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.
I was the last to leave the room, but because of not hurrying to get out I opened the wooden shutters and this great view appeared in front of me. I think I looked kinda’ silly with my camera sticking out the window and taking pictures, but it was worth the time. My eyes were still half open and I was basically on autopilot.
I packed my bag and went outside. “To the lake Ye shall go”. I figured we’d meet Kapil in the morning, I even met his driver, but when we came back from the lake they were gone. I felt sad for not seeing him again. We said we’d meet in the morning, after breakfast, but we missed the chance.
The weird bit is that you appreciate things which for others represent a harsh reality. But I don’t enjoy them as most people would think, in the same way you could enjoy a safari or a museum tour. I enjoyed seeing honest hard working people that were not so much affected by globalization. I was glad to see for myself that they’re not just a myth, for one child’s sincere smile could mean more than this whole technological advance we have. Our traditions and habits slowly disappear and converge into a single, simpler habit.
I think kids are awesome. They have this immense amount of energy and are willing to spend it on whatever they find interesting. I liked the days when I saw people play like that back home. This “normal” now became an isolated event. These natural and sincere children now are outlawed and banished from the playgrounds of our big and modern cities. They’ve replaced the need to run and play with the need to see. They replaced this real world with infinite nonexisting computer-generated worlds shown on these silly rectangular devices. I think I was lucky to have missed (just by an inch) this great computer boom. I just hope that those that didn’t will open their eyes soon enough.
I followed the kids up on this big fence. Easy peasy. Going up is always a cinch. I didn’t walk on something like this since I was 10. But here I had no neighbours to say “Get of the fence you naughty brat” and throw water at us. Those were the days.
Anyway, as I said. Getting up on the fence was easy, now came the hard part. Because getting down implied jumping from this big fence with a 15kg backpack and a 3kg camera in my hand. To describe in one word I’d have to use FAIL.
No biggie, just a little bruise on my knee, like the good ol’ days.
Time well spent, I think. I liked taking these photos and I hope to meet this kid some day again. We ate some crackers, drank a cup of tea and off we went. We had to get to Kathmandu today and there was a big hill to climb. We were a bit tired from the previous days. Didn’t look too much, but I for one haven’t cycled in quite some time.
We passed through some villages and knew that we were on the right track. After we climbed and descended the hill next to Markhu we got in this big open valley that led to Tankhot. Well, it led to a big hill, but after that big hill laid Tankhot. Since we were on the run, the time allowed for taking photos was conditioned by 3 key factors: pedaling speed, unpacking the camera speed and packing the camera speed. You could pedal ahead and if you were really fast with the unpacking you had time to take 5 or 6 shots. Then you packed the camera again and started pedaling again.
This was one of the last villages and it was quite a weird site. All the houses looked deserted, but in fact the people were on the rice terraces. I took 5 shots here, 2 being the ones above. Those houses were the whole village, “inhabited” only by three kids playing with an elastic, two kids staying on this rag and a woman. All the daily household items were in place, the slippers were next to the wall, everything was there except the people.
We started pedaling again and only had a few kilometers to this big climb between us and Tankhot. This was also the last climb of the day, after which came the long waited descent to Tankhot and Kathmandu.
A short brake was voted and we stopped to eat some crackers and get a final look at our bikes before we started climbing. Just as we were starting to pack and go, this car stopped next to us. We looked to see what happened, but were in for a big surprise. Since we live on such a small planet, the only person that could have been in the car was Kapil, the guy we had dinner with the previous night. We just couldn’t believe it.
Greetings to you again Kapil. Namaskar.
We stopped taking photos during the climb. Somewhere during the climb we were stopped by two guys on a motor bike. I was behind Alina and Razvan by a little and they started asking funny questions. It all looked very fishy. I tried to stall them as much as I could until I got closer to Razvan. We’d have a better chance fighting them if they turned out to be robbers.
The questions they asked were too strange for normal people and their tone was a bit funny. I tried to make it like my friends were just a hundred meters ahead, but in reality I had no clue if they were 100m or 1km in front. I stopped to take some pictures and lost track of time. Was I lucky, cuz after a turn I saw Alina and Razvan waiting for me. “There they are, they were just a bit ahead”.
The strange guys passed me and went to them. I tried to signal Razvan to be cautious and Alina to take a picture of them with her small camera. They started asking some more questions to make sure of how many we were and if anybody knows we’re here.
It was starting to get really spooky, but then they said they’re Nepali Armi. At first I didn’t even know whether to believe them or not.
They said that we should be careful, because they had some cases of robberies in that forest. Even though it’s generally safe, they said drug addicts were known to attack people on that road and in that forest.
We felt a slight relief when they left, but decided to stay close and keep our cameras inside. An ambush we didn’t need. Apparently, since we weren’t attacked, the guys really were from the Nepali Army. It was nice of them to stop and warn us, and I’m sure I’d think again before lagging behind in weird places.
Over and out.