Trip Start Aug 25, 2010
36Trip End Nov 23, 2010
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Where I stayed
Here are the highlights:
1. So it took me 2 hours to get from Kathmandu to Bhaktapur (12 km away) for a few reasons: 1.) the traffic is so congested and so aggressive I let everyone pass me and just came up the rear - I wasn't 5 minutes on the road when a man whizzed by me on his bike and literally rode over a man on a bicycle. I thought to myself - holy toledo what am I thinking but kept going
2. Bhaktapur - amazing, beautiful city. I stopped and got some lunch. The nice young waiter watched my helmet and bag for me while I looked at a city. Even saw a Bollywood dance scene being shot (perhaps Ta-Ki was here too?) I went into the art museum and saw a bunch of Hindu things I couldn't take pictures of. Beautiful, beautiful place.
3. Nagarkot - Got back on the road - a windy, paved mountain road that took me to Nagarkot, Found my hotel which was adorable. Went across the street to eat and sat drinking tea with a bunch of young men playing cards - Marez it was called. They used 3 decks of cards and it was essentially 21-card gin. I quickly caught on but realized they were gambling so couldn't play. We chatted though and that was how I spent my night.
4. Sunrise - Woke up at 5 am to see the sunrise. Not sure my camera can pick up the nuances of color but I tried
5. Road to Sankhu and Rajan - I start down what is essentially a mountain biking path that the crazy local buses use and promptly fall - poof - on to the left. I was going - at tops - 5 mph so I held myself up against the mountain wall. The public bus was right behind me, several young men came bounding out to make sure I was ok - which I was. I was about to turn back and scratch the whole Sankhu thing in order to stay on a paved road when this man, Rajan, offered to ride the bike down for me. I figured what the hell, hopped on the back and Rajan helped me. I NEVER would have been able to do it. I was able to snap some photos along the way (not sure how good they are). I bought him lunch then he rode me up to the Bajra Yogini temple and told me some stuff about his faith. I dropped him off and went on my way - we had a lovely afternoon.
6. I wasn't 5 minutes out of Sankhu when another motorcycle cut me off sending me into a huge pothole and sprawling onto the ground. Yes, I truly dumped the bike.
7. I rode to Budhanilkanta to see the Sleeping Vishnu, which I did for 30 seconds before a monk kindly asked me to leave. I got some killer momos in a little roadside place and went back to the city.
That wraps up 10/11-12th. A harrowing, invigorating, empowering, humbling experience that I will never ever undertake again in Nepal. I have no business riding a motorcycle in a 3rd world country - my skill base requires a 1st world infrastructure.