Episode 004: The City of Bhaktapur

"Down with the U.S. Imperialism." Lhawang, our head Sherpa, or Sirdar, and Ben's Everest climbing partner finally arrives. It was great to meet Lhawang after hearing so much about him from Ben. The two were part of a Dhaulagiri expedition just 10 months earlier so this was a great reunion. Earlier, we check out one of Thamel's seemingly millions of embroidery shops and place an order for the team's expedition shoulder patch. The shop owner has his work cut out for him as we need 3 days of work completed by tomorrow night! While Lhawang checks in with family and friends, Major, Ben and I head into the Kathmandu Valley to visit the city of Bhaktapur. Upon arriving at the city's gate, we meet a 16 year-old student named Kewan who makes it his mission to tell us anything and everything about this "City of Art and Architecture." This kid is amazing and not even a tiny bit camera shy. The city is in full preparations for Biska Jatra, it's largest festival. There's so much going on that Major and I split up, each armed with a camera, and take off in opposite directions. Kewan takes Major to an alter where they perform animal sacrifice while I photograph some of Bhaktapur's more colorful residents. Our visit is cut short as thousands of Nepali marchers descend on the Durbar Square to protest U.S. president George Bush's declaration that Nepal is a country that harbors terrorists. We are absolutely engrossed watching this event unfold when Kewan grabs our arms and urges us to leave. He is concerned for our safety since we're all, well, Americans. We meet no harm and quietly walk out of the square. Jon Miller Total Running Time: 29:56