JULY 19 – Today I Arrived in Kathmandu -july19kathmandu.com


About the Book:

There is a great mountain in central Nepal called Annapurna, Goddess of the Harvests. This book recalls a walking tour the author made in this lofty and exhilarating region a few years ago. It is one of those old-fashioned sort of books that starts each chapter with a quotation which provides a glimpse into what the following section contains. The quotation that begins the first chapter could also serve a preview of what the rest of them are about.

Before my driftwood fire I sit,
And see with every waif I burn,
Old dreams and fancies coloring it,
And folly’s unlaid ghosts return.

John Greenleaf Whittier

There are two narratives here. The central account describes the day by day events of the walk. The other one comes to life when something happens or appears along the trail that stirs up memories and sets off trains of reminiscence, and then the old dreams, the fancies and the unlaid ghosts take over. These two narratives weave in and out of each other all through the book, resulting in something between a travelogue and a memoire. And because most of these things happened long ago, it is also a time capsule from a world that has now largely passed.

About the Author:

Peter MacFarquhar evolved into a keen India traveler by a fairly circuitous route. He was originally from New England, but soon moved to South Africa when his parents went there to work. He started school in the Hague in the Netherlands a short time later, and then spent the rest of his childhood and teenage years in Benghazi and Marsa Brega in Libya. Following the usual order of things, he returned to the United States to attend university, eventually earning an M.A. in TEFL from the University of Hawaii. From there he transferred to the Middle East and worked at a number of universities in the Gulf region for several decades. During this period, he took up long distance walking, and began travelling extensively in India, Sri Lanka and Nepal, by train and on foot. Most of the events described in this book happened during these frequent and wide-ranging journeys. He has recently retired from international education, and now lives in central Florida. He hopes to resume his traveling life in the near future.