I woke to my alarm at 5.40am and allowed myself a five-minute snooze before emerging from my mosquito-net-protected bed and entering the darkness of pre-dawn to eat the mountain of food that constituted my breakfast. On offer was pretty much the same as dinner and it was just as welcome and appreciated. Face stuffed, I returned to bed and didn’t move again until 9am, by which time I really felt like I was wasting my time. I got up and did a load of hand-washing, then spent a while perusing and photographing a Lonely Planet guide to India. All of a sudden it was time for lunch and another over-the-top portion of food. I let it settle for a while before unlocking my bike, which I spent the afternoon riding around Lumbini. I particularly liked the Sri Lankan temple. The in-progress Cambodian Temple was also fascinating as it is being built and parts have been painted beautifully while other parts remain unpainted, so it was great to get a sense of the work involved. The Korean Temple is in a similar state of build and in fact the decorative painting of the Korean one is the most impressive of any of the temples I have seen in Lumbini thus far. In the late afternoon I visited the Maya Devi Temple, which contains the official location where Gautama Buddha was born. It’s incredible to think how long this place has been venerated as a famous site. On my return home I had a nice hot water bucket shower before gorging myself on another incredible feast. I spoke to a Korean school teacher who has arrived with about 20 students. It turned out they passed me on the road north of Tansen and he told his students, ‘Look at this bicycle tourist’, so he was very happy to bump into me here.
|Accommodation||$ Korean Monastery|
|Distance ridden today||10.48km|
|Average cycling speed||14.9kph|
|Total distance ridden||16,608km|