American in Nepal moves from royal consort to peace campaigner

November 9, 2006 (AFP) – Barbara Adams has been witness to huge change in Nepal during the 45 years she has lived in the Himalayan country. Well before backpackers and overland travellers from Europe made Nepal a fixture on the hippy trail, Adams was living in the remote kingdom as consort of a prince from the ruling Shah dynasty.

In recent years the American has become an outspoken advocate for peace, often feeling like a lone voice amid the violence of a decade-long civil war that claimed thousands of lives.

In the aftermath of demonstrations that curtailed royal power and saw a new government broker a six-month ceasefire with the Maoist rebels, Adams says she is hopeful that peace may finally be coming to her adopted home.

Sam Taylor in Kathmandu looks at the stunning but troubled country through the eyes of the royal consort turned peace campaigner.

Today’s Kathmandu with its filthy, crowded alleys, stinking rivers and gridlocked roads is a far cry from the fictional Shangri La depicted in the 1930s novel that gave rise to the myth of a mysterious land hidden deep in the Himalayas.

But when Barbara Adams arrived