Wednesday 9 March 2016

#RPBP "North To Nepal" Behind The Scenes With Robert Fear @fredsdiary1981 @sarahjanewrites @mdaly_margaret #ASMSG #Bookboost #memoir


Thank you for joining us as we go behind the scenes of 

with the Seventh edition
"Behind The Scenes".

Robert Fear takes us on his journey, as he travels in Asia taking daily notes in a diary. ​

This authentic look into his dairy has been extended by going behind the scenes with Robert as he reveals himself to us each week with an original inside look.

This week Robert Reflects with

"Heading North To Nepal"

Heading north to Nepal
After a couple of days in Agra, I have been travelling north towards Nepal.

The robbery on the train from Delhi had shaken me up more than I thought at the time. I ended up buying a collection of gems as I was persuaded by some locals in Agra that it would be a good way to recoup my money. The idea is to sell them in Nepal for two or three times the price. We will see!
History of The Taj Mahal

Saw some of the sights while I was there, including the magnificent Taj Mahal and the Red Fort. The weather was extremely hot, almost unbearable. It is now a relief to be heading towards the cooler climes of Nepal.
I have been doing a lot of thinking, especially critically of myself and my personality traits. It has dawned on me that I was totally unprepared for this part of my travels. Having had my expectations geared to South-East Asia and my ideas adjusted to accept that, I was within two days plunged into India and a completely different way of life.

History Behind The Red Fort

Whatever happens during the rest of my time here in India and Nepal, I don’t think that it will be quite the same Fred returning to Frankfurt that left in February. 

The journey north by train has been tiring but fascinating at the same time. Varanasi was the first stop-off after an overnight ride from Agra. On the train I found my berth fairly quickly. It was right on top of a three-tier bunk. The bed was basically a wooden board so after dusting it off I got out my towel to use as a blanket and used my bag as a pillow.

After a night and day in Varanasi I then spent a fascinating night on the train with some fellow westerners. As we chugged along it felt as though we were riding along with Casey Jones, made especially realistic with the hooting of the steam whistle.

Our compartment was only dimly lit, which made everything really mysterious. It got even more so when the Swiss guy produced a couple of joints of some great Afghan gear. Got off really well and the journey turned into a bit of a fairy tale as we headed off north.

Am now staying overnight in a hotel called ‘Delicious’ with a Dutch guy called Allas. Earlier this evening he took me along to a tiny little temple tucked away at the corner of the square here in Birgunj. We spent time with the guru who lives there, along with some local men, smoking chillums.

It was strange to see a group of men aged anywhere from 20 to 65+ all sitting around in this manner. In a different context I could only compare it with a night up the pub with the lads.

Early tomorrow morning we will be heading to Kathmandu by bus. Who would have imagined at the start of this trip that I would now 
be in Nepal, soon to be arriving in its wonderful capital.

Arriving in Kathmandu
Our bus stopped many times at small settlements along the way and also for breaks at little street side stalls where Allas and I refreshed ourselves with tea. The journey start
ed off with us riding over the flat plains as the sun rose and later winding up the switchback road heading into the hills.

The views were fantastic as we drove higher and higher and saw the countryside in action. Nepal is a fertile country with skilled use of irrigation meaning that they are self-reliant for food and in fact export some surplus goods apparently.

We eventually reached 8000 feet before starting to head downwards again into the valley of Kathmandu at 5000 feet above sea-level. The road was bad a lot of the way. It was built twenty years ago and has not been maintained very well.

Some History of Kathmandu
The weather changed drastically as we got higher and later on into the valley. There were a lot of clouds with some rain. The whole feeling was cool and overcast. This quite surprised me as I had expected sunshine and some warmer weather, but we were informed that the monsoon conditions have set in early this year.

Arrived in Kathmandu exhausted. Took a taxi around a couple of hotels and guest houses to check prices. We eventually found somewhere a little way out of town which is quiet and simple, a guest house charging only R15 a night for a double room.

Accepted the room and went inside to relax. I made a small joint of grass which was excellent and relaxed us both. We went out at 6 p.m. totally unprepared for what the evening had in store for us. Still stoned I floated into Kathmandu and we found a great little place where we sat down cross-legged at low tables.

Kathmandu Durbar Square., CC BY-SA

Did you miss the past segments of 

Behind The Scenes?

Fascinating time capsule from the 80’s



Have you ever wanted to read someone else’s diary? 
Would you like to experience travelling in Asia without leaving home? 

Then this book is for you. Fred’s Diary 1981 is a fascinating insight into a young man’s travels around Asia in the early 1980’s. This is a unique opportunity to delve into Fred's daily diary, which details the 158 days he spent travelling around Asia. Follow Fred throughout his extensive travels to Hong Kong, Thailand, India and Nepal. 
Appreciate the many friendships formed along the way with fellow-travellers. 
Relive the highs and lows that he experienced during this fascinating journey. 
Recognise the huge differences in technology, particularly communications. 
Become immersed in the different cultures, peoples and surroundings of Asia in the early 1980's. 
Understand more about the drug culture of the 1980's, especially in Thailand and Nepal. 
Learn from Fred's youthful mistakes, especially if your dream of travelling to Asia becomes a reality.

The price of Fred's Diary 1981: Travels in Asia has been dropped to £1.99 / $2.99 
(was £2.99 / $3.99). 
Get your copy while this offer lasts:

You can find out more about author Robert Fear on 
Rukia Publishing's 
Meet the Author page:

Come back next week when we publish another original segment 
"Behind The Scenes"

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  1. Thank you Robert for sharing these behind the scenes episodes it certainly adds depth to a wonderful book.

  2. Thanks Sarah Jane. It's been a challenge, but an enjoyable one, getting these fresh insights together.