February 11, 2008
Greetings from Kathmandu!
What a crazy city - People, scooters, buses, noise, dust...and so crowded! They say you can get anything you want here - and I believe that...of course it will probably be a knock-off! It's very strange when you see a jacket with a North Face label and then at another store the same jacket with a Columbia label!
We made hotel reservations in advance so upon arrival we cycled north of the city - to a paradise hotel! You turn off the road, through a gate and arrive in a hidden garden - such a great break for the Kathmandu action! It is spring here and the flowers are beautiful. Being in a valley we have great views of the snow covered mountains. Next we head down to Chitwan National Park.
Three days to go up hill and one to fly down! That's best description of our ride to Chitwan.
We planed to stay at a resort in Daman at the top of the pass and after 3 days of hard uphill riding we found that the place was closed down. Apparently there was some trouble in this area during the transition to communism. The security guard would not even let us on the property. Needless to say, I was at my breaking point...the guard (who luckily didn't understand English) was hit with NY cab driver "language". I guess he felt sorry for Doug - so finally we were allowed to setup out tent. And what a great spot - next to a helicopter pad. And the next morning was spent drinking our coffee with a view of the Himalayan mountains.
Next day was a down hill to celebrate! We had to stop just to let our brake hands rest!
Chitwan National Park is close to the Indian border, very dry and flat. Saw some interesting animals while on safari but didn't even get a glimpse of the tigers.
Janice and Doug
March 19. 2009
Well, Nepal has to be one of the strangest places I have ever been. I feel like I have stepped back 100 years. A good day is when the electric is actually on for 4 hours a day, needless to say we are vegetarians in this country - not taking any chances with meat! But the views are amazing. We have just finished doing the "Jomson Trek" in the Annapurna Range of the Himalayans...OK, so we didn't really do a 'trek', but an amazing bike ride. Of course the best part is always the downhill - and we went from 15,000ft down to 2,000 ft. What a ride! We spent over a week doing this and enjoyed some amazing villages. We spent a night in a 350yr old guest house that had it's own Buddhist temple, gazed around at mountains over 8000 meters high, and fought with cows for space on the road - well maybe calling it a road is not quite true...more like a rocky, sandy, bumpy, twisty path that clung to the edge of a mountain. Next we will make another quick stop in Kathmandu before we head to India. Still don't have firm plans yet but they're starting to come together...
March 29, 2009
We crossed the Himalaya near Annapurna. The only place where you can get to the Tibeten plateau outside of China. China has closed Tibet to foreigners (again) so, from the other side...
And the city of Pokhara is lots of fun. Nice bike rides around the area and lots of people to exchange ideas with. But soon, back to Kathmandu.
April 1, 2009
Hello from Nepal. We're about done here, and are trying to make arrangements for India transportation and visas...I guess it's a bad sign that the lawn of the Indian embassy here looks more like a Phish concert with all of the Madras wearing dreadlocks hanging around waiting...it takes a week, and maybe some of the folks are just staying here???
Still, Nepal is a paradise. Everywhere you look is breath taking. A place to return in the future.