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Thursday, 9 October 2014

NEPAL SOLO RIDE: DAY 4 - 6

DAY 4: 29th May 2014 (Pokhara – Tansen – Bhairahawa – Lumbini, 210km, 8hrs)

My luck didnt change as thick fog still covered Annapurna Range in the morning even though the rain had stopped. Sigh...well, perhaps this would be a good reason for me to come back. I received a message from my friend, Ashraff, the tribal hunter, who had just finished his tribal trekking tour through Mustang, saying that he will be arriving Pokhara in a short while. I gv him direction to my GH and he arrived about 1:30hrs later. It was soooo nice to meet a friend in a foreign land. However, we didnt manage to talk for long as I had a long ride to cover today. After 1 hour, we bided good bye and I made a move out of Pokhara. It was easy to exit this town, unlike when entering the other day.

Me and Ashraff
As soon as I exited Pokhara, the road started to narrow and wind into the mountain. Luckily there were not many traffic on this road, so I managed to ride a lil bit faster. There were few times that I almost collided with overtaking vehicles from the opposite direction at sharp bends which made my heart skipped a beat. These drivers were crazy. They almost killed me!!! In order to avoid unwanted things to happen, I slowed down and honked every time I’m nearing a blind spot corner. The view however was very scenic with greenery, beautiful terrace rice fields and green river accompanying my ride. I had to stop many times for pics and to drink in the view. I never forgot to thank Allah for letting me witness His beautiful creations.












I felt the need to use the toilet but unfortunately there was no petrol station that I could find, not until I had left Pokhara for 4 hours!!! While passing some villages, I saw several road blocks, but only once was I stopped and after seeing that I am a foreign woman and riding alone, the police let me go. I stopped at Tansen for delicious local snacks which were sold very cheaply at a resting area. The one that I liked best was something which looked like our very own cucor, minus the anchovies or prawn, and had lots of onions in it. At this rest place, I could also see locals selling mountain agriculture products such as fruits and veges.








The onion cucor is on the left side of the table...very crispy, yummy and dirt cheap

I continued riding, hoping that this winding road will end very soon as I'm getting sick of it already. It only happened once I reached Butwal, when I managed to ride on a wider straight paved road. Then, I headed south to the Nepal – India border. The road was bad with lots of pot holes and many part were under construction. I had to ride on gravels or on dirt road until I reached the border town, Bhairahawa. The road through it was clogged with heavily laden trucks and there were touts everywhere. I crossed to the other side and had a drink at small shop while watching people passed by.



After 1 hour, I re-enter Nepal and rode the same way back to Siddharthanagar, and later turned left to Lumbini. All along the road to my destination, I saw farmers returning home on bicycles after a long day work in the farm. They carried farming tools on their back and rode double or triple, filling almost the whole of the small road. This attitude pissed me off as I need to reach Lumbini ASAP since the sun was going down. Somehow, I had to be patience and reminded myself that I was in their country so I had to respect their way. Finally, I made it to Lumbini and checked in at a GH in the main bazaar, near the Buddha Complex. All guesthouses near this area were of the same standard. I will never recommend the one I stayed as this was the worst GH I had ever stayed in. Luckily my dinner was superb and very tasty.

Rice, big bowl of vege curry & a bottle of coke...Rs140 (RM6) only

DAY 5: 30th May 2014 (Lumbini – Chitwan National Park, 176km, 3.30hrs)

I didnt get a good night sleep as my room was so hot and stuffy due to electric failure, which was a common thing in Nepal. Before checking out, I visited attractions in Lumbini, the birth place of the founder of Buddhism and apostle of peace and enlightenment, Lord Buddha in 623 B.C. I walked to the Buddha Complex, which consisted of Maya Temple (Buddha was born in this temple), Ashokan Pillar (the first epigraphic evidence related to the life history of Buddha) and Pushkarni (the sacred pool). Entrance fee was Rs200 (RM8). I spent nearly 2 hours checking this interesting world heritage site and watching the monks doing their rituals.



Pushkarni pool

Monks doing their rituals

Ashokan Pillar

How true and wise...

Then, I had my brunch at a street stall, this time having fried vege momo and panee puri which were very tasty. As the GH owner in Pokhara, this hawker spoke good Malay as well as he worked in Malaysia before. It was a nice feeling to chat with them in my mother tongue.


Fried vege momo
Panee puri

I picked up my bike and rode via East-West Highway to Sauraha. For the first time ever since I’m riding in Nepal, I managed to see a proper sign board and to ride on a much better road. I passed lots of small villages, and climbed up a mountain. The good twisty road made the riding fun. I stopped at a view point and had a drink before continuing my journey via Bharatphur.




Before taking right direction to Sauraha, I stopped again for snacks. This time I tried fried vege bread, fried potato, and again the yummylicious cucor. Then I made my way to Chitwan National Park, passing by green paddy fields on both sides of the road. I had to ride on offroad, combination of gravels and dirt for about 7kms. Finally, I reached the place where I wanna stay for the night. Again, the receptionist at this GH can speak a lil bit Malay. It seemed that almost everyone whom I talked to had worked in my country before :)



I got a nice room which costed me only Rs800 (RM32) per night. This lodge was right on the boundary of Chitwan National Park and only a 10 minute walk from the village.




After resting for a while, I walked to the edge of Rapti River to watch sunset. A local approached me, trying to sell me a tour but I politely said “no” as the price was expensive, given that I’m alone. We managed a lil conversation and he pointed me to a log in the river, which was actually a croc!!! The guy also pointed to me a rhino taking a drink at the far end of the river (too far to be captured on my cam).

Anak gadis pingitan...ada yg berkenan? :)
The village


Rest of the afternoon was spent lazing by the river side watching people and the spectacular sunset.




Later, I walked to the village and was surprised to see elephants roaming freely. Even in Thailand, you can only see elephants in their sanctuaries.





DAY 6: 31st May 2014 (Chitwan National Park)

As today is my rest day, I spent the morning sleeping late and internetting. 

Resting at the balcony of my room
In the afternoon, I walked to the elephant breeding centre and after that, again lazing at the beautiful Rapti River. It was so quiet and serene that I could hear the insects buzzing and the water flowing. Everything sounded so melodious in my ears when I’m alone like this...the birds singing, the wind blowing, the sound of the leaves brushing against the breeze.....how tranquil and peaceful. This is the time that I would talk to the nature.....and talk to myself. Its hard to explain, but I really loved this feeling.






Lots of things lingered in my mind – my past and what the future holds for me. There were times that I cant help tears recalling all the tragedies that had happened to me, but somehow, life must go on. Theres no use regretting the past. Its the future that lies which is more important. I’ve got to be strong, and I knew that I’m a strong person. I had strong faith that Allah is very fair and that He wont test someone beyond his / her ability. There must be a reason behind everything that happened. Only He knew the secret....


I can stare at this view for hours.....




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