Utter exhaustion meant I didn’t enjoy all of today. My body is wrecked. But I made it. I arrived in Taplejung around 3.30pm. Despite being at the end of my physical limit, I entered little town three times – twice to record a video as I passed the ‘Welcome to Taplejung’ gate, and a third time to go in search of a place to stay. I enquired at three places before choosing what was by far the best deal. It has the cheapest price, offers the most homely room (it even had a desk decorated with flowers), comes with the nicest bathroom (though ‘shared’, the bathroom is adjacent to my room and I am the only guest, so it’s basically my private bathroom, albeit one with a cold water tap and a bucket to shower with), has WIFI throughout, and is run by a family who welcomed me as one of their own. The next best option would have cost me the same amount for a spartan room, dirty outdoor toilet and no WIFI.

I dumped my stuff in my room, had a wash, and then relished the feeling of being snug and warm in three layers of clothes and thick socks. I abused the WIFI for a while as I communicated with friends and family, then I was welcomed upstairs to have dinner on a comfy couch in front of a TV showing the Discovery Channel. Dinner was delicious. As is customary in Nepal, I received all-you-can-eat rice with daal and vegetables.

I am so far enjoying my food experience in Nepal. For breakfast and lunch I have generally just been eating bread and fruit and whatever else is easy to carry on the bike. For dinner I have generally been relying on meals cooked by my guesthouse hosts. I have learned not to expect there to be meals available on demand. Instead, I have started to adapt to the eating patterns of my hosts. I feel that the most polite thing to do is find out when my host family are eating, then say that I will eat whatever they cook for themselves whenever they normally prepare it. This almost always means daal baht around 7.30pm. I absolutely love the fact that you can eat as much as you want and I basically eat two meals’ worth of food every time I have a Nepali meal.

Home sweet home

Accommodation $ Guesthouse
Distance ridden today 51km
Average cycling speed 10.3kph
Total distance ridden 15,353km