Thursday, December 2, 2010

23/09/2010 Thursday Day 4 Kathmandu to Kurintar

Up at 0900 to the sound of Nepalese TV blurting away, which Ollie was amusing himself with.  I didn’t sleep very well last night as I wasn’t use to the heat at night, which left me with a broken sleep.  Feeling tired we pack up and headed out to get some breakfast outside the guides office.  Swiss rösti, toast and banana porridge went down a treat.
Our trusty steeds waiting to go

10:30am came and we checked if our permits had finally been completed. ‘Another hour’ they said. We came back and they still hadn’t be finished, apparently the permit office who issue the permits had a massive back log of permits due to festivals over the last few days. An hour later the permits came but had to get some passport sized photos to attach onto the permits.  We quickly got these and then we were finally on our way to Besishaha at 12:30pm. 
Ollie waiting patiently for the permits

It was a great feeling riding through the chaotic Kathmandu traffic and finally beginning our cycle tour proper.  The study of maps the night prior paid dividends as we quickly navigated the streets and were out of the Kathmandu valley heading towards Besishaha. After 45min from leaving we climbed the small pass that vacates the Kathmandu Valley and descended the other side which was is in complete grid lock.  Being on bikes proved amazingly fun, as we could simply manoeuvre through the ever changing gaps between the trucks and buses, somewhat like being a block in a game of Tetris.  I was simply amazed that chaotic driving with the endless sounds of horns tooting away like machine gun fire was actually quite passive and tolerant of cyclists and gave us plenty of warning and space, a courtesy that Christchurch drivers could learn from.  

After a sweet downhill section it began to rain.  This was actually quite refreshing given the high temperature and humidity, but unfortunately this also gave us a good covering of Nepal’s finest road muck.  The road was generally downhill with only short climbs as we were following the downward path of the Budhi Gandaki river. 
Finally on the way

I felt good riding for the first 2 and half hours, but I slowly began to fade. Three muesli bars were them consumed between then and the end of ride at Kurintar after five hours of riding.  The River Side Springs resort came up out of the blue, which we eagerly accepted as the place to stay as everything else on route was quite frankly filthy.
Yummy rice pudding

Showers were had; clothes washed, and curry masala followed by one of the best rice pudding dishes I’ve ever had.  Then into bed at 8pm ready for tomorrows early start to get to Besishaha, which was actually today’s goal still some 70km away. 

Statistics: 100km of riding in 5 hours. 

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