Back in 2009 I took a trip to Nepal, perhaps the most highly anticipated trip of my life, I'd heard so much about the trekking there, and of course we know that it's home to the Himalaya and Mt Everest.
I met a fantastic local guide in Kathmandu, Ramsharan, and together we walked the Annapurna Circuit on a 19 day trip. A few days in we reached Manang, a village at 3500m and a good opportunity to spend an extra day to acclimatise to the slightly thinning air. A few hundred metres of elevation from there up a steep side of the valley, lies the Praken Gompa, a small cave become religious hideaway for a Buddhist monk named Lama Tashi.
Across the enormous valley, a glacier dozed its way down the snow-covered mountains. Prayer flags, hung from poles and stupas fluttered in the breeze as I entered the cave and found Tashi sitting cross legged in what was surely his favoured spot behind a small table covered in buddhist paraphernalia, a few items to sell such as bead prayer necklaces of which I took one. A dish for donations, a series of bowls and bells... and his prayer wheel which he held a swung smoothly like a pro.
We could not communicate with words and I felt like a bit of a mullet to be honest, but he emanated warmth and kindly let me take a few photos. I've never forgotten that visit, and it wasn't until looking at the photos earlier this year, 2022, when I decided to do this drawing, that I realised he was wearing a tracksuit under his robes!