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Thursday, 9 October 2014

NEPAL SOLO RIDE: DAY 1 - DAY 3

Nepal is a landlocked country in Southern Asia, located between the Tibet autonomous region of China and India. It contains 8 of the world's 10 highest peaks, including Mt Everest, or Sagarmatha as how the locals call it. This mountainous country had not actually been in my wish list countries to ride to. However, it all happened spontaneously when I found a-hard-to-be-missed trekking package to Everest Base Camp in the internet. The latter was in my things-to-do-before-u-die list, but the price was normally too expensive for my wallet. So, upon seeing how cheap the package was (RM3788 for 16D), I decided to combine the trekking package with a short ride in this beautiful country. This is my story....



DAY 1: 26th May 2014 (KUL – KTM)

I boarded Airasia flight KUL – KTM via KLIA2 Terminal, my first experience flying from this airport. Before I took off, my good friend, Liza, came to meet me to wish me luck. How nice of her. Nothing much to report on the flight journey, except my irritation towards the Nepalese on board. They made too much noise, trying to attract the stewardess attention, stubbornly switching on their mobiles through out the flight and how irritating they used the toilet – dirty, wet, and up to the extent the door was ripped off from its hinges!!! Anyway, I landed safely at Tribhumi International Airport, Kathmandu at 7.30pm. I changed some money at the airport and made my way to the bus stop. I had no idea where it is actually. It was already dark and the taxi drivers were hassling me but I made a point that I am not interested to use their services. Some even shouted to me that there was no more bus available at that time, but I just ignored them. I asked someone and the guy pointed me the way to the bus stop. I found it and waited about 15 minutes before the bus arrived. I told the conductor to drop me at B & B Hospital, the place where my guest house which I had booked earlier was situated. It was really dark when I got down from the bus, except for lights from the nearby shops. I really had no idea where the GH was as I couldnt see the GH’s sign board in the darkness. I crossed the road and walked to the shop to ask for direction. Unfortunately, the teenagers at the shop didnt know the GH whereabouts. I was whispering a silent prayer as I crossed back to the other side of the road and started walking, stumbling upon pot holes and stones while making my way, hoping to find the GH. Luckily, there was a workshop guy, about to close his shop when I asked him about the GH, and he pointed to the GH which was just a few steps away. Thank god. Serlita, the nice host, welcomed me and gv me a room for me to rest for the night.

DAY 2: 27th May 2014 (Kathmandu – Pokhara, 210km, 5.30hrs)

After breakfast, Babu, the person who rented me his bike arrived with his friend. After some signing of papers and deposit paid, he handed me the key to an Indian version of FZ150i. The bike costed me Rs800 (RM32) per day. The bike was very light, or perhaps I am getting used to my DJ's weight. After tying my dry bag on the bike pillion seat using a spider netting cord which Ayuni gave me (TQ darling) and leaving my trekking things at the GH, I made my way out of Kathmandu.

My first Nepalese cuisine
DREAM tinggal, DJ also left at home
I'm here with my new kekasih gelap lah :)
The road was jammed packed with vehicles – buses, lorries, cars, vans, bicycles, tricycles, motorbikes and pedestrians – all sharing the same narrow one lane road. As in Vietnam, I had to brave myself and ignored the honking noise. Babu had told me to take left at a junction 5kms from the GH. Fortunately, I got the correct junction, as there were countless junctions which I passed along the 5kms stretch. Sign boards? Ohhh, noooo, dont expect one here. Once I turned left, I managed to ride a lil bit faster, well, not that much actually as there were lots of vehicles and its only one single lane road with no shoulder at the Prithivi Highway. The road was in a bad condition – pot holes, gravels, muddy, road under construction, u name it....but to me, its still tolerable. What really pissed me off was the lorry and the bus drivers attitude. They simply couldnt care less about smaller vehicles such as motorbikes. Buses, lorries and cars overtaking like crazy even around sharp bends. Its a real challenge for me. There were many times that I was forced to stop completely by the road side due to their overtaking behaviour. They seemed to be lacking of patience. Whenever they wanna overtake, they just  overtake, even though they saw that there were upcoming vehicles from the opposite direction. Over here, the bigger the size of the vehicles, he will be the king of the road. The smaller ones had to give way. Through my observation, only when the upcoming vehicle was as of the same size, or bigger than the overtaking vehicle, then only they will backed off. Else, even though the distance between them and the upcoming smaller vehicle was really close, they wouldnt care less. They will simply overtook as they liked. This indeed was a dangerous attitude, especially when the one overtaking was speeding fast down the winding road. As for me, I had to ride slowly to enable me to stop completely when needed, or else I’m very sure that accidents would happen anytime. Besides, not only the road here had no shoulder, the part where a shoulder should exist was substituted by drains. Its really not worth speeding, believe me.

As I made my way to Pokhara which was about 210km from Kathmandu, I passed lots of villages, beautiful terrace rice fields, greeneries and green river winding its way along the road. I also saw two lorries down the crevasse. I stopped for a snack of delicious pakora which tasted like curry puff at a small restaurant and continued riding soon after. 






After riding for approximately 5.30hrs, I finally reached the suburb of Pokhara. There was a road block and I was stopped by a policeman. He asked for my license and papers and released me after 5 minutes. I rode on, only to scream in excitement when the first sight of Himalaya came into view.


I switched on my GPS, hoping that the map of Pokhara shall appear on the screen, but unfortunately all I could see were green contours. Damn!!! Thank god I already studied Pokhara map (given by my friend, Intan), so I rode slowly, trying to find the GH which I wanted to stay in this town. It was quite difficult to locate it as signboard was close to none. After circling the town, I finally found the GH, but I had to ride on thick gravels to reach the GH as the road was under construction. I was welcomed by the owner, Mr Chiran Khadka who spoke Malay fluently as he used to work in Malaysia before.


My room at Oju GH, only RM24 per night

In the evening, I took the opportunity to walk around the town and checking the outdoor shops. I was told that outdoor stuff was sold cheaply here. I had to agree with this statement. There were lots of guest houses, hotels, tourist and trekking agencies and restaurants lining the streets in Pokhara. I had dinner of beef fried rice at a halal restaurant which I found before retiring to my GH. 


DAY 3: 28th May 2014 (Pokhara)

I woke up a bit late in the morning. Around 10am, I walked to the nearby Phewa Lake. Being one of Nepal's most beautiful spots, the green coloured lake was surrounded by a combination of monkey-filled forests and high white peaks. It was nice to watch the locals daily life here. Then, I walked to the dam, and just laze around, watching some kids fishing fresh water fishes which looked like talapia fish.








Later I walked to Devi’s Fall which was situated about 2kms away. It was quite hot at this time of the year and I was sweating heavily. The reason why I didnt ride my bike was bcos I havent memorized the road. With the malfunction Nepal map on my GPS, its not a good idea to take the bike with me. There were many tourists at this attraction. It was said that Davis, a Swiss citizen was swept away while taking a bath with her husband at this fall. Her dead body had been taken out with lots of effort.






Once done, I took a cab, sharing with a couple, to the World Peace Stupa, located on top of a hill just south of Phewa Lake. The Stupa was the first Peace Pagoda to be constructed in Nepal and offered great views of the Annapurna Mountains, Pokhara valley and Phewa Lake. It was a good decision not to walk up or to ride my rented bike here as it was a very steep climb on loose gravels.

The World Peace Stupa
View of Pokhara Valley  and Phewa Lake seen from the World Peace Stupa

After I’m done with the World Peace Stupa, I decided to walk back down to my GH through the forest by following the trail. In the beginning it was an easy walk down, but after a while, the trail splitted into three directions. Which way must I take? I took the straightway, but it was not the correct one. I walked back to the junction and tried the right way, and the trail splitted again into two directions. Oh no, which way now? I was going round and round, and getting worried as the trees started to look the same everywhere. As I was trying to get out from the forest, I met few other people who as me, were also lost and trying to find the correct way. Together we navigated our way, and finally we ended up at the edge of Phewa Lake where boats awaiting to bring people to the other side of the lake. Phewww...





Upon reaching Pokhara town, I did a lil shopping and then walked back to the GH with intention to get my bike and ride to Sarangkot. However, as soon as I am about to make a move from the GH, black clouds started to surround the area, and the Annapurna Range where Sarangkot lies were hidden by thick fog. According to the GH owner, if this was the case, theres no point of me going up there as nothing could be seen. I had no choice but to listen to him. Rain started to pour soon after which left me with no other option but to stay inside my room. Never mind, I’ll try my luck again tomorrow morning.

The big round thing with the scoop is sweet potatoes
These guys asked me to try chaq, a vege cuisine
Yummylicious chaq, taste a bit like mee rebus, minus the noodles




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Band: NASTIA, Title: ANGGUR (taken from EP 'EKSPRESI')
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