okhaldhunga. From Okhaldhunga the road to Pattale was also tar, though rising rapidly up through many hair-pin bends. We arrived in Pattale in the late afternoon — a nine-hour jeep ride — but with enough time to be dropped off for a half hour walk into town, admiring the views and the scenery.

Continue reading “Pattale to Pikey Peak, Solukhumbu, lower Everest”

Pattale to Juke, Solukhumbu, lower Everest

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Featured image: Everest and Spectacular Himalaya Range from Pattale

Entry to Pattale 2017

ORT_Logo   Breadtag Sagas ©: Author Tony, 3 September 2018

Trek 1 Pattale to Juke, Solukhumbu District, lower Everest region, Nepal
Pattale to Juke: There & Back, March 2013

Preamble

The reason for this article is that Nepal is changing. The major treks are becoming crowded. Some tourists want to go to less visited places. We visited Pattale village in March 2013 and in late 2017. Much had changed in 5 years.

New roads are being pushed through into regions that were once isolated. One good example of this is Upper Mustang, which was once a long walk up the windy and gritty Kali Gandaki River to the former Tibetan Kingdom of Lo and its remote villages. Part of the construction of new roads is a subtle competition in influence between India and China. But other nations are also involved in providing aid, such as the Japanese, who are responsible for part of the excellent road along the Sunkoshi River, in the middle part of the journey to Okhaldhunga and Pattale in the Solukhumbu or lower Everest region.

Also the nature of the trekking fraternity is changing as well. Indians and Chinese are newer trekkers, and now middle class Nepalis have begun to be curious about their own country.

Continue reading “Pattale to Juke, Solukhumbu, lower Everest”

ABC Annapurna Sanctuary Trek Nepal

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Awesome Annapurna South on the ABC Annapurna Sanctuary Trek Nepal
Awesome Annapurna South on the ABC Annapurna Sanctuary Trek Nepal

ORT_Logo   Breadtag Sagas ©: Author Tony, 11 April 2018

Return to ABC Trek Nepal, November 2017

The basics

In Pokhara the tour agents advertise the ABC Annapurna Sanctuary trek Nepal round trip from Pokhara for from 7 days (even 6). Unfortunately many visitors do the ABC Annapurna Sanctuary trek in a week. It is much too short and if they’ve come from overseas the trek may be dangerous because of altitude. This is the same almost everywhere in Nepal for those coming with only two weeks or less for their vacation.

We planned to take 12 days for the trek. Although, I make the disclaimer — we couldn’t have done it in 7 days. We are too old and too unfit.

This article is the follow-up to our first trek to ABC in 2004 and a companion to it.

My fitness problem this time was that I developed an inflamed meniscus in my knee eight weeks before we left. Hence I spent my time visiting physiotherapists and doing knee exercises, rather than training for the walk. My knee was still sore in Nepal but my knee muscles had been well-strengthened and it wasn’t a problem.

Continue reading “ABC Annapurna Sanctuary Trek Nepal”

Muktinath to ABC Nepal

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MBCPan1

Featured Image: Heavily modified panorama of Machhapuchhre or Fishtail from above MBC towards ABC.

ORT_Logo   Breadtag Sagas ©: Author Tony, 6 March 2018

Muktinath to ABC (Annapurna Base Camp) trekking in Nepal, 2004
Introduction

We went to ABC in the Annapurna Sanctuary for the second time in December 2017. I thought it might be a good idea to outline our first trek in Nepal in preparation for the photo essay of our more recent trip with a better camera.

It was a much quieter time in Nepal in 2004, because it was in the midst of the Maoist Insurgency.

In the Spring of 2004, we went to Nepal for the first time and began on part of the Annapurna Circuit. We were very ignorant but secured the services of Davendra as our guide/porter on the Internet. Davendra was tall for a Nepali, dark, friendly with a good sense of humour. He was also very patient and helped us to learn the protocols of trekking in Nepal. We had no problems securing accommodation almost anywhere.

Continue reading “Muktinath to ABC Nepal”

Postcard from Lake Tabourie, Australia

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Crampton Island at Twilight
Crampton Island at Twilight

ORT_Logo   Breadtag Sagas ©: Author Tony,  16 January 2018

A postcard from coastal Lake Tabourie, NSW, southeastern Australia

We spent five days at New Year at Lake Tabourie with Judy, Neil and other friends. It was a wonderful time with good food, wine and friendship in a relaxed and delightful atmosphere. A great beginning to 2018.

I realised that I have been going to Lake Tabourie for 52 years, a frightening thought.

When I was much younger the family began to go to Lake Tabourie in summer for a few years. That is, until we refused to go anywhere with our parents any more. We stayed in a converted garage on another property then.

Since, I have been privileged to use Judy’s house regularly. Judy’s father bought the house in the early 1950s. The house continues to have a 1950s character but with 2017 facilities. Judy and Neil have done an enormous amount of work to achieve this. Continue reading “Postcard from Lake Tabourie, Australia”

19 Best Travel Blogs & Websites

Sadhu & God, Pushkar, 1995

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Featured image: Sadhu and God Pushkar, 1995

ORT_Logo   Breadtag Sagas ©: Author Tony,  2 July 2017

19 Best Travel Blogs & Websites & Why

The true reason I chose to write about travel blogs was that I was embarrassed about my links page. I’d neglected it since shortly after setting up my blog. I thought that writing articles about the relevant categories was the way to make the links more relevant and useful to others. Continue reading “19 Best Travel Blogs & Websites”