Despite the tens of thousands of trucks like this in India & Nepal, each one is uniquely loud and festive. Its been about 8 months since I first saw one, hurling down the road spewing diesel by the barrel full, and sounding the horns as if the ‘Red Coats Are Coming’. India in itself is vastly different from state to state, not to mention Nepal, a different country. So these trucks remaining constant through the entire landmass is at least noteworthy. If there were a list of the top five photos that could represent ‘quintessential India’ these trucks would make it on the list. So how to shoot these icons of industry? These flamboyant earth movers? These moving memorials to the Hindu gods?
Thanks to yet more great advice from my travel consigliere, Peter, I decided that hitchhiking from Pokhara to Kathmandu was the only way for me to go. It would save 600 rupees (about $6) and I’d get to spend the day with my good friend ‘the unknown’ to see what I could make of an idea I had about photographing the road through the eyes of a truck driver.
Hitting the road at 7am I silently applauded myself for getting an early start on the day. Next time ill hold the applause and start at 6:30. It ended up being a 13 hour journey (only takes about 6 hours with a bus) which dumped me off far into outskirts of Kathmandu, about 8 miles from where I needed to be, at an hour where no buses were running. Well I made it home eventually, but not without some thorough documentation.