Nepal, days 5-8

I have had a bit holiday from blog update, so finally next update is ready 🙂

Thursday:
Pokhara:

First thing what I did in the morning was to check if bathtub still looks as bad as it looked at the evening. Yes it did, but there was nothing I could do for it, so had to just accept that this was the case…

After breakfast I started to wait the time when I would be picked up and taken to the top of the hill for paragliding.

Around 10:30 I was picked up and after getting car full of other customers we started to climb up to the starting area.
Road was really narrow and curvy, I guess the driver though he was some kind of racing driver, because he was driving as fast as possible on these narrow streets.
I had to keep looking at the horizon, because otherwise I would have started to feel carsickness..
One of the pilots had a small pet monkey with him. Funny was that this monkey also had diapers on 🙂

On the top we saw starting area and there pilots picked their customers. My pilot was Sebastian who had been flying 25 years all around the world. I was in good hands now and could enjoy the flight without worries.

Sebastian went through starting and landing procedures while he was tightening my harness. During the start I just needed to start walking at first and then run when he would say so.

I was wondering what to expect, how it would feel like etc.

Soon my harness was strapped to Sebastian and then we were ready to go.

He counted to three and then we started walking. Suddenly I felt huge resistance when parachute raised to the sky. Now Sebastian told me to run. I took couple running steps and then felt that my feet did not touch the ground anymore! I was flying!
Raised my knees up and sat down to the “bucket” type seat. In the beginning it felt a bit shaky, but soon I got used to it and it was actually really comfortable.

In the beginning we were going down, but after we reached upwards stream we started to climb up. I was surprised how strong the stream was as we gained altitude really fast.
I was also surprised that I did not feel at all uncomfortable, I was really enjoying this!

Scenery was gorgeous, hills on both sides and silver color looking lake down below! Only bad thing was that Annapurna massif was covered with clouds…

Flight was around 20 minutes (which felt really short) and then it was already time to start preparing for landing.
While we were coming down, Sebastian made couple sharp 180 degree turns. Felt nice and I was surprised how fast these things actually turn!

Sebastian went quickly through the landing procedure. Main thing was to stand up when he would tell me so. Landing area had a lot of parachutes but Sebastian found a place where to land. He told me to stand and soon after this we already touched down. Few running steps and we were safely on the ground again.
This was really nice, relaxing experience and could do it again at any moment.

Got a ride back to the town and I was handed a dvd which included some video and photos of the flight. Super!

Later in the afternoon I went for a walk and found chlorine. Chlorine is good for making white clothes white again, so got one bottle and ran back to the hotel.
Enough warm water, correct amount of chlorine and shirts to the bucket. Then I was jus waiting and waiting and waiting a bit more (almost like waiting for a Santa to appear :)).
Finally I took shirts away from the bucket, rinsed them several times and finally handwashed them. Wow, result was excellent! These shirts have not been so white for a long time!

Dinner I had this time in Buzzing Bees –restaurant. I was waiting British rider (John) to appear there. I guess I was there too early in the evening and did not meet him 🙁

Friday:
Pokhara:

After the breakfast I got ready to change hotel to Travel Inn.
Bathtub looked bad, but there was nothing to be done for it, so closed the door behind me, paid the hotel and packed the bike.

Around 11 I carried my stuff to the room. Room was clean and there was also clean bathtub in the room!
Now it was time to get up to the nearby hills to see the World Peace Padoga and Annapurna massif.

Road to the Padoga was a bit challenging to find, but finally I saw a sign which was pointing up to the mountains.
Road was quite ok in the beginning but got worse quite soon. Pavement disappeared and big rocks and holes appeared instead.
I passed several small scooters on my way up, since they seemed to be struggling to climb this steep hill.

There was no road to World Peace Pagoda, so I parked the bike as close as possible, grabbed tank bag and helmet and started walking.
Seemed WPP was quite close, but after short walk I noticed that it was actually in the top of nearby hill!
Sweat was running down on my back when I started climbing to the other hill with full riding gear on…
Finally I reached the top of the other hill and sat down to the shade to catch my breath and cool down a bit.

Walked around WPP and took some photos. For my opinion this WPP was not worth all the sweat it took to walk over there, but now I have been there and seen that.
Naturally there was a small café nearby (because this was tourist attraction), so went there to have a coke and just admire the scenery.

After sitting down one Chinese girl came to talk to me. I had passed her and her husband´s scooter on my way up and she was amazed how fast I was going. Well, I wasn´t going so fast, they just were slow 🙂

Sweat was burning my eyes again when I was walking back to my bike under the scorching sun.
Got few beers from the local store and then went to my room and had a nice hot bath. So relaxing!

Rest of the day I spent doing absolutely nothing 🙂

Saturday:
Pokhara:

Woke up really early in the morning because I wanted to get to Sarangot early enough to see the mountains before clouds would cover them again.

I was told that drive there would take around 30 minutes, but I was able to make it in 20 minutes. On my way to the top I passed the spot where paragliders take off.

Last kilometer of the road was really rocky and bumpy, but I did not have any problems.

Could not get all the way to the top, so once again I had to sweat while climbing up and carrying helmet and all other stuff with me.

Even I reached the top early, mountains were still partly covered by clouds :(, so could not get full view of the Annapurna massiv.
In any case the view was really nice and well worth of climbing up.

Several people came to talk to me. I guess they were wondering who is this guy over there with motorcycle suit on. Most of the people were part of the tourist group from Croatia and Bosnia. Couple of them wanted me to take photo of them and later send these photos to them via email.

I spent couple of hours on the top admiring the scenery and enjoying refreshing breeze. On my way down to the Pokhara I stopped to see how Paragliding take off looks like. Common thing for many of the take offs was that passenger was screaming quite much 🙂

Rest of the day I relaxed. It is really nice to spent some time by doing nothing 🙂

Sunday:
Pokhara – Katmandu:

Around noon I had last view of Pokhara from my rearview mirror and then continued towards the capital of Nepal, Katmandu.

Road was totally different compared to the other roads I have been riding in Nepal. This road was in quite a bad condition due to heavy truck and bus traffic.

Each of these vehicles were pushing out really thick black smoke from their exhaust. I tried to pass them always as fast as possible just to catch up next truck and to face same problem again and again.
While trying to gasp some fresh air, I was thinking how clean the air on the roads in Europe actually is, difference is huge!

Road got even worse around 20km before Katmandu. Now grooves got really deep, holes bigger and partly pavement was looking like after bombing. Speeds dropped even more and now cars were moving barely at walking speed.
Now I needed to put more attention to follow the road, because I did not want to hit any of those big holes.

I was able to reach outskirts of Katmandu without any incidents.
I realized that Katmandu must be really big town, because traffic got really heavy. Traffic jams everywhere, but for my surprise drivers were not sleeping on top of their horns (like in India).

Slowly but surely I found my way to the touristic area called Thamel. I had prebooked hotel from there and now my only task was to find it.
Roads were really narrow, full of people and signs. I thought that it is almost impossible to find a sign of the hotel, because there were so many of them and roads did not have any names.

At some point I gave up and started to ask locals where I could find the hotel. After few tries, I got directed to a really narrow alley. Now I was at the backside of the hotel, only problem was that I could not get in from there and turning the bike around took close to 15 minutes! Pushing it backwards back to the road was not possible so turning was only option.

Now I knew where hotel was, so finding the entrance was easy. Got decent room for decent 15$ price/night and bike parking in the nearby garage.

From the hotel I called to Suraj (Eagle Export) and told him that I was now in my hotel. After few minutes he came to say hi to me and we agreed to meet next morning to measure my bike (he could then start preparing wooden crate for my bike).

4 thoughts on “Nepal, days 5-8

  1. Hi Marko,

    so happy to read everything is ok with you. Paragliding is a great experience – i did it apprx. 20 years back from Les Arc near Mt. Blanc/France …. an yess i screamed druing take off 🙂

    Pictures are great – especially No. 3 is stunning!

    Enjoy your time and take care!

    cheerio
    Joachim

    • Hi Joachim,

      Yes, everything is ok. Got almost everything fixed from the bike today, front suspension service need to be done later, but everything else is now ok.
      Working with the next update already, should be online tomorrow.

      -Marko

    • Hi Elke,

      No, I slipped out from that hotel quickly. Clean and nice bathtub was in my next hotel 🙂
      I am working at the moment already in the next update, which should hopefully come within next few days.
      Lot to catch up…

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