Foto Friday – Boudhanath Stupa Kathmandu

After a successful expedition in April 2022 to climb Mera Peak in Nepal I was lucky enough to have a few down days in Kathmandu. Nearly everyone who visits Kathmandu at some point goes to see the Boudhanath Stupa.

Boudha, also known as Boudhanath, Khasti Chaitya and Khāsa Chaitya is a stupa located around 11 km from the centre of Kathmandu. The stupa’s massive mandala makes it one of the largest spherical stupas in the world. Boudha Stupa was listed in the world heritage list by UNESCO in 1979 and is rumoured to contain the relics and remains of Buddha himself.

It is one of the most atmospheric and spiritual places I have ever visited. Pilgrims come from all over Nepal and the world to worship at the stupa by walking around its outside base, usually clockwise — an experience that can prove meditative for both Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike. Many believe that circumambulating a stupa purifies negative karma and fosters realizations of the path to enlightenment.

I’m not sure I found any path to enlightenment but the whole experience was mind-blowing!

For more photos from the expedition and Kathmandu please visit my Flickr Account: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jameshandlon/albums/72177720299683196

Bikepacking The South Downs Way

How hard is cycling the South Downs Way? Well it is 160 km long or for those who prefer imperial 100 miles, it is steeply undulating with 3,810 metres of climbing along the route. A mountain bike is a must, with at least front suspension and preferably rear as well. It is mainly off-road and traces a route through the rolling hills of Hampshire and Sussex. Twelve years ago I bought a book about it ‘Mountain Biking on the South Downs‘ by Cicerone, so it was about bloody time I gave it a try.

On The SDW

The intervening years had not been good to either myself or my bike. I had what was now a 12 year old Giant Yukon MTB that was showing its age. Large framed and heavy as hell with splitting tyres and worn out disc pads for brakes. The description could also have been applied to myself without too much alteration.

Continue reading “Bikepacking The South Downs Way”

Foto Friday – Karnak Temple

In 2008 we were lucky enough to get a chance to sail up the river Nile in a restored 1920’s Royal Steamer the SS Misr from Luxor to Aswan. We stopped at the monumental city of Thebes where you will find the world famous Karnak Temple Complex which comprises a vast mix of ruined temples, chapels, pylons, and other buildings, notably the Great Temple of Amun a massive structure begun by Pharaoh Ramses II (ca. 1391–1351 BC).

Find more photos from the trip here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jameshandlon/albums/72157627355513354

Foto Friday – Berber Desert Camp, Tinfou, Zagora

15 years ago we were the only ones to make it by camel through a whirlwind sandstorm to our camp for the night set amongst the dunes at Tinfou. There were plenty of seats left around the burntout campfire to choose from that evening! At the time it felt like the greatest adventure we had ever been on. Morocco – 2007