February 19th

I want to see some Sandus (Indian holy men painted up like Kiss) so off to Pashupatinath/Guheswori temples in day light. They are even bigger than I saw last night in the dark. People are being cremated and blessed.

Find a square full of Sandus. One has a chain through his penis attached to his belly. They are very intimidating (and I'm not easily intimidated). Shoot what I can but feel uncomfortable, still in the immortal words of Howling Wolf "I'm sitting on top of the world".  

February 18th

Up at dawn to fly around the Himalaying range (that's mountains) and the Hindu Kush (more mountains). The airport check in is so abysmal the domestic terminal is like being in the movie, Casablanca.

10:30, back to Swoyambhu on the hill then off to Patan Golden Temple and Royal Palace, full of Pagodas. The place has a real vibe. Today is the Hindu Shiva Festival. Lots of pilgrims. See women burning vases or something, making offerings all over the place. Stop to shoot women bathing in the public baths (which is just an open square all over the city), well I am a tourist so I can get away with it.

Get conned into buying rubbish by a teenage girl, she's so pretty and friendly, I don't mind... Unfortunately all her friends see her do this, I end up like the pied piper with half a million (well, twenty) young girls following me, trying to sell me crap.....

Go on to Bhaktapur. Hard to believe but even better than Patan. Just in time for what photographers call the magic light. Shoot the King's bathing pool with huge brass snakes. Walk through the winding streets until dark.

At 9pm, look around the Pashupatinath and Guheswori temples for the night festival. There are hundreds of pilgrims. It's quite frightening at first. Come to an enormous tent, it's packed and overflowing. Talk to the guard at the back.

He lets me in through the back tent flap (yes like being backstage). Everyone inside is watching an old white haired singer, sitting cross legged on a low stage. The Robbie Williams of Nepal. I take some pics from behind him. Amazing how I go to the top of the world and end up shooting a show.....

February 17th

There is a transport strike today, so have to walk. It's very cold but by 10:30 it's boiling hot. Photograph the Boudhanath Stupa, get told off by a monk for walking the wrong way round it. The side streets are an eye opener... Mothers checking children's hair for lice, beggars and skinned Yak hanging on railings covered in fly's. It's now midday and very very very hot. As I'm a westerner, give up and lay down by the hotel pool.