Monkey Temple Kathmundu


Swayambhunath Stupa is the most ancient and enigmatic of all the holy shrines in Kathmandu valley. Its lofty white dome and glittering golden spire are visible for many miles and from all sides of the valley. Historical records found on a stone inscription give evidence that the stupa was already an important Buddhist pilgrimage destination by the 5th century AD. Its origins however, date to a much earlier time, long before the arrival of Buddhism into the valley. A collection of legends about the site, the 15th century Swayambhu Purana, tells of a miraculous lotus, planted by a past Buddha, which blossomed from the lake that once covered Kathmandu valley. The lotus mysteriously radiated a brilliant light, and the name of the place came to be Swayambhu, meaning ‘Self-Created or Self-Existent’. Saints, sages and divinities traveled to the lake to venerate this miraculous light for its power in granting enlightenment


The area surrounding the stupa is filled with chaityas, temples, painted images of deities and numerous other religious objects. There are many small shrines with statues of Tantric and shamanistic deities, prayer wheels for the Tibetan Buddhists, Shiva lingams (now disguised as Buddhist chaityas and decorated with the faces of the the Dhyani Buddhas), and a popular Hindu temple dedicated to Harati, the Goddess of smallpox and other epidemics.The presence of the Harati Devi temple signifies the intermingling of the pantheons of Hinduism and Buddhism in the development of the religious trends of Nepal. As Buddhists had no deity in their own pantheon to protect against the dreaded smallpox, they adopted the Hindu deity for assistance.

stone carving

Things to do in Nepal..


Try your hand at carving a wooden mask. With their calm, elegant features, these elongated faces are commonly seen adorning the insides of Tiki bars and classy rooms. Learn techniques for the creation of these art pieces from a master of the trade.

Get carving tips from a master, guiding you through every step of the creation process. These masks are made entirely from a single block of quality wood, and have traditionally been considered symbols of luck and prosperity.

Try butter tea and learn how to make a traditional dish with a twist. Discover how to make Thenduk, a hand pulled noodle soup, and follow your guide’s recipe, mixing time-honoured ingredients like vegetables and meat with various spices used in Nepali curries.

Every wondered how people at high altitudes in the Himalayas get the energy needed for labour-intensive work? The answer is in the diet. Learn how to make Thenduk, a staple among the Sherpa and Tibetan communities, with the guidance of your local instructor, Nima Sherpa, who has added her own twist to the recipe by adding various spices featured in Nepali curries.

Start by mixing the flour and chopping the vegetables and meat such as chicken or buffalo. Knead the dough, learn which spices your host adds to her Thenduk, and once all your ingredients are mixed together in a pot, boil the soup. Get a chance to try another Himalayan super food, butter tea. While butter and salted tea might not sound appetising to tea purists today, this drink dates back centuries.


Learn a variety of techniques for carving inscriptions into stone. Enter a comfortable workshop led by experienced stone masons, practising a few time-honoured methods for creating a detailed design, and in the process learning about Nepalese patterns and symbolism.

Much of what we know about ancient human history all over the world is thanks to inscriptions carved into stone. With a relative impervious to the passage of time, stone carvings can serve as vehicles for the preservation of ancient art and text for study in the modern era.

The actual practise of stone carving is easy to learn. Once the exclusive domain of imperial scribes and sages who read the stars, now this ancient craft is accessible enough to learn. Just like drawing, there are a few basic techniques that allow you to create a wide range of designs. Stone carving rewards those with an eye for fine details, requiring more precision than brute force.

stone carving.jpeg

Get closer to Nepalese culture and sample one of its most famous dishes as you learn how to prepare dal bhat. This legendary food combines steamed rice with curried lentils, a legendary food that packs tremendous flavour while providing all-day energy.

Arrive at the home of a local, and prepare to learn their secret recipe for dal bhat. Because nearly every Nepalese family cooks some form of this staple, you may find that flavours differ wildly across households. The trick is in the spices and their proportions.

The dish combines rice, a lentils soup, curried chicken, cauliflower with potato, and a special chutney concoction to fire up your taste buds. The lentils are cooked with a secret preparation method that you can bring home to improve your recipe. The chutney, a combination of roasted tomatoes, garlic, and coriander, makes the perfect finish to the dish.

Bal Dat

Nurture your spiritual self during this enlightening experience across the historic heart of Nepal – the Kathmandu Valley. Meet Hindu holy men within a sacred temple, visit with resident monks at a Buddhist stupa and join an esteemed astrologer in an attempt to chart out your own personal path.

After greeting your guide, board a local bus and head to one of the holiest Hindu temples in the world, Pashupatinath. Distinguished by its pagoda-style architecture, the exquisitely carved wooden rafters and copper-gold roofs are truly sights to marvel at. Stroll the grounds and interact with the saffron-clad, bearded sadhus, the Hindu holy men whom the temple is dedicated to.

Up next, travel to the largest Buddhist stupa in all of Nepal. Here, light a traditional butter lamp and offer prayers to Buddha as you watch devoted pilgrims spin wooden prayer wheels. For greater insight into the teachings of Buddhism, chat with any of the resident monks who are happy to answer your curious questions.

Continue on to a nearby rooftop restaurant and enjoy a tasty lunch with striking, widescreen views of the stupa below, before capping off your tour by sitting down with a famed local astrologer who offers you illuminating insight into your future.


Nepal..Kamundu Computer Project

Namaste dear Friends, and blessings from Kathmandu.
I am writing this to let You know of the wonderful success of the laptop project we began 2 years ago.
Great thanks to all of You who have contributed to the project.
For me it is a dream come true.

So, I arrived in Nepal over 1 month ago and transported the 2 laptops(all that I am officially allowed by Nepalese Customs) up to Dhunche near the Tibet border.  I also brought 21 USB drives and 5 mouse.
The school was very pleased.  I began teaching the teachers and they were quick to appreciate advantages of using the laptops.  We were also blessed because a teacher from Singapore, Jenny, is resident at the school and she had brought projectors and 3 donated old laptops.  I converted these also to Lubuntu and the educational software, so now we have 5 usable laptops.
Also We are blessed because 3 Aussie ladies are coming over to join me here on the 15th and each are bringing 2 laptops.  Many thanks Karen, Maggi and Shanti. And a new battery for 1 of the Singapore lappies.
So the school will have 11 laptops in a week or so.
Another blessing is that an organisation in Brisbane called Nepal Australia Friendship Association (NAFA). is bringing in another 14 laptops for us, and we brought in 40 kgs of jumpers for them. NASA, in the human form of Ross Hazelwood, also donated 200 hand knitted beanies to the young children at the school.  That was fun handing them out.  So very very cute.

Yet another blessing is that Jenny is very computer literate and she has been great in introducing the students to online presentations.  The students have taken to the technology like ducks to water.  They are so keen and stay back after hours to get access to the laptops.

Believe it or not, I also did a few teaching classes here.  It was great fun.
The school suffered from the earthquake a year ago and so many of the students are living in temporary shelters and  one class is operated out of a tent.
The concrete slab is the base of the destroyed multi story classroom.
So when I return in October it would be great if we can do some fund raising for the school so that we can help them rebuild the structure and safely house the students.
Also, if You have any laptop You would like to donate that would be wonderful.
Love and blessings from Nepal.

Rocky Point Russell Island


A Bridge to Russell Island via Rocky Point is the shortest distance and most cost effective route,distanced from mainland, urban lifestyle would maintain desired island living.A Rocky Point bridge will provide superior vehicle access to largest island,and provide short barge route access to other islands. This is the Point where the bridge would go across to the Mainland…

Russell Island power comes from the mainland across the Western Boating Channel and connects to Russell Island at Rocky Point, and continues on to service North Stradbroke Island.

Energex has recently completed a new Sub Station on Russell Island which will assist in evening out power fluctuations and give an improved power supply, plus they are currently in the process of putting underground power lines in to again assist with a consistent and less interrupted power supply. Energex are planning for future increased power consumption involving residential expansion and supply to all the Southern Moreton bay islands.

Russell Island  water comes from the lakes on North Stradbroke Island and the Sir Leslie Harrison Dam on the mainland which is part of the Redlands water catchment area, and is some of the best in the country.

The four Islands that make up the Southern Moreton Bay Islands are flood free, and  do not see those sort of floods that the rest of South East Queensland and Northern NSW experience. Naturally we get some overland water flow, but being small Islands, the water just runs off into the Bay with little effect on personal property.

These Islands are possibly one of the safest havens in South East Queensland, and remain undiscovered by a vast majority of Australians


Venus in the garden

Sandy Beach Russell Island

Sandy Beach Russell Island

Sandy Beach1

Locals need somewhere to drive their cars so everyone drives to the other end of Russell island, a distance of 6 kms, to Sandy Beach. It is a beautiful spot, a sandy beach, inhabited by many sand crabs, who leave their droppings on the sand at low tide. It is also a great fishing place, and in season, the months with an ‘r’ in it, a great crabbing spot where huge mud crabs lurk in corners and deep in the water.


There is a barbecue area with free electric barbecues and covered picnic tables, with a playground for children, a walking park for dogs, and toilets and a cold outdoor shower, with plenty of fresh water. The Lions Club has created a free camping park here to attract sailors and canoeists to overnight on the grass beside the boat ramp. The best part is, that if you come here by water, you can phone the courtesy bus from the Bowls Club or the RSL to collect you at the Lions Park, and return you there after you have enjoyed an evening out.


Along the sand at low tide is a delightful walk along the shore, that then winds in through the mangroves and returns you in a circular route back to where your car is parked. In summer, people love to swim here as the water is shallow and safe with no tides or waves.


Every Sunday when the tide is in, the Sandy Beach Yacht Club meet to sail yachts and have a yarn at the barbecues while the children play on the playground equipment or chase dogs in the water. It’s a very family orientated day and anyone is welcome to join in whether they have a yacht or not.

sandy 4

Across from Sandy Beach is Stradbroke Island…and at low tide, it looks as if you could walk over. Ask a yacht or row boat to take you across if you wish. This area is also a safe place to moor for the night as it is protected by the island on each side, with all facilities available on land for the boatie.



When the tide is in, you can hardly see the sand, and this is when the boats love to use the bay for sailing and fishing. It is a pretty bay, quiet and relaxed, and a place you can see the sun rise in the East and watch the boats as they rush past. There are many birds in the mangroves, catch their song and watch for the Ospreys who nest below in the high trees above the mangroves, dive for fish that they always catch, to take back to their nest in slow flying, holding the fish in their feet.


Locals love Sandy Beach for the sand, the sandy walk and the relaxing park and ramp to park their boats and canoes, and for the quiet beauty of this peaceful spot edged with beautiful flowering trees and shady trees perfect for a family picnic and barbecue.


Maggi Carstairs