We were finally off from Kathmandu on our adventure. It began with what we envisioned as a rather dubious piling of our bicycles on the roof of the bus. They used a tough foam fabric between bikes and despite our consternation did a great job in securing them for the rough six hour ride to Besishar where we off loaded them. The bus ride should have included blindfolds for us Weaterners as the driver was absolutely fearless and persistent in passing everything and anything in sight despite curves, on-coming traffic, school buses, police cars, and pedestrians. Cyclists must have heard of him as there were none in sight. This man had to have a Latin bckground and some training in fast moving video games. It was with great relief that we disembarked the bus.
Now we had two Jeeps to get 8 bikes and 10 passengers into. Again, very dubious group of cyclists looked on as the struggled, but managed once again to be up to the task. We were riding in jeeps to Jagat as the late monsoons had caused landslides on our original biking route. It was truly the ruggedest ride I have ever experienced with a few hurdles along the way of people stuck or broken down. I was so glad I wasn’t in charge propelling this tough old Land Rover forward. It was a three hour drive which landed us in the small village in the dark. No problem sleeping tonight.
Our first day riding was a shock to is all. This jeep trail we had been riding on is new and extremely rough. It was like biking uphill on a giant rockpile. We were all struggling. I took a fall and opened old wounds, most others fell as well. We were all just wondering what the hell we had gotten ourselves into. It took an hour to travel the first 5K. I also took a bath crossing below a waterfall which was interesting. Upon arrival, we waited 3.5 hours for our porters to arrive with all the food, tents and baggage. We all agreed that those arrangements would have to get rearranged somehow. Very tired, it was off to bed after dinner here in Dari Pani.
We have now connected back to the original trail and the surface, while still very challenging, is now mostly all bikeable. It is now the 29th and I find myself riding much better technically. Rien even complemented me with a “Nice Descent” following a ride down a boulder field. Coming from Rien that made my day. The scenery has become remarkable as well. We cycled past Annapurna 2 (7940meters) and it seemed right next to us. Many other smaller mountains as well. Manaslu appeared on the midst of a group of lesser mountains which excited me as my great friend Lonnie is headed that direction on a climbing trip in a couple of days. We ended staying in a Tea house here in Chame. I found myself down with a fever and a bad case of diarrhea. The fever passed quickly but not the other.
It was a great ride to the beautiful village of Manang where we will spend a rest day. I took Michelle’s advice and took some Cipro his am. I struggled all day, pushing my bike where I should have been peddling. What scenery. Sometimes we could see Annapurna 2, Annapurna3, Annapurna 4, and Gangapurna all at the same time. You can see 3, 4, and Gangapurna plus lesser peaks from the tea house I’m sitting in now. We are at just below 4000 meters now and will be crossing 5416 meters in two days time.
All for now. Don’t dare add photos or it may never send. Thanks for following along.
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