Monday, 28 February 2011
It was hard to leave Pohkara, particularly after so long out of the saddle but finally we pulled out of town with only 200kms to Kathmandu. At first the road was built up and uninteresting but soon we were again amoungst the rice fields and villages. We had heard that Bandipur was a town worth visiting and lay only 8kms of our route an easy days ride away. At the junction however the road slanted steeply up and there stood two cycle-tourists the first we had met in months.
Sophie and David were Austrailian and had been on the road 3 months through India and Nepal. They had tried to reach Bandipur, found it too steep and come back down again. As they looked much fitter than us we also declined the incline and together we stayed in Dumre, a village in the valley where we swapped tales from the tarmac.
Next day we walked together up a flight of steps through the forrest to Bandipur visiting Nepals larges cave system on the way. The village contained the finest architechture we had yet seen in the country which was unexpected in a hilltop settlement. Walking down another extensive ancient stepped path we reached our hotel just before dark. A wonderful unexpected day.
Our intention was to cycle together to Ghorka again uphill off the main road but I came down with a fever after only a few kms and had to hole up in the next town. I hated being the weak member of the group but we had to let the Ausies go on without us. It turned out I had contracted somehow Gardia, strange after such a long time of good health. We always filtered water and I still am not sure how I got it, though I blame eating Buffallo after 4 months of vegetarianism. I am back on the rabbit food. No, I jest, eating meat here is pretty unnecessary.
A day in bed shivering saw me strong enough to cycle though slowly and after another night in Adamgaht, a small village with a great little guest-house run by a friendly young chap called Kas Kumar (or similar) we climbed up towards the pass that would lead us into the Kathmandu valley.
As we reached the pass a few spots of rain fell but as we crossed it this turned to a thunderstorm with hard hail. Misjudging the severity we got soaked and cold as we hurried into the city and dove into a cheap hotel.
We were informed the next day that Tibet would be closed for the whole of March and there was no chance of us entering before April. If then. Bad news. This meant we would have to wait or fly to China. The route through Myanmar to Thailand being also shut to overland travellers. Deciding to wait we took a cheap apartement in Kahtmandu in a street believe it or not named Freak Street, where all the Hippies hung out in the seventies. We look over an interesting square and wander occasionally into this lively city.
In a few days we will go walking once more, this time in the Langtang Himalaya. There are worse places to kill time.