We had a good night’s sleep. After some delicious Dal Bhat in the evening and the previous pedaling day we slept like babies.
The guy from the lodge we slept showed us the best way to get to from Dashinkhali to Kulekhani Lake. We were supposed to reach Kulekhani during the first day, but things did not quite go as planned.
So we woke up early in the morning but didn’t manage to leave too soon, since it took a while until our breakfasts arrived. People were already working. They usually wake up around 5:30 AM. They work on the rice terraces all day long. They have lunch a little later than we have breakfast. Makes you feel a little weird, being a tourist and just biking from place to place.
We took a couple of pictures while we waited for our breakfasts. It certainly is a place to return to.
The start was on a constant exhausting uphill that lasted for about an hour. We took some short photo stops but knew that we had a long way to go. Nepali time is something I’ll never understand. One guy says Markhu, sure sure, two hours. The other guy says Markhu?!? Markhu 6 hours. Lots of guys with lots of estimate times. These couple of Nepali hours were basically a couple of real days.
I personally liked it when the tarmac was over and all we had was a dusty country road. Despite the clouds of dust we were constantly taken into everything was a bit wilder and quieter. The road was going up and down for a couple of kilometers as we passed and went into different valleys. After a short downhill we saw these children in front of a school. I like the fact that they value schools here in a completely different way that they do at home. There’s a totally different approach to school. They see school as a chance to a better life, they see exchitement in schools.
We stopped to take a couple of pictures and we found ourselves in the middle of them. They were playing and clustering in front of the camera. Since I like kids this was a joy. Maybe we’ll meet again, who knows.
This was the first time that I was in a totally different world. Time no longer existed for me and I didn’t care about the slopes we had to climb. I was in some sort of a trance. Same thing happened in Manang, but we’ll get to that in some future posts.
These places that just take you out of the real world are a harsh reality for the people that live there, but that doesn’t show on their faces. I didn’t see the hostility that I see in Europe. I didn’t see that envy and that anger that most people have on another person’s well being here in the country side. It was all pure and honest and I respect them for that.
Razvan stops after we begin a short descent. I hear a clinging sound coming from his bike and see the rear derraileur in a very crooked position. At first I thought that it was broken, but after a couple of looks we saw that the hanger was straight and that there was no sign of tearing. The previous picture shows us that it wasn’t quite alright.
Razvan noticed that there’s a pin missing, a pin that kept the derraileur from twisting as it did. We started to look for where it could have fallen, but it was impossible because of the dusty road. While searching we had the idea of using some accessory cord to replace the pin and tie the derrailer in position. At first, while seeing that the holes that held the pin were not on both sides of the derraileur, thus tying the derraileur was out of the quiestion. But putting the accessory cord through the first hole I thought that the springs force would be enough to hold the cord from going out and at the same time it would keep the derraileur in place. There’s this big and strong spring that pulls the derraileur back when you shift down. That spring put the derraileur in that awkward position after the pin broke, but the same spring now held it all in place.
After carefully inserting the cord where the pin should have been we made a little test and tried to pull it out to have some opinion of the quality of this repair. Since neither of us managed to pull it out we cut the rope and decided it was as good as the original pin and off we went. Moments like these make me thank myself for choosing engineering school.
The road took us on the right hand side of the valley and finally it got us on that little road you see in the upper right corner of the above picture. It was that open place in the corner where we stopped and took some pictures of the playing kids. The two girls came and gave us some flowers. I think my cheeks were the same color as their clothes.
Since it was way passed lunch time and since we had a full day of almost constant uphill we were pretty hungry. If you look at the same picture (2 pictures above), the road in the upper right corner leads to a pass. That was the highest point of the day and the place that had Momos. You remember Mo:Mo:, the Nepali ravioli like spicy food. It was like a piece of heaven at the time. We had 2 portions each and I don’t even remember eating the first. We were that hungry.
The guys there asked us were we came from. We told them about our bike trip and then told them that we’re from Romania. They said Hello, in Romanian. We couldn’t believed. After we all had a little laugh they told us that they worked in Korea and had Romanian colleagues. It was nice to be greeted in Romanian a couple of thousand of kilometers away from home. Those were the best Momos I ever had.
Again we found ourselves biking in complete darkness, but had only 6km to Markhu. Fortunately these weren’t Nepali kilometers. It was a nice ride in the dark and as we came out of the forest (aka big thick jungle) and entered Markhu realized that Nepali people go to bed very early. We still needed a place to sleep, maybe even eat dinner. Those delicious Momos were about 3 hours before.
We saw a light and went to ask about a lodge. The guy took us to a place and we were lucky to find it that fast.
A couple of people were also having dinner and we sat next to them. After the usual Namaste and questions about were we came from (by bike) we were again surprised that there was another person in Nepal that knows Romania is a country, he even knew where it is. This man is named Kapil, and he’s an anthropologist doing a study in the area. It was a real pleasure meeting him and having a chance to change a few words. It appears you find the most interesting people in the most unexpected places.
We went to bed after another delicious plate of Dal Bhat, this time eaten the proper way, following Kapil’s directions. It was great to meet you Kapil.
That’s it for now, I’ll be off dreaming about Dal Bhat.
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Over and out.