This week’s on this day post comes from the 4th-November-2016, and I’m still on my South Asian bike ride, as I was last week. But I’ve now left India and am in Nepal, cycling up the Tribhuvan Highway. At the time of writing this post, I didn’t realise it was the Tribhuvan Highway I was cycling up and just how challenging the ride ahead would be.
Friday 4th November. Birgunj to Hetauda. 33 miles.
Short day today, with only thirty-three miles cycled, but it was a hard thirty-three miles! They were all uphill, and it took me five hours! And as I couldn’t see another town on the map, I thought it was best to stop. Tomorrow looks just as bad, if not worse, than today! Great, I can’t wait!
The other reason for stopping early was the road splits in Hetauda, and there are two routes to Kathmandu. One is over two hundred kilometres, or there’s a more direct route of seventy kilometres. The only problem, the shorter way is more of a track than a road. The road surface disappeared a long time ago! Plus, there’s also the small matter of a 2000-metre uphill climb!
I spent most of the afternoon in my hotel room, updating the website and trying to find information on the shorter route to Kathmandu. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find out that much. Some online maps show a road that goes all the way to Kathmandu. Other websites show the road just stops in the middle of nowhere. This is one of those moments when I wish I had a smaller-scale map with me. In the end, I gave up on the internet and went out to see if the staff on reception could help. They didn’t help either; they just said, “road out, gone, washed away!” I gave up and went out for a shave and a wander around Hetauda.
Not Much Help
I hoped the barber could help, but he didn’t speak English. I struggled to get him to understand that I wanted a shave! I tried asking a couple of taxi drivers, but they didn’t understand me either. I think I’ll wait until the morning before deciding!
Nepal reminds me a bit of China, with all the street vendors and their barbeques. They all cook food on wooden skewers. Although I seem to remember there was a little more variety in the food they cooked in China. Here it was mainly chicken, but it still tasted good.
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