Thursday, October 14, 2010

Unscheduled stop in Baliban

The road out of Pokara started well with broad sweeping corners and lovely tight hairpin bends as it followed the course of the Chitwan River.  As the afternoon wore on, the road conditions deteriorated until we were all fighting fatigue and broken equipment.  The group had become separated by nightfall, with four riders about 50km ahead of the rest of the group.  Jason hit a brick wall sometime after dark and simply couldn't go any further.  His bike had been problematic, with two bnroken subframes causing it to be very unstable and  difficult to control.
It was unfortunate that this coincided with our arrival in the township of Baliban.  Arriving late at night to a town that is in complete darkness except for cooking fires, large groups of men roaming around, and derelict buildings everywhere didn't inspire confidence.  It was a measure of Jason's fatigue that we found ourselves with little choice but to seek accomodation.  Ty and Brad waited out of town until we sourced somewhere to stay that would also allow the bikes in the lobby for safety overnight.  Simply getting the bikes inside was a mission, as they needed to go up a dusty and badly rutted ramp to get to the hotel front entrance (which was just a tin roller door).  Describing the rooms as 'basic' would be very generous.