Thursday, October 7, 2010

7 October 2010

We hit the road pretty early this morning as the intention was to make it to Kathmandu.

Breakfast was at a little stall outside a temple in the middle of nowhere.
We crowded into a little hut that had a big samovar on top of a coal fire. A  woman was cooking millet cakes in it (just millet and water) that were quite  hard and very dry. It was smoky inside, but a pleasant smell.

The rest of the morning was spent riding across the terai with bridge after bridge after bridge. Roads were mostly good with only one largish water crossing. Drenched but fun, and the blazing sun dried our clothes within a couple of km.

Later in the morning, the roads got us again with two bikes suffering broken  frames. We had to hunt around in several villages before we found someone  with a welder.

Once we left the Janakpur turnoff, the clouds started to roll in really  quickly. A few drops quickly turned into a monsoonal downpour. Visibility  dropped to a few meters, and the temperature went from uncomfortably hot to  freezing cold.

The group sought shelter except for ty (leading) and me (2nd position) who  missed them stopping. We carried on for about 40km in the downpour until we  were climbing into the mountains.

Just as the sun broke through, the rear sprocket on tys bike gave up and we ground to a halt. It was a long and soggy wait for the rest to rejoin us an  hour or so later. We took off our boots while we waited as they were
pretty much full to the brim with water.The bike could not be fixed with our onboard supply of spares, so we
distributed luggage and people them limped into Hetauda for the might.Rasul and Monday (his assistant) cannibalized one of the other bikes and  rode back to reclaim the bike. Sadly, the required parts simply aren't
available here and they must leave at 5am to travel back across the border  into India, purchase the parts, and then ride all the way back to Hetauda to make the repair (round trip up to 5hrs). These guys are absolute heroes, there is nothing that is too much trouble for them and they can carry out a complete engine rebuild literally in the dirt on the side of the road.

Kathmandu tomorrow.