Nepal, days 9-12

Monday:
Kathmandu:

Previous evening I had agreed with Suraj, that he would come around 09:30 to my hotel so that we could measure my bike and he could start preparing things for the shipment to Thailand.

After we got the dimensions for the box, we had a cup of tea in Suraj´s office. There I also met his wife, Sara, manager of the shipping company.

We agreed to have a beer and dinner later at the evening.

Spent the day going around in famous Kathmandu Durban square and visiting some of the temples.
Durban square is littered with these temples and each one of them is littered with really amazing wood carvings. You can easily spent whole day just walking around your mouth open and admire these gorgeous temples and carvings (if this is something what you like to do).
I do not know why, but almost all of the carvings seemed to have some sort of monsters making ugly faces to the people who were looking them.

I also paid entrance fee to a palace and museum. Museum was big disappointment because it was mainly praise for the leader of the Nepal. Lot of photos and some other stuff, nothing about Nepalese history etc.
Palace was just a big building where I could climb up to the tower and see whole Durban square, but nothing special.

Saw lot of people (mainly women) dressed up really colorfully. All of them were staying close to one shrine. Asked someone who are these people. Was told that they are vegetarians from India.

Durban square was nice to visit and good way to see some historic places in Nepal as western part does not have similar historical places (at least not so easily accessible).

Around 18:30 I walked in to Suraj´s office. Few minutes later Suraj and one French couple arrived (wife was Nepalese).
Had few Everest beers and nice discussions in the office with them.
After the beers we were ready to go for a dinner. French couple had other plans, so I went for a dinner with Suraj and Sara.

Dinner was served in nearby restaurant which served Tibetan cuisine. I had super excellent noodle soup. Dinner was really nice and I had really a good time with Suraj and Sara. Thank you for the excellent dinner!

Suraj showed me a way to my hotel. We agreed that I would visit his office in the morning to get voucher to my next hotel (I paid room in Suraj office).

Tuesday:
Katmandu – Nagarkot:

Slept really late because the day ride would be only 40km.
After the breakfast I went to pick my bike from the underground garage.

I was surprised how tightly u-lock was on my front tire (going around the front fork and between the spokes). I knew that I had not put it so tightly, so someone must have pushed my bike.
Got the lock off and then started to push bike backwards, but it did not move at all because gear was on. Thought that 1st gear was on, but when I tried to find neutral I realized that it had 6th gear on. What the h*ll?
So, someone has sat on top of the bike and gone through all the gears…

Rode my bike to the front of the hotel and there I realized that my baby has been dropped in the garage!
Headlight protector was seriously bended, Touratech front fairing had cracked and front fender (below the headlight) had some scratches. What the f*ck?!?




Walked to the hotel reception and told them that someone had dropped my bike during the night. We walked together to the garage and noticed clear marks on the wall.

I was so damn pissed that my hair almost got curly. This was guarded garage, so guards should know what is going on in their garage, but I knew that they would not tell me anything, so I would need to just suck it up and try to fix these damages.
I knew that there had to be several people lifting my bike up, because these midgets would not be able to get the bike up alone…

I tried to bend cover of the headlight a bit so that stress would not crack the cover and put some reliable duct tape on top of the crack.

Packed my bike and paid the room. Receptionist was really sorry about the bike, but it was not their fault. They gave couple scarfs to me and told that they will bring good luck to my trip.

One police officer came to talk to me while I was putting on my jacket. Nothing about the incident, but he was just interested about the bike.
Suddenly, without asking he raised his leg and got ready to sit on top of my bike! I grabbed his leg and told him that no-one sits on top of my bike without approval from me.
He had funny looking face, but he believed me and got away from the bike.

I think that these people have not dropped my baby on purpose (I think), but this kind of big bike draws attention like honey bees. These people just do not realize how high and heavy this bike is.
I do not know if they are stupid or what it is, but they should realize that bike might be too high and heavy for them if seat is at the same level of their chest… Amazing…

I left the hotel and went to see Suraj. I was not allowed to park bike close to his office, instead I had to take it to the nearby garage.

Suraj had already written my voucher, so I was ready to go and visit Nagarkot. Suraj recommended this place to me, he said that it is the only place here to see Himalaya and Everest.

Just before I left, Suraj asked me to call him when I would be back in Kathmandu. He said that I could stay in their apartment rest of the time in Nepal. I promised to call him latest on Sunday. Nice!

Getting out from Thamel was harder than I expected. Lot of crowded one-way streets which took me couple of times close to the place where I started my day´s ride. Finally I found my way to a bigger road and immediately I was sitting still in a traffic jam.
Several times local bikers told me how nice bike I have. At this point I was still pissed about the incident, so I kept my mouth shut.

I passed Bhaktapur and then I was on my way up to the mountains and Nagarkot.

Narrow, curvy road lead me to the Nagarkot where I stopped to ask directions. Few kilometers later I arrived to my hotel, Hotel View Point. This hotel was on top of the hill, so scenery should be nice. When I arrived there, hole mountain was covered my clouds, so could not see anything.

Gave my voucher to the receptionist and got my room. Room was clean and quite nice, so I could easily spent few nights over here.
Changed my clothes and started working with the bike.


I did not had any tool to straighten headlight cover mounts (because that one Chinese custom bastard stole my axe), but luckily I got hammer from the hotel. After a bit of banging mount was straight enough. I taped cracked fairing a bit better. It would not hold it too well, but I need to try to find decent glue from somewhere and fix it properly a bit later.

Internet connection did not work in my room, so I walked to the restaurant upstairs to check my email and write blog update of my Indian adventures.
I got a bit headache due to poorly slept night and excitement in the morning, so blog translation did not work at all… My head was feeling like a block of wood, so decided to skip blog update to a later time.


Darkness fell really fast and I started to feel hungry. I wanted to have something simple and good for dinner, so I decided to cook some instant noodles in my room. Mmmmmm, tasty :)!
I was really hungry, so I decided to make three bags of noodles… Few minutes later I started wondering if I was really so hungry that I could fit all those noodles to my stomach.
My stomach was screaming mercy while I dropped more noodles there to be processed. I ate all of them (do not want to throw away good food), but man, I was really full, felt like noodles will come out of my ears… 🙂

I could not even think about sleeping at this point because I was too full, so I decided to throw also one Everest to my stomach 🙂

Wednesday:
Nagarkot:

Woke up when someone was knocking on my door. What is going on? Dressed up, opened the door and looked out what was going on. It was still totally dark but hotel personnel were waking up everyone.
Suddenly I realized that they were waking up all customers to see the sunrise…

Grabbed my jacket, camera and few lenses and then I climbed to the highest point on the hotel to see the sunrise.
Few others were already there waiting sun to come up.




Slowly but surely horizon started to change color from dark blue to pale red, darker red to orange. All the mountain peaks were still just a dark rough shape against the night sky.

Highest mountain peaks saw the daylight first and finally I saw sun climbing on top of the horizon.
Now I was able to see quite many peaks. Surprise for me was how far all these high peaks actually were, so they looked quite low.

Once again Nepal surprised me, it is really difficult to get close to the high peaks with motorcycle, close to impossible.
I am sure that I saw also Everest peak (everyone have said to me that it is visible from Nagarkot), I just do not know which one it was 🙂

Amazing thing was to see how clouds reacted to the rising sun. While sun was climbing higher and higher, clouds started to flow over these lower hills towards the sun, really amazing scene! You can see many hills around you and suddenly white clouds start flowing over them and then flow down towards the valley. Beautiful!

It was still early morning, so I decided to go back to my room and continue my sleep.

Spent the day translating my Indian blog to English. I have noticed that it is really difficult to translate blog text from Finnish to English. In the future I try to do it the other way round.

Really enjoying my stay in this hotel. Hotel is in the middle of the nature. Crickets are having massive concert outside, eagles are screaming in the sky and view from the hotel is really nice to the surrounding green hills and valleys.
Spent also some time trying to photograph eagles who were flying quite close to the hotel, unfortunately sky was just too bright to get acceptable photos 🙁

Plan for the next day is to ride close to the Tibet border to “The Last Resort” and see if I have balls and money to do quite an exciting benji jump 🙂

Thursday:
Nagarkot – The Last Resort

Woke up to the annoying alarm clock sound from my phone. I was surprised that hotel personnel did not wake us up this morning. Maybe sky was too cloudy to see any mountains…
While I was throwing porridge towards my throat, I noticed that my throat was feeling a bit rough, hopefully I am not getting sick.

My riding suit was damp when I got to this hotel and it was still damp. Humidity up in the mountains have been so high all the time that none of my clothes had dried during the past two days.

Rode first down to Bhaktapur and then headed towards NE and Tibet.

It is really a shame that I cannot get in to a Tibet as was my original plan (original plan was to ride from Nepal to Tibet and then 25 days through Himalayas to Laos), but at least I can get to the border and take a photo of the Nepal and Tibet friendship bridge.

Day ride was something in between 100 and 200km. Plan was to spend night in “The Last Resort” and do a jump. Yes, my plan was quite clear already at this point.
Road was quite ok, paved road. Road was following river on the bottom of the valley, so it was quite curvy.
Couple times I had to stop and double check that I was on a correct road (some intersections were quite confusing).

Closer to the border I got more damage on the road I saw. Seems like this area is really prone to a landslides and these are then destroying the road.
Sometimes pavement was just a distant memory on the side of the road, when road itself was really rough full of holes and rocks, sometimes only deep sand.

I was told that I can recognize The Last Resort when I see a suspension bridge on the left side.
This bridge is also a platform for the benji jumps.
I had to wait a while because people were jumping when I arrived to the bridge.
Lot of yells and screams, but everyone made it alive! 🙂

Cost for room, lunch, dinner, breakfast, lunch and jump was 90€, a bit expensive, but I still decided to pay it.
There is no hotel or cabins here, you will sleep in a tent. Tents are under metal roofing in the area which looks like a jungle to me.
Surrounding is really unreal, bamboos are growing next to my tent, from the front of the tent I can see a water fall rushing to the gorge and crickets are having major rock concert here! How cool is this?!?!?!? 🙂

Quick change from riding suite to more casual and then I already had to rush to the jump briefing 🙂
During the briefing they told us what kind of harness we will have, how we should keep our hands during the jump and how to jump from the platform.
I was surprised that I did not feel nervous during the briefing.

After the briefing they checked everyone´s weight and after this I found myself standing on the bridge waiting my turn to fall face first towards to river 160m below…

Waited roughly 10 minutes and then it was my turn. One of the guys tightened the harness around my upper body. I was surprised because I was not nervous at all, my hands were totally dry!

I sat down and then I got harness around my ankles and at the same time this white “life line” was pulled up to the bridge. Jump master attached rope to my ankles and back up to the upper body harness. At the same time he said that jump feels better further I jump.

Slowly I moved to the edge of the jumping platform and at this point I started to get a bit nervous. Only half of my feet were on the platform, other half was over the edge. Jump master was holding my harness still at this point.
Now I realized how high this bridge actually was! 160m drop to the white water down below!
Few minutes earlier one of the guys said that this is highest benji jump in SE Asia, I should get 3 sec of freefall 🙂

I put all my focus to the jump itself and forgot to give any comments to the videocamera:

Jump master told me to spread my arms and at the same time I had “what the hell I am doing here”-thought going through my mind.
I did not have time to think more when I heard voice behind me counting down “3, 2, 1, Benji”! At this point jump master released his grip and I jump as far as I could.

I thought that I will not scream, but at some point scream just came out 🙂
Whole jump felt really unreal. Wind forced water out from my eyes while I was dropping down towards the bottom of the gorge and white water.
In the beginning it looked like bottom is not getting any closer when suddenly river got closer and closer.
I felt gentle yank on my ankles and at this point I knew that soon speed would stop and I would jump back up.
I think at this point my heart started beating again.

I was bouncing few times up and down and I was just yelling and laughing because the rush of the jump was overwhelming! Adrenaline junkie? Who? Me? Yes, I can admit it 🙂

After the bouncing stopped, I was hanging quite high on top of the white water. Blood was rushing in to my head, but all I was able to do was clap my hands and laugh.
Got down safely and now started the toughest part of the jump, 20 minute climb back to the TLR.

While climbing up, I decided that on Friday I would try another jump which is called Canyon Swing. I was told that it is even better than benji and I could reach even longer free fall in it.

Once I got back up, I purchased cold beer to celebrate my first jump and checked the video of my jump.

TLR has also Sauna. I had to pay few euros so that they would warm it up for me, but I thought that not every day I would have sauna in Nepal.

Sauna was just amazing! They warmed it 1 hour for me (wooden stove). Heat was really gentle and damp. I cannot remember when I have had such a good Sauna experience last time.

After tasty dinner I had a long chat with the guy (Ruben) who was filming all the jumps. Got few motorcycle contacts for Kathmandu from him. Thanks Ruben for the nice chat!

One of the last thoughts on my mind before I fell asleep was “world is not a shitty place, world is beautiful”.

10 thoughts on “Nepal, days 9-12

  1. Hey,

    I’m an Ulm girl n a very good friend of Franzi! 🙂

    Franzi just texted me that u r going to explore vietnam soon. I’m based in HCMC … Get in touch with me if u need any help or just wanna hang out 😉 i’ll show u around town …
    Live it up,
    Cheers,
    Billy

    • Hi Billy,

      I should arrive to HCMC tomorrow afternoon (if I can get through the border).
      No hotel and no other plans yet, but would be nice to meet and get some insight to the town.

      Will let you know tomorrow where I stay.

      -Marko

  2. Moi Marko,

    Really beautifull pictures from Nepal. Keep on writing good stories.

    I hope you can keep your bike in one peace and major damage will not happen while it is parked overnigth….keep’em off, those midgets.

    I wonder what will be your next adrenaline rush action?

    Hauskaa matkan jatkoa ja pysyhän terveenä.

    T. Jartsu W

  3. Hey Marko,

    Nice meeting you near the border with Cambodia yesterday. I am glad that you’re enjoying Angkor Wat. Watch out for those Cambodia drivers, almost as homicidal a Indians 😉

    cheers

    • Hi Igor,

      Yes, it was really nice to meet another rider!
      Cambodian traffic was quite ok all the way to Phnom Pehn, here in bigger city traffic is quite hmmmm hectic 🙂

      -Marko

  4. Hey Adrenalin-Junikie 😉

    let me start with the end:

    “world is not a shitty place, world is beautiful”

    most beautiful ! we just have to kick out the shit of this world

    Thank you so much for this amazing journey – South East Asia rocks – how much i eny you.

    Lesson of the week: Midgets are not allowed to sit on GS – even Police Officers need to get approved – hah!

    cheerio mate
    Joachim

    • Hi Joachim,

      Greetigs from Cambonia! Now in Siam Reap and tomorrow I will go to see amazing Angkor Wat temples!:)
      🙂 People were trying to climb on top of my bike even the saddle were at the height of their chest… I do not know what is going on in their minds 🙂

      -Marko

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