Jane Wilson-Howarth

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Back home in Nepal

Monday, 18 September 2017
The monsoon is supposed to be over by 15th September but with climate change, extreme and unpredictable weather is more common and the rainy season spreads over a longer timescale. As our plane circled over the Gangetic Plains waiting for our turn to land, I looked out at the line of the Himalayas peeking out between fluffy cumulus and I found myself thinking about the awful events in September 1992 when a Thai airbus crashed just north of Kathmandu and just two weeks later a PIA airbus was also lost. Everyone aboard both aircraft died. Most well-travelled people living in Kathmandu at the time knew someone who had been on those flights. Navigation equipment has been built since so I wasn’t feeling too nervous about the landing although I wondered if the pilot was. He circled for a full thirty minutes and I couldn’t help thinking he was waiting for a break in the cloud.
It is a short distance from the Indo-Nepali border to the Kathmandu border – it takes less than a day to walk – but our plane was buffeted as we dodged through the low cloud and we flew close to a succession of interesting forested ridges 2-3000m high, to land smoothly and safely.
Now I’m enjoying all the half-remembered birdcalls and geography of Kathmandu. I couldn’t believe my luck when overnight rain cleared the air so at 6am I was treated to a glimpse of eternal snows…. Ganesh and Langtang himals were clearly visible and so was Gauri Shanker. We asked a local to name the others but he didn’t know. It made us smile how little interest city Nepalis have in their mountains.
But today I shall keep this short because friendly locals are trying to engage me in conversation and I am struggling to resuscitate my Nepali language and vocabulary, barely remembered as I haven’t tried to speak it for 19 years. 
 
Overnight rain cleared the air so himals were visible from Kathmandu today
Posted: 18/09/2017 07:52:40 by Global Administrator | with 0 comments



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