Saturday, November 26, 2011

Ladies of Kathmandu, Nepal



As I walked around Kathmandu, I kept encountering these lovely ladies who looked vaguely familiar. They had that funny hair like European women from the 1960s. Well, sure enough, a local friend told me they WERE European ladies from the 1960s! They have aged quite gracefully (unlike me). Local clothing vendors bought second-hand European mannequins and still use them to show their wares. Why change a good thing?

In the photograph above, notice the gent in the background digging out some debris from his proboscis. The fabrics that the Nepalis create are terrific.

This one was a bit worse for wear, possibly not one to encounter in a dark alley.


Cloth and fabrics are sold in clustered areas, like many consumer goods in Kathmandu (the vegetable area, the cloth area, the metalwork area, the electronics area, etc). These vendors and mannequins were near the Asan Chowk market, a short walk from the Thamel tourist area.

The street vendors set up at an open spot and pack up at night. It is a lot of work, but everyone seems to work hard in Nepal.

Some of the fabrics are a bit strange. I'm not sure of the symbolism of these examples.

Photographs hand-held, taken with Fuji, Olympus, and Panasonic digital cameras.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Levee Street Railroad Warehouse Demolition, Vicksburg, Mississippi


The 1870s warehouse/office built by the Louisville, New Orleans & Texas Railway has been demolished. The photograph shows the site at the Kansas City Southern railroad yard on Levee Street, Vicksburg. Please see the August entry for photographs of the standing building. I was out of town when it was torn down and do not know what happened to the bricks.

The rail yard is much quieter now than before the spring 2011 Mississippi River flood. Ten and twenty years ago, the yard was always packed with rail cars, but now the tracks are mostly empty.

Here is a photograph from 1990 taken from the ramp that leads to a gate in the flood wall. The cars belong to workers who are offshore. As you can see, the rail yard is well-filled with rail cars. (Scanned from a Polaroid Type 54 4×5-inch print, taken with a Tahihara 4×5" camera with 90 mm Kodak Ektar lens).

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Almost the End of the World: Mustang, Nepal (Waypoints)


Dear Readers, this post will be different than others in this blog. The table below lists waypoints for the 12-day hike through the Mustang area of Nepal. Mustang is a province in north central Nepal, near the Tibetian border. A few months ago, I was unable to find any published waypoints, so the list below is intended to serve as a convenience to other hikers. Feel free to copy and then import into ArcMap software, Google Earth Pro, or other mapping tools.

Most travelers to this remote area fly into Kathmandu, regroup after the exhausting flight from USA or Europe, and then fly to the lakeside town of Pokkhara. Then, early morning, they fly via turboprop to Jomsom, which is the southern gateway to Mustang. From Jomsom they hike north to the town of Lo Manthang.


First of all, you can't just walk to Mustang; you need permits, and they cost a lot! The purpose is to control the number of tourists who enter the fragile ecosystem. This is a high-altitude desert, and water, fuel, and food are scarce. Possibly more important, the Government of Nepal is trying to preserve the unique Buddhist culture from the encroachment of mass tourism. It is best to let an experienced travel outfitter in Kathmandu take care of permits and other logistics.

You also need a permit for the Annapurna Conservation Area. Here, too, the government is trying to monitor tourists who are traveling through the mountains and is funding conservation and preservation efforts.

In the table below, coordinates are in decimal degrees in geodetic datum WGS-84, data collected with a Garmin Geko 201 hand-held GPS receiver. Horizontal accuracy was typically 7-15 m. Elevations are in meters; accuracy unknown. The first waypoint is the Kathmandu Guesthouse (hotel), and the next two are from the town of Pokkhara. The remainder cover the trekking route. They start just north of Tatopani, in the Kali Gandaki River valley, and proceed north. The ancient walled city of Lo Manthang (location of the Mystique guest house) is the capital of Mustang and the usual northermost destination for most tourists. A road now goes from Lo Manthang to the Chinese border, which will likely cause profound cultural changes in the years to come. Already, many trade goods and supplies come from China via this road.

NAME
LAT_WGS84
LONG_WGS84
ELEV_M
KATH_GUESTOUSE
27.71623
85.3087 
xxxx
POK_AIRPORT
28.19948
83.97775
804
POK_LAKE
28.21242
83.9552
758
AN-S-R
28.51027
83.65739
1493
DANA
28.54471
83.64541
1461
WATERFALL
28.55553
83.63644
1589
LEKALI_TEA_HOUSE
28.55568
83.63841
1587
ROAD
28.55763
83.63548
1611
BRIDGE05
28.56071
83.63741
1635
KOPCHE_PANI
28.56831
83.63966
1735
CANYON
28.56931
83.64186
1809
BRIDGE04
28.59011
83.64758
1996
EAGLE_NEST
28.59468
83.64328
1952
GHASA
28.60762
83.64402
2097
KAIKU
28.61494
83.63955
2168
GHUMAU
28.61999
83.63192
2237
IETEKH
28.62879
83.61691
2394
KALOPANI
28.64125
83.59901
2531
BRIDGE03
28.64663
83.59444
2506
DHAMPU
28.66067
83.59409
2538
BRIDGE02
28.67192
83.59757
2545
RIVER_CROSS
28.678
83.60389
2537
KHOBANG
28.68963
83.61669
2551
KHANTI
28.69392
83.62081
2560
TUKUCHE
28.71159
83.64914
2603
APPLE_FARM
28.74066
83.68058
2666
MARPHA
28.75391
83.6871
2689
DUMBAR
28.76214
83.69566
2681
JOMSON_SOUTH
28.7813
83.72185
2749
OMS_HOTEL
28.78296
83.72502
2744
EKLE_BHATTI
28.81849
83.77387
2807
KAGBENI
28.83631
83.78319
2861
RIVER_VIEW02
28.85507
83.79071
2896
KALI_GANDAKI02
28.8602
83.79223
2855
KALI_GANDAKI03
28.86385
83.79271
2858
RIVER01
28.86923
83.80091
2077
ORGANIC_FARM
28.88273
83.80907
3105
VIKKAG
28.8889
83.8047
3447
TANGBE
28.88918
83.80639
3045
RIVER_VIEW
28.89874
83.8087
3059
CHHUSANG
28.91457
83.81966
2956
BRIDGE
28.92759
83.82907
2958
CHELE
28.93102
83.82679
3060
CANYON01
28.94239
83.80762
3466
PASS
28.95305
83.80225
3601
SAMAR02
28.96171
83.80115
3643
SAMAR
28.9618
83.80108
3624
SAMAR04
28.96211
83.80223
3612
CHORTEN03
28.96535
83.80413
3595
SAMAR03
28.9683
83.80305
3653
BHENA_LA
28.97347
83.80934
3849
BHENA
28.97348
83.8093
3835
SYAN-LA
28.98425
83.82592
3995
YAMDA_LA
28.98447
83.82561
3982
PASS18
28.98757
83.83095
3889
SYANGBOCHE_LA
28.99048
83.84126
3839
SYANGBOCHE
28.99112
83.83821
3774
PASS03
29.00476
83.84767
3675
TAMAGAON
29.00781
83.84731
3712
CHHUNGGAR
29.01865
83.84861
3794
ZHAITE
29.0275
83.84851
3817
NYI_LA
29.03294
83.85304
3984
NYI_LA02
29.03309
83.85314
4006
NYI_LA03
29.03313
83.85314
4025
CLIFF
29.04717
83.86834
3790
GHAMI_LA
29.05202
83.87067
3768
GHAMI02
29.06112
83.87101
3586
MANI_WALL
29.06227
83.87894
3575
ROYAL_MUSTANG
29.06343
83.8731
3574
STREAM
29.06599
83.87244
3596
PASS15
29.06669
83.89672
3878
PASS05
29.0681
83.87924
3716
PASS14
29.07907
83.92224
3656
DHAKMAR
29.08325
83.8809
3724
CHORTEN02
29.08786
83.92759
3575
TSARANG_S
29.09208
83.93296
3559
TSARANG
29.09544
83.93064
3589
PASS06
29.09864
83.88245
4054
PASS13
29.10398
83.93903
3651
PASS7
29.10798
83.88426
4150
LO-GHY
29.12464
83.88847
3937
SUNGDA_CHORTEN
29.12988
83.94695
3742
STREAM02
29.13408
83.89233
3991
CAVES02
29.14637
83.94495
3818
PASS08
29.14761
83.89861
4259
PASS09
29.14873
83.89885
4265
STREAM03
29.15221
83.89888
4268
CHOGO_LA
29.15661
83.90231
4316
PASS10
29.16189
83.91043
4190
PASS11
29.16436
83.92784
4078
PASS12
29.16799
83.95274
3963
PAS-11
29.17082
83.95087
3904
MYSTIQUE
29.18159
83.95689
3887
SCHOOL
29.1839
83.95725
3820
FORT
29.1868
83.96332
3811
CHOSER
29.21776
83.97433
3852
NYIPHU
29.23467
83.97817
3928
CAVE
29.23624
83.98257
3952

More descriptions and photographs of this fascinating area will be posted in the future. I plotted the points in ESRI ArcMap software.