The road south out of the city is very congested, stop go traffic, insane overtaking and ll the trucks and buses belch out blsck fumes, it took us 2 1/2 hours to clear the worst of it and have our first stop. A roadside eatery of dubious cleanliness, i took tea and nothing else! Our guide Ravi is from India so he is well used to these places, despite my extensive travelling I still struggle especially with the toilets!
After the stop we rode a mile then done a u turn and headed up over a mountain pass to avoid the traffic, the roads were as expected full of potholes, some you could lose a small car in! Interesting though to observe Nepali life as we wound our way up and over the mountains, families eeking a living at the side of the road, growing what they can to eat and sell and herding goats, well behaved goats though as they didn't bother us. At one point we saw a couple of women doing their dish washing in the rain culvert at the side of the road which meant that Nepali stomachs are obviously stronger than us Europeans. The "short cut" seemed to go on forever and Fiona and I struggled with the group riding concept, at one point the whole thing did seem to be a testosterone led charge and at our break i tried to point out I had seen bugger all but the bike in front and none of the scenery, the couple of stops we did have were poor photo opportunities and we were wondering if this is for us.
Lunch was late, very late at around 2 pm considering we had been on the bikes since 7am and by now it was hot, very hot! Another bit of faffing around to find somewhere to eat didn't impress me, I thought all of our stopping places would have been checked out beforehand but apparently not.
After lunch we allegedly had 60 km to go, we left at 3 and set off stopping to watch a wedding (which we then got invited to) we declined and set off again, I noted the riding getting more and more erratic as fatigue set in, we then had to do a u turn and retrace our steps for a few miles as our guide said the road was closed due to the elections? Basically he was lost and then started asking people at the side of the road for directions, Fiona rode alongside him and told him to phone the support van which seemingly was already at the hotel, he did and we got there just after 6pm, 11 hours after we left, hot and tired and sore.
Sore because the Royal Enfields are not really suited for these roads, little suspension, wooden brakes and zero comfort throw in the fact that the heel and toe gear lever means when you get thrown out of the seat hitting potholes you inadvertently change gear, the seat is uncomfortable as well, everybody agreed so its not just me being a moan.
On the bright side the Nepali people are super nice, the hotel we are in today is excellent and the group and tour leader all seem nice . Being positive hopefully we are back on track and have a better idea of what to expect tomorrow when we set off again.
|Holy man ( I think)|
|Team meal before the off|
|"Well that was interesting" our first stop out of Khathmandu|
|Not sure our breakfast stop has a hygiene certificate|
|Fi getting organised|
|Water stop, mist stopped play for photos|
|I didn't finish mine!|
|Our tour guide with Peter and Neil|
|bride and groom|
|end of the day, tired and dusty|
|A beer before we go to our room|