Nepal, Juni 2013
Day 1: Bardibas – Sindhuli , 40 km, 634 meters ascend
From the flat plaines of the Terai, I make my way north. I want to cycle the new highway to Kathmandu which was built by the Japanese in the last few years. There is not much traffic here, strange, because this way is 150 km shorter than the old route to Kathmandu. Later I will discover why that is so. Through fertile valleys it goes into the foothills of the Himalayas. The road ascends slowly but continuously. In the evening I reach the city of Sindhuli and get a room in a hotel for 300 Nepalese rupees (3 US dollars).
Day 2: Sindhuli – small Village 51 km, 1218 meters ascend
The next morning I continue early. Suddenly a big road construction and the tarmac road ends. The Highway is apparently not finished yet. The way continues on an earth track which is sometimes better, sometimes worse.
For a few Kilometers I have to push my bicycle. It is too steep to cycle with so much luggage and also the rear wheel often doesn´t grip in the dust which covers the stony road a centimeter thick. Anyway, if it rains, continuing would be impossible.
It starts to get dark by the time I reach a small village. A restaurant or hotel – not in this place! Quickly I find a place to pitch my tent and I also get invited for dinner. I receive dal bhat, the typical food here which is composed of rice (bhat), lentil soup (dal) together with local vegetables. The family waits until I finish my plate and invites me to eat more. Of course I’m still hungry after a day like this but I know that I eat from the rations of the family which is not so much. The people in this areas don´t have enough food to feed an extra stomach, and I deny a refill. Tired I slip into my tent which I was allowed to pitch next to the family’s goats and water buffalos.
Day 3: Unknown Village – Unknown Village, 50 km, 900 meters ascend
On the next morning I get up with the sun and say goodbye to my hosts – not without giving them some money. The day proceeds similar to the last one, dusty, hot and exhausting. Every half hour a bus or truck passes me and every time a tight squeeze on the narrow road. Now I know why most of the people prefer the longer way. It is safer and faster.
I come to my physical limits. Although it is cloudy, it is still about 40 degrees and the up and down never seem to come to an end. My legs are shaking, my arms are aching and pushing my bike is really exhausting. 60 kilogram plus my body weight I have to push up the mountain, the breaks become more and more often. Only 50 km do I complete this day.
In the evening again I pitch my tent in a village. Of course I am “THE” attraction for the kids; but also, the elder people are curious but this does not compare to India. The people here are more reserved and finally let me rest until I am invited for dinner. Several people try to convince me to sleep in their house – they are concerned that my tent will get flooded from the rain during the night but I have already pitched my tent and I just want to sleep.
Day 4: Unknown village – Dhulikel, 30 km, 762 meters ascending
The next day is easier. The road is finished and in good condition. I reach Dhulikel early in the afternoon; from here it is only 30 kilometers to Kathmandu.