Ziua 4: Bhatrang (2850m) – Braka (3500m)
Ne trezim destul de devreme, nu că am fi dus lipsă de somn. La ora 7 avem programat micul dejun, iar la 7 fără un pic eram gata cu rucsacul făcut. Dorința noastră de a pleca devreme nu a coincis exact cu dorința celor de la tea-houseul la care am stat, așa că au ajuns și ei pe la 7:30. Cineva totuși s-a trezit mai devreme. Fetița pe care o văzusem și aseară. Venise cu un cățeluș care-ți încăpea în [citește mai departe]
Ne-am trezit destul de dimineața, pentru că aveam de parcurs o distanță destul de mare. Aveam de gând să mergem la Chame. Analizând harta pe care o aveam – Cycling the Annapurna Circuit Map, era mai mult decât realizabil acest obiectiv. Am luat un mic dejun copios, știind că nu ne vom opri la prânz. Orezul cu lapte a fost delicios, chiar daca nu-mi era foarte foame dupa Dal Bhat-ul de aseară. Am terminat de impachetat, am verificat bicicletele și am plecat.
Totul părea bine, drumul era bun, bicicleta mergea bine, iar prima jumatate de oră mai mult am coborât decât am urcat. Pe langa bucuria de a merge pe bicicletă se mai strecura din când în când o întrebare de genul “Dacă tot coborâm, unde sunt cei 1500m pe care trebuie să îi urcăm azi?”. Răspunsul a venit si el dupa câteva minute.
We were back in Kathmandu from our 3 day trip around Kathmandu Valley. We had a busy night trying to rent lighter bikes. Our bikes were decent, around 15kilograms, but we hoped we could rent some light ones. We wanted light bikes because we took a last minute decision of cycling the Annapurna Circuit. Alina trekked it last time she was in Nepal, but it seemed like a good idea to cycle it. She said it’s OK to cycle, because the paths are good and it seemed like a good idea. She kept reminding me that she has a lot more cycling experience than me and that she’s in a much better shape than me since I didn’t get to do that much cycling at home, basically none in the last 6 months. I also never went as high as 5416m (Thorung La pass) as we’re going to get on this trip.
Morning came and the inevitable happened. We had to wake up. Because we got here at night we didn’t get a chance to see pretty much anything, only a couple on moonlit reflections on Kulekhani lake before reaching Markhu. I loved the place we stayed at. It resembled Transilvanian country homes / huts.
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.
I love biking. That’s no secret, but it made quite a difference in Nepal. One of the first things on the list was to rent a mountain bike. Răzvan and Alina already had bikes and after I rented one for myself we decided to go on a 2 day tour around Kathmandu valley. Our route was Kathmandu – Dashinkhali Temple – Kulekhani Lake – Thankot – Kathmandu and the scheduled time was 2 days. We prepared some things to take with us (my backpack included 1 camera and 3 large lenses) and were ready to hit the road.
I arrived in Kathmandu a bit confused. Got off the plane and the airport looked a lot like a bus station. I had two things to do before I could get out of the airport: take a photo and pay for the visa. Didn’t seem like a lot of things to do, but they lasted for over an hour.
Finally I got through the infinite visa queue and my passport was the newly found owner of a 30day visa. I get my luggage and go towards the exit, together with a dutch couple that I met while waiting. As we go down the flight of stairs we see another ginormous queue with a sign saying “CUSTOMS” at its end. We all said: “S**t. Not another one”. One of the security guards, after seeing the look on our faces, came to us and led us straight to the exit saying “No, only for locals, no for tourists”.