I woke with the idea that if it took the morning to fix my headset then I would stay a second night in Phidim. Fixing it meant finding a super large spanner in town. I ventured out and proceeded to find help from locals. It took quite a while but I eventually found a garage that had a rusty, adjustable wrench/clamp thing that did the job. It was only about 8.30am when this was done, so it was back on the bike for me. I haven’t had a rest day since entering Nepal and climbing so much has taken its toll. If I was fresh I might have reached Taplejung today, but I’m nearing complete exhaustion, so I only got about halfway. Today comprised of 10km downhill to Hewa Khola River, followed by 26km uphill. For most of the ride I had a great view of Phidim sitting on its saddle, so I had a great clear view of the deep valley into which I had descended and out of which I was climbing. I am now at the top of yet another epic ridgeline and I can see the same ice-capped mountains that I first spotted at the top of yesterday’s steep climb.
I’m ending my day in a room that is wall-papered with newspaper, including one page advertising the release of The Dark Knight Rises. Footsteps on the floorboards above my head disturb both me and the rats living in the space between the floorboards and the plastic sheeting that forms my ceiling. If I watch carefully I can track the movement of little rat footprints. When I asked where the bathroom was so I could have a wash, I was pointed to the tap running out of the side of the hill across the road, which functioned as a public bathroom and laundry. I washed as locals inspected my bike-shrivelled body, then retreated to the privacy of my fancy room to wash my nether regions with wet wipes. The village is called Gopetar and I’m now a day’s ride from Taplejung.
|Distance ridden today||36.21km|
|Average cycling speed||12.9kph|
|Total distance ridden||15,302km|