15th November 2014 – Lahan, Nepal
A bad road, and a rider. The relationship reeks of sadomasochism. Where the gravel turns to burning wax on sulking skin, And the rocks grew nails, long enough to go deep enough. But every dungeon has a door. And a safe word, to end the sin.
I finally decided to leave Bhaktapur today, and head out of Nepal. I was already illegally riding here from yesterday, since I couldn’t renew my riding permit. I don’t mind getting fined, but might as well reduce the daily fine by getting out as early as I can.
So, I started early morning with a very ambitious plan. The plan was to ride out of the Kathmandu valley, towards Kakarbitta in the eastern part of the country, and exit towards Darjeeling. The catch with the plan was the distance. This was a mammoth 490 KM. But hey, I am me. Stupid and ambitious!
30 minutes after I began riding, I realised my folly. The lower part of Nepal is called the Terai, which is the northern section of the Gangetic plains. This area is low in altitude, and has straight roads throughout. But Kathmandu, was in the middle hills, with altitudes reaching 4000 metres. To get from the middle hills to the lower Terai, there are some steep slopes that have to be crossed. And when these slopes don’t have a proper road – or any road – I found myself riding at 10 KPH for 3 fricking hours!
By noon, I managed to get to the lower Terai, beginning from the town of Hetauda, after a tortuous 50 KM in 4 hours! From that pint, I pushed the throttle and tried to make up for lost momentum. Too late. Nepal has poor street lighting, so it was not a good idea to ride after dark.
I am now gulping down my ambition with a bottle of Everest beer. In a midway town called Lahan, somewhere in the Eastern Terai.