Mornings are cold and foggy. Just like yesterday, I donned a long sleeve shirt over a t-shirt, but put up with cold legs in only my bike shorts and sandals. My toes went numb and I probably should start wearing socks. My face is kept warm by my face cloth and I wear gloves. It was nearly two hours before the sun had a warming effect and I could take off my over shirt. The gloves stayed on a while longer but were soon also packed away for the rest of the day.

At one point during my ride I came across a group of men around a buffalo lying in the dirt. The buffalo’s head was tied to a steak in the ground. Its body was several metres away. They had clearly decapitated it moments before I arrived. Blood was still spurting from the severed neck and the body kept convulsing for about five minutes. I didn’t stay around long enough to see how they planned on moving the thing.

Before reaching Pokhara, I detoured to Begnas Lake. By this time the peaks of the Annapurna Range were just visible through the clouds. Such an epic sight! I arrived at Pokhara around 2.30pm and immediately let Sushma know I was there so she could contact her friend who had offered themselves as my host. While waiting to hear from her I explored town before finding a little place making fresh chapatti. The guy running the place is called Damoda and I enjoyed chatting with him. Long story short: at 5pm I rang Sushma’s friend who told me he wasn’t in town (though I got the impression I just wasn’t actually welcome).

Cold, tired and with dark fast approaching, I set off to find a guesthouse. My search took me around the north side of the lake, away from the expensive lakeside area, where I found a private room with a large private bathroom (with hot water) and outdoor balcony area (roof top) for 400r – a good deal. Actually, it’s the best paid deal I have found in Nepal so far. I settled in and fuelled up with daal baht before crashing in a large, comfortable bed.

On my way to Begnas

Accommodation $ Guesthouse
Distance ridden today 65.74km
Average cycling speed 13.6kph
Total distance ridden 16,299km