Bus Journey On The Prithvi Highway
Ink, Acrylic On Paper
32 x 23 cm

The first in a series of twenty-one artworks, based on a trip to Nepal in August / September 1996.

Diary Entry No. 1
Thursday 22nd August 1996
Kathmandu To Pokhara

"We caught the bus this morning from Kathmandu to Pokhara, a seven-hour journey through some of Nepal’s beautiful lush green terraced rice fields. It was grey and overcast, I’m concerned about the time of year that we are going to do this trek as the monsoon is upon us.

Looking out of the guest house window towards where the Annapurna mountains should be, all I see is 30,000ft of towering black clouds. Arriving in Pokhara was a strange experience, we were dropped off about four kilometres outside the town centre and to meet only eight people on our bus were fifty or sixty Nepalese taxi drivers. They were all waiting in a huge line and blocking the way from the Bus Park to the main road. I can’t believe how it felt to have sixty grown men literally grovelling at my feet, grabbing hold of me, calling me ‘Sir!’ ‘Sir I take you to good hotel, very cheap!’

We decided that we would walk into town after previous experiences on this trip of taking up free taxi rides to hotels. The walk was hard in this heat; four kilometres and most of the men followed us for half this distance. We’re now staying at the Kiwi Guesthouse, not a bad place, good food and it’s eight US dollars a night. Tomorrow we wake up at 5:30 am for our 6:00 am bus to Dumre, which is twenty-five kilometres from here."