Chris De Bié - Storia Theurgica - The Hippie trail -
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Storia Theurgica
The Hippie trail


- _1. The escape
- _2. Gate to Asia
- _3. Persia
- _4. Afghanistan
- _5. Pakistan
- _6. India
- _7. Nepal
- _8. Back to Europe
7. Nepal

Pokhara - Kathmandu


3 Hours later the journey ended in Sonauli where there were plenty of rickshaws available for the short trip to Nepal. I preferred walking and almost overlooked the small Indian visa office. The only indication I had that I was crossing into another country was by a note attached to the archway that I was now leaving India. I almost walked past the Nepalese Immigration office as the locals could cross the border uncontrolled. Later I would meet people who had accidentally overlooked this border and became victims to official harassment because their passports were lacking entry and exit stamps. In case of necessity this was a border that was possible to cross. This reminded me of my first trip to Ibiza. In 1970 there was a small-pox epidemic in Germany and I did not have the necessary vaccination. Shortly before the border to Spain I left the road and walked along the narrow gorge in the Pyrenees. It was raining and I slipped several times. After that it was easy though as it was not required to have a stamp in ones passport.

The visas extended upon entry were only valid for one month, but it was possible to prolong the visa twice for one month in Kathmandu. After spending the night in Bhairawa I continued directly to Pohkara and unfortunately did not make an excursion to close-by Lumbini, Buddha's place of birth. As we travelled in an easterly direction I took a seat on the left side so I could enjoy the splendour of the approaching Himalayas. And I had to fight for this place! After some skirmishes with fellow travellers I managed to claim the sought after sitting place for myself. Half an hour later the bus had a flat tyre, right in the midst of Terai, the rolling country of the Indus lowlands, preceding the Himalayas. Not too unhappy about this I left the road to catch some of the jungle atmosphere and to listen to the numerous insects and birds. Pesky mosquitoes left their marks on me pretty quick and after half an hour I was called back to the bus. Shortly afterwards we were in the mountains. To the right of the narrow, winding road mountains were raising towards heaven, to the left the mountainsides fell steeply to the rocky yet wooded shores of the river. Smiling, co-travellers asked me whether I had seen tigers. Later I saw photos of Bengal tigers which were used to advertise expensive elephant safaris; participants later told me that they had never seen one of these shy animals.


Pokhara streetscene

In Pokhara a little boy ran towards me and offered me a room. His single mother was cleaning the adobe floor and to my great regret she and her three children had to move into the goat stable as their home consisted of only this one room.
  Hans Grimm


House in Pokhara
Photos by Hans Grimm - 1975

In the evening the Machapuchare lit up in golden light and it became obvious why it is said to be the seat of Amitabha, the Buddha of Infinite Light. Due to its position it was the first mountain of the Annapurna range and apparently the highest. Its peak was shaped like a fishtail, giving it its name. Its shape, its position and the religious legends surrounding it made it to a holy mountain. Since 1964 it is prohibited to climb this mountain and thanks to this it has been saved from mountain-climbing tourism.


Photo by Peter Engelhardt - 1977

I usually had my breakfast in the Swiss run 'Snow-Land'. Afterwards I would relax under a banyan tree on the shores of the lake, accompanied by a Baba, listening to the euphoric accounts of trekking trips undertaken by some freaks, enjoying and sharing a chillum. The Jomsom Trek was a favourite and the Charas coming from that region was highly sought after. It went towards the former Buddhist Kingdom of Mustang and as it bordered on Tibet the gates to this 'Shangri-La' were closed until 1992. I would have loved to follow the calling of the snowcapped mountains but apart from the proper gear it was also necessary to obtain a trekking permit. That was not possible for me at the moment so I took day trips to get closer to the snowy mountains. Several times I crossed the lake in a dugout canoe and explored the wild and untouched shoreland. Whilst doing so I met some kindred spirits.

  Peter Engelhardt


On the opposite side of the lake
Photo by Ian Watkinson - 1977

It was just a couple of hundred meters from the Banyan tree to the island, where the Barahi Temple, dedicated to the Goddess Kali was located. Images of blood splatters from the weekly animal sacrifices, the reflection of the Annapurna Massif and this horizon; so far and yet so close to this Altar of the Gods truly opened up new horizons.

In 1977 it was possible to reach the island on foot, crossing over a rocky path. 9 years before, in 1968, the river was dammed and the water level gradually rose. Meanwhile the island with its temple is in the middle and the Phewa is in danger of filling up with sand due to the high sediment content of the tributaries. It grows smaller again and who knows one day the island can be reached again on foot.
  Ian Watkinson


Island with Barahi Temple



Barahi Temple
Photos by Peter Engelhardt - 1977



Island with Barahi Temple
Photo by Ting Po - 2001

Another recollection – the encounter with the giant spiders. They were somewhat frightening when encountering them under the tress and in the bushes.
  Ting Po


Phewa Lake with spider
Photo by Peter Engelhardt - 1977



Phewa Lake with spider
Photo by Ting Po - 2001

Again I was denied fully enjoying this idyll. In contrast to the others I had to find a way to earn money. With the old, yellow Swiss postal bus – the Swiss Bus Service provided by Snow-Land – I journeyed to Kathmandu two weeks later looking for my fortune.


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© by Chris De Bié admin: 17.03.2019