DAY 7: 1st June 2014 (Chitwan National Park – Hetauda – Naubise – Kathmandu – Nagarkot, 240km, 7hrs)
I started early this morning as its going to be a long ride. I rode on the same East-West Highway, heading east. I made a mistake of not refuelling while at Bharatphur the other day, and now my bike is low on fuel. I had to ride slowly, hoping to find a petrol station but almost all were closed as they had ran out of petrol. I begged a guy at one petrol station to sell me some, and luckily he managed to sell me 6 litres of petrol in bottles, for a much higher price of course. Alhamdulillah. At least it can last me until I found the next available petrol station.
Once I reached Hetauda, I turned right at the round about, and the winding road of Tribhuvan Rajpath Highway began. The road was very narrow and as I had experienced before, the busses and lorries drove agressively and dangerously, speeding down the steep road, overtaking like nobody’s business with the least of concern that a motorbike (me) was climbing uphill. I had to stop completely to allow the overtaking vehicles to safely pass, before continuing with my own ride. It was quite scary to glimpse on the crevasse down below too, especially that the road barrier was as good as no barrier at all. Many times I had to ride on off road and wet crossings. Frankly speaking, I am getting sick and tired of too much winding road already ever since I started my ride. The higher I climbed, the colder I felt and at certain parts, thick fog blinded my view up to 20m only. Even in this condition, the bus and lorry drivers still raced as fast as their machines could take them. Crazy drivers!!!
|Look at the road barriers|
|This is how narrow the road is.....|
Thank god the view saved the day. There were tea plantations which I could see here too.
|No pain, no gain, huhhh???|
After riding for few hours, I arrived Naubise, but I still had to ride on winding road, this time with lots of traffic, heading to Kathmandu. By this time, my confidence had raised and I was speeding while overtaking, LOL...Well, I must confess that I really hate to trail behind bus or lorry...I hate the turbulence, dust, and the black smoke which came from the exhaust.
Getting near to Kathmandu, the traffic were so bad as it was peak hour. I stopped at the GH which I stayed during my 1st night here to pick up my trekking things which I had left here, and after that I headed straight to Nagarkot, bypassing Bhatakphur. The weather started to change and thick black clouds started to form in the sky while I was ascending the winding road. This followed with a very heavy downpour from above which forced me to take shelter as the road was very slippery.
|This dog also took shelter next to me|
I waited almost one hour but there was no sign that the rain will stop. I had to continue riding slowly as the sun was going down and the last thing that I wanted was to ride in the mountains without street light when night had already fallen. As I climbed up to Nagarkot, I was soaked to the bones and felt really chilly. I couldnt find the hotel which I intended to stay, but my mind stubbornly told me to keep searching. Finally I found it, but I had to descend a steep slippery offroad for about 70m to reach the hotel entrance. The manager, Mr Mohan Dass came running with an umbrella when he saw me struggling and helped me with the bike. I was shivering like mad. Mr Mohan switched on the heater right away and made hot chai for me. How nice of him. The heat and the chai gave me the warmth that I desperately need at that time. It took me about 20 minutes before the shivering stopped and Mr Mohan showed me to my room – a simple budget room but very clean and spotless.
|Hotel Mount Paradise|
DAY 8: 2nd June 2014 (Nagarkot – Kathmandu, 40km, 2.30hrs)
I woke up early to view the sunrise and this were what I got.
|View of the Langtang Range at the far end with snow capped mountain|
|I ascended this road in heavy rain yesterday|
Later, Mr Mohan called me for breakfast. Theres another girl from India but had been living in Australia joining us for breakfast. I was served with a traditional Nepalese vegetarian breakfast (veges plucked from the hotel’s very own garden) and sweet hot chai. We talked about many things including politics and economy. Mr Mohan indeed was a good host. He really took care of his guests like his own family and his hotel was very new with amazing view. I highly recommend this place.
|Me and Mr Mohan|
|Rasa macam nak pindah duduk sini jer bila tgk view mcm ni...|
In the afternoon, I checked out and headed to Kathmandu. Instead of taking the same way as yesterday, I took another way (completing the loop) which was said as a better option as it was shorter and with lesser traffic. However, the truth was, the road was in a bad condition, especially for two wheeler. Not only it was narrow, winding and steep, there were lots of loose gravels and offroad that I need to ride on. Even though its shorter compared to the way I came yesterday, it didnt make my journey any faster. Moral of the story, if the locals said that the road is okey, it is actually okey for their standard.
I continued towards Kathmandu. It was very very tricky to ride in this city without the help from my GPS. I was going in circles and I couldnt find the GH which the trekking agency had booked for me. I entered back alleys and the alleys were not only jammed pack with cars, bicycles, tricycles, motorbikes, and everyone impatiently rushing about, but with lots of potholes too. I was getting very very restless. Getting lost in this dusty and chaotic city was no fun at all. I asked locals, but none seemed to know the GH whereabouts. I wasted about 1.30hrs trying to search for the GH, and alhamdulillah, I found it at last. Rest of the day were spent checking on the outdoor shops at Thamel and resting in my room.
|I had no idea of my whereabout when this pic was taken|
|Alhamdulillah, jumpa jugak Tibet GH ni.....|
DAY 9: 3rd June 2014 (Kathmandu)
I had my breakfast at the cafe, complimentary from the GH. The portion was big and tasty.
Then I made my way to Swayambhu (Monkey Temple) which was located on top of a hill. This temple was one of the most sacred Buddhist sites in the country. There were 350 steps to the top. Aside from the views over the city and the ancient carvings in every available space, it's crowded with monkeys mingling with the visitors.
|View from the top|
After that I visited Pasupatinath, which was an important Hindu temple to Shiva in the form of Lord of Animals. It was an interesting site.
My last stop for the day was Kathmandu Durbar Square. This ancient square was crowded with palaces and temples. The square had been occupied since the construction of a palace around 1000AD. This site was the most popular UNESCO World Heritage Site in Nepal. I spent about 2 hours here wandering around and witnessed the many devotees making their offerings at the various shrines and temples.
|Theres a movie shooting here...|
|Cueing for holy water?|
I made my way back to my GH and called Babu to pick up the bike. It touched me a bit to part with the Red Fazer which had accompanied my ride in Nepal for 8 days. It was indeed a good bike and never gv me any problem at all.
|Cium sikit.....TQ boy.....|
Then, I met my trekking guide and the rest of my trekking mates. We had a short meeting and our duffel bags, down jackets and sleeping bags were distributed. I rented a pair of walking stick from the trekking agency for USD15 to be used through out the trekking. This was something which I regretted because when I and my trekking mates checked the outdoor shop, the price for a pair of second hand walking stick was USD7.50 only.
With that, my first episode of Nepal trip had come to an end. I regard my solo ride in Nepal as a good experience to prepare myself for my upcoming mega ride which I hope to do by end of 2015. One thing I regret though, I'm unable to ride to Muktinath, bikers heaven in Nepal, as my time is short. Hopefully some other time.....
Next, second episode – trekking to Everest Base Camp. Stay tuned.....