Jean Béliveau and the world wide walk update. Jean has been walking around the world for almost 8 years. Check out his website at: www.wwwalk.org
Submitted by Tony Mangan.
Subject: Jean Béliveau and the wwwalk! (en0501)
Date: Wed, 30 Apr 2008 13:23:07 -0400
India is, without question a country of remarkable exoticism for a person of the western civilization! It is also an immense country, the 7th largest of the world. It counts more than one billion inhabitants and as such, is classified 2nd after China. Its history spreads over several millennia and we can find there, monuments and persons known all over the world.
In Bhopal on January 4, Jean then crosses the Tropic of Cancer two days later. He had crossed this Parallel for the first time in Mexico in 2001. He visits the Buddhist Monuments of Sânchî, a site classified as World Heritage by UNESCO before reaching Sagar, walking on country roads.
In Banda, he visits a school where teachers and pupils are happy to welcome him. Everywhere, people are delighted to offer him the very best they have even if it means going without for themselves because in their culture, there is something divine in receiving a guest. Then, all are curious to hear about his story.
During this time, in Montreal, I count the remaining days before my departure for Kolkata and for the second time in as many months, I transfer the Website to a new host while watching the snow falling with too much abundance!!!
Whereas Jean heads toward Fatehpur where he will board the train for New Delhi in order to renew his Indian visa, he deems necessary to change his route to the northeast because shortly after our holiday, the countries of south-eastern Asia, such as Laos, Thailand, Vietnam etc. will have their monsoon weather conditions and that to walk in this season is practically impossible… He cannot imagine pushing his chariot alternatively in deep mud and deeper water… We thus decide to meet in Kathmandu, Nepal instead of Kolkata. In New Delhi, Jean obtained an extension of only two weeks on his Indian visa. After that period, he has to leave the country. Nepal is therefore the perfect place for his next destination.
He reaches the Nepalese border early on February 13 and is heartily welcomed in a farmer family for his first night in this country. The children are adorable and the landscapes are magnificent. The Nepalese love visitors. Jean noticed that this country is stuffed with NGOs of all sorts what makes people of the country well aware.
After a race against the clock that leaves him considerably thinner and tired, Jean enters Kathmandu on February 21st about 5 hours before my arrival at the airport. Our stay in the Nepalese capital is idyllic even though I have the misfortune to contract an important allergic reaction that drags me to the medical clinic where I am taken cared of very conscientiously.
In the Kathmandu Guest House gardens, a couple of days before my return to Montreal, Jean prepared the next stage of his itinerary. He obtained another visa for India and one for mainland China. Ah! So many official procedures! They are nevertheless essential and a small price to pay compared with the huge privilege to be able to visit all these places on the planet!
He leaves Kathmandu March 15 and is welcomed for the night in Pharping at the ‘Mansushri Di-Chen Buddhist Learning Centre’. The following day sees him going down the mountains he climbed on the eve and he heads toward the Eastern border of Nepal, situated just under Sikkim. On March 30th, he enters India again in the northern portion of West Bengal and walks toward the Assam region. It is in this State that our walker will reach the important psychological step of 50,000Km. This stage has been underlined early, on March 1st, by our Hungarian friends of Rákóczifalva who planned to this effect, a walk similar to the one that they had organized in January 2007 to celebrate the 40, 000th Km of the wwwalk.
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