Friday, 9 January 2009


I decided a break in my lounge experiment was needed. So…I spent the day examining Nepalese road conditions; nice!

To do this required the hiring of a twist and go scooter. I did try and find one which had good brakes front and rear and tread on the tyre. After 10 minutes I gave up looking and got the cheapest one instead.
Now I bet you’re wondering why I didn’t hire a motorbike. Patience, the answer will come along soon enough
The 1st thing to do was put petrol in the tank and then I headed out of Pokhara on the Baglung road to, well obviously it’s to Baglung. Its 70 km to Baglung, would you like to guess how much of that distance was flat…go on have a guess…close, it was about 5%. As the speedometer along with all the lights didn’t work I can’t tell you what the top speed of the scooter was, plus I didn’t go top speed what with all those corners and the lack of decent brakes. I bet you’re now really wondering why I didn’t rent a motorbike. I mean 70kms of corners, fantastic! Yes it was, however let me tell you about Nepal roads:

1. They are covered with tarmac, well apart from when they ain’t and you never know when that is going to be. A good guess is just after a corner.
2. Potholes: unlike England these really are what you would call holes.
3. Bumps: now that doesn’t sound too bad. Actually having a bump that is 2 or 3 foot high is “interesting”.
4. Dips: like bumps but the other way round.

Now imagine a stretch of road with potholes, bumps and dips all at once. Then add in traffic, like trucks and buses and combine that all with a motorbike that can go fast and handle corners! Now you know why I chose a slow and amazingly bad handling scooter. It can’t go fast and you don’t want it to….SAFE!

Back to the day trip…the 1st 35km was up hill, followed by 25km of downhill then 5km was (almost) flat and the last 5km was once again up hill

Once again it was another day of blue skies and sunshine (with the usual valley inversion). The snow capped peaks of the Himalayans were visible in all their awe, wonder and majesty. The road went over a ridge at the end of the Pokhara valley about 1800m high before plunging down into a narrow river valley, snaking its way along, mirroring the course of the river itself. Passing through small villages and hamlets full of the daily vibrant life of the locals (and this includes the dogs, chickens, cows and buffalos). All along the valley the mountains sides were terraced. All the land that can be cultivated is.

I stopped many times to take photographs, smoke view inspired cigarettes and to get some feeling back into my fat arse…damn, was that scooter seat uncomfortable!

Arriving at Baglung I realised that once again it’s the journey and not the destination that is important. However as I had used over half a tank of petrol getting here it made sense to linger at the petrol station. As it turned out it was only a diesel station, the petrol had run out 2 days prior…mmm.

Not to worry, I could free wheel for at least 20km on the way back. That might just be enough…it wasn’t!

Why I’m lucky, reason number 947: whilst the engine was sucking down the last of the petrol vapours I passed a petrol station which had petrol for sale…handy that!

Coming back into Pokhara I thought a late afternoon BLT at Maya Devi would be nice. I bumped into Adam who mentioned that my super duper ultra light weight amazingly expensive paraglider would be turning up in a couple of days…yippee!!!!!!

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