Pete Smith - A Sense of Place

Pete Smith

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Kathmanmdu 1974. Kathmandu, my young son attracts a warm glance from passers by.

The Asia Overland HippieTrail was the epic journey of the Sixties and Seventies. Between 1964 and 1979 thousands of young Westerners, Americans, Canadians, Brits, Europeans, Aussies and Kiwis travelled from their homelands to India (Goa) and Nepal (Kathmandu).

I made the overland journey from the UK to India and back with my two young children in our VW camper during 1973 & 1974. We spent periods of time in Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Swat, India, Goa and Nepal. I'm a photographer. I accumulated thousands of images during that long journey. Now, forty six years later I'm looking back at these photographs and embarking on a much put off project of scanning all of them on to digital files. Right now I'm just working on the B&W photographs, the colour will follow.

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Nepal, Kathmandu 1974. Father and son on the streets of Kathmandu

In the late spring of 1974 we came to Kathmandu. We rented part of a house in the village of Bijeshwori , close to the holy mountain of Swayambhu and overlooking the old city of Kathmandu across the valley from our temporary home.

Leaving my children in the care of my girlfriend in Kathmandu I took a bus to the town of Pokhara and set off on foot for a month’s trek, circling west around Annapurna and following the Gandaki valley towards the mighty 26,795ft high Dhaulagiri and onwards towards Tibet. A return journey of two hundred miles

These few photographs offer a small window of travels in Nepal, of the outstanding landscape and it’s kind and friendly people.

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Street musicians Kathmandu 1974

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Nepalese Family Kathmandu 1974

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Nepal, trekking through the Himalayas. A Westerner arives in the village of Tatopani

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Nepal, trek through the Himalayas. There are no roads, only tracks, paths and stone stairways. Everything is carried, either by mule or man.

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Nepal, trek through the Himalayas. The village of Tatopani

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Treking through the Himalayas. A meal in a lodge would include a space to sleep for the night. This young woman had cooked my dinner the night before.

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Nepal, trek through the Himalayas. Mule train leader, Gandarki valley.

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Himalayas. Women setting off on a mountain pathway

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Treking through the Himalayas, Everything is carried, either by man or mule. There are no roads, only paths and steep stone stairways.

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Nepal, trek through the Himalayas 1974. A young westerner sick with hepatitis is carried by a Nepalese Sherpa.

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Sherpas taking a much needed break. The man in the centre of the photograph  has carried a sick young westerner in a basket on his back for the whole day.

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Nepal, Gandarki Valley. An Indian Naga Baba (Sadhu) living in a cave on the edge of a small village seen here with his few posseions and smoking Ganga. In the evening local people would bring him rice and food in exchange for his wisdom and advice.

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A woman cooks the evening meal. Nepal 1974.

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My two young children playing with local kids, Kathmandu, 1974

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