I think I might have just had my most enjoyable day so far in Nepal. I woke up refreshed and packed up camp slowly as the sun filtered through the trees and began to warm the day. It turned out I was just below a village. I was invited to eat with a family as I passed through but I declined as I really wanted to make some progress. I accepted some water though.
The first half of the day was spent climbing a steep dirt road. I settled in well and began to think about how much more I enjoy riding dirt than I do bitumen. It makes you feel more adventurous, more of an explorer. I continued to climb until just past Sakranti, where the track began to run along the side of the mountain as opposed to straight up it. This meant a mix of short climbs and descents. The scenery was magical. I felt very much at home. The farms I saw just looked so neat and organised and homely. At about 2pm I met a nice girl on the track and she invited me to stay the night at her place. Her English was okay and we chatted for a while. I learned tht she works for a local NGO. I decided not to stay as I wanted to make it further by the end of the day. I’m starting to feel the pressure of making it to Kathmandu in time for my volunteer commitment.
Towards the end of the day I took some photos of a house that to me was a perfect home. Nestled into the side of a hill, it was surrounded by a pretty garden and crop fields. As I gazed longingly at it, I began to wish I could live there, that it could be my home. I’d only made it a few hundred metres further when I came across a guy on the track who could speak English, having worked in Afghanistan for four years. As fate wold have it, the house I had admired was his home. When I told him how much I loved where he lived, he invited me to spend the night. I have set up my tent in his yard, much to the amusement of the extended family. My stove refused to light on the first try. I almost didn’t bother trying again, but when I cleaned the jet and tried again, it worked perfectly. It seems I will have to clean it out every time I use it. I cooked rice with tomato, onions, radish and chilli, flavoured with mixed spices and a vegetable soup powder mix. I was given a bunch of fresh chilli and radish straight from the family’s garden.
I have pretty much been left to do my own thing rather than be invited to hang out in the house. It got dark as I prepared my dinner and things have gotten very quiet. There is every chance the house has no electricity (no lights are being used), so I think sun down means bedtime. Everyone is settled in for the night, including me in my cosy tent.
|Distance ridden today||27.28km|
|Average cycling speed||7.3kph|
|Total distance ridden||15,505km|