Hello once again. As you may have guessed I am now in Nepal, where I have been for almost 4 weeks now. I rode across the flat plains which run along the south of the country. The plains were fine, the riding easy but the road (only 1) had quite heavy traffic. Nearing 6 months on the road and with a strong desire to get to Kathmandu and have a rest meant that I succumbed to the temptation of the bus instead of climbing a high pass to the city where I found a cheap room and kicked back.
I took a holiday-from-my-holiday and spent my first week pottering around the area of the city I was in, finding the tastiest (and often cheapest) eateries, readng the paper and giving my bike an overhaul. I completely stripped everything from the bike, cleaned and re-greased it and put it all back together again. I invested in a good bike and now after 6 months it has more than exceeded my expectations, no trouble at all despite the attsacks from bad roads, dust and moisture.
After reaching Kathmandu it was also nice to have some good conversations. I had missed the company and humour of other Westerners a bit during my North East India escapades (not that I didn’t enjoy speaking with the people there). In fact it was a little bit of a shock to the system seeing so many white people in the streets! Anyway, I lingered in Kathmandu for another week, rode my bicycle (very strange without the weight at first) around the city, taking in the main temples and went to a climbing wall for a bit of upper body exercise.
From Kathmandu I rode to the nexdt major tourist destination in Nepal, Pokhara, a city by a lake with views of the Himalaya and a very shanti (peacefull) atmosphere. I found an incredible good value room, 1 pound 50, for a comfy bed with attached bathroom and hot water, plus it is clean which is a bonus. At ‘Peace Full Guest House’ I met Rosanna, a German lass here to do some trekking for a few months. I had been toying with the idea of doing a trek seeing as Nepal is renowned for it’s treks and seeing as I have the time. I was reluctant to go with an organised tour though feeling that it would take something away form the experience, and didn’t want to hire my own guide, so when Rosanna was looking for someone to walk with (it’s not recommended to go alone) I decided to go with her.
So tomorrow I depart for the Annapurna Circuit trek. It is aro0und 250 km and takes in a pass of 5416m, so will be the highest I have ever been, on land. It is also my first trek, so I don’t really know what to expect, but this evening I have that nervy excited feeling that you get before starting something big, which is nice.
In a few weeks time I will write to tell you how it was, as for now I have to buy a couple more supplies and finish packing some of my bits into the cheap rucksack I picked up. And have a last beer for a while.