Eyes of SWILD


Tibet - Overlanding from Lhasa to Kathmandu, Nepal 1998


It's pretty
desolate out here.

When you get flat tire and
there's no spare,
it's a long,
long, long walk...

There were four Land Cruisers
in Paul's convoy
as we traveled along
the Friendship Highway
(just a dirt road,
but in remarkably
good condition
at this particular spot),
from Lhasa, Tibet to
Kathmandu, Nepal.

There were many passes
at 5000m plus,
washed out roads and landslides,
then Tibetan villages
with stunning high-desert
and mountain-vistas,
including Everest.

Visit Tibet


One of the many
buddhas in the Tibetan temples
that date back
1,500 years

This one had a recent facelift.

The Tibetan monasteries
and monks were
absolutely fascinating,
all with many stories
to tell about
the brutal Chinese occupation
and beatings.

1,500 hundred years
of wisdom


This guru,
at the Pashupatinath temple
in Kathmandu,
has drunk only milk
for the last forty years.

it improves hair growth.

Another guru
lifted a fifty pound weight
with his male organ.

that also has
some benefits.

Pashupatinath Temple

'Gimme, gimme, gimme!'

A young Tibetan yak trader
learns fast about Westerners

We appear to be
a great source
of free things.

'Gimme, gimme, gimme!'



This young Tibetan monk
smiles with glee as he listens
to my Walkman.

He thoroughly enjoyed
Savage Garden
's new single
and definitely wanted
to trade for my Oakleys.

Bring small gifts for the kids.

See Tibet


At the
Tibetan Kara La
pass, 5010m,
adding his own prayer flag
to the flapping ensemble.

It certainly was
windy and pretty cold.

The air stirred
as the monks
made their offerings,
with burning sage and juniper
over human ashes.

Chanting the mantra
and releasing prayer money
into the breeze.

, commonly called
the Roof-of-the-World,
is the highest country on Earth.
Most of the trip
was at 14,000ft or higher.


These Tibetan yak traders
are camped out
around the 5000m mark.

Their whole economy
revolves around yaks.
A tough, resilient, scrawny,
and woolly type of buffalo.

Sizzling yak meat,
yak milk, yak butter, yak tea
and yak cheese
(dried over burning yak dung)
was an acquired taste.

A lot of people
thought the cheese had a crap flavor.
I couldn't quite agree
until after chewing
two or three more pieces.

The yak wool is made into clothes
while the skin is stretched
to make tents

A Yak Economy

Time for Dinner

'One leg of lamb, please'
in my best Tibetan
Lonely Planet

A soft hunk of meat
comes off without fanfare
and sizzles

on the yak dung fire.

No fur.
Just the freshest
on Earth

Tibet Libre

Paul and a local monk from
an undestroyed monastery
in southern Tibet.

He was one of the
very few monks
still willing to disobey
the Chinese military police
by talking with Westerners.

Photo below:
face blurred to thwart
Chinese Secret Police
arrests even as
recently 2007

In his best broken English,
and my poor Tibetan,
we earnestly discussed
and the Dalai Lama.

Life has been very harsh
for all Tibetans
with many beaten and killed,
over 6,000 monasteries
destroyed and the right
to freely practice
religion denied.

Free Tibet

Watches Over You

Keen to visit
the Swayambhunath temple?

Legend has it
that if the
Eyes of Swayambhunath
watch over
long enough,
you're destined
to voyage to the
Kingdom of Nepal


My Little Everest

Paul, Roy, Ross, and Terry
make it to the top
just before sunset.

The young monk's wisdom
saved the day
and our night.

The air for hiking
is pretty thin at 16,000ft,
with a lot of huffing and puffing
on my part.

And If it wasn't for my guide,
I'd still be stuck
somewhere going up
the mountain.

The view of Everest,
though far, was worth
the summit together.

No one left behind

A Parting Thought

the Chinese Secret Police
can now read
fingered in dirty car windows.

Tibet Libre

The greatest journey
during my travels
was the never-ending
inner-one that started within