I'm planning to ride from Madras via Nepal, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey and Europe to Germany... That's the plan - unless the borders close...
After 7 days in Pokhara, some Parties and good food I went on to Kathmandu to organize my Pakistan visa. About 30km from Pokhara I got a bit of a shocker when there was a part of the street missing or better a 1m drop, I guess from a landslide, one of the rear occasions when the bike and I are off the ground and flying in the air.
Kathmandu then is a really busy place, stayed in Thamel, and met Dalbir and Seamus again what resulted in a good hangover.
Getting the Pakistan visa was not problem at all, 2 days and 50 USD and I got a 3 month visa.
Kathmandu is a good place to buy cameras and to repair them even they couldn`t fix the videocamera but I got a cheap still camera what makes snapshots much easier ( The same camera as you Andrea, but as well without manual ).
Then there was the 23.05.1971, Happy Birthday to myself !!!!!!
At one evening while walking around Thamel I meet Harry ( a guy that I meet first in Chennai 2.5 month ago ) and after a few beer I planned to join them on the Annapurna Circuit Trek in a weeks time.
After paying the Conservation fee of 2000 NRS we met up in Pokhara, I hired a bag pack and some waterproof stuff and we got a bus to Besisahar ( 5 hrs ) for 100 NRS. My first bus ride, a different experience but not again in the near future, riding the bike is much safer.
To the Annapurna Circuit Trek, if someone had told me these things before I would have stayed in Pokhara I guess !
Length: 320km ( I did only about 220km and took a plane from Jomosom, only because the left knee gave up, to many motorbike accidents )
Altitude: From Besisahar 760m up to Thorung La Pass 5416m.
Time: About 2.5 weeks.
Over all I`am happy that I`ve done it, it is a strange and also good experience how easy and far your own feet can carry you.
We started with 4 people, Harry, Metti and Noa and met Jan on the way ( hope you are all fine !! ), there are beautiful views of mountains, tiny villages on the way, often not electricity and running water, lots of times when you ask yourself what you are doing here because it`s so hard to carry on.
We heard nice story's like a couple that started from opposite sides and they met near the pass and they decided to get married :-) , or also very sad news that a young girl died in a landslide by falling rocks not to far from us.
We also crossed landslides, on of the scariest things I`ve ever done with very big rocks above us.
The usual day was 4-6 hrs walking and 8 hrs on the day when we crossed the pass, that was only Noa and myself, Harry and Metti turned before the Pass because Harry had severe signs of altitude sickness and Jan was already over the Pass with a dutch guy.
Crossing the Pass was beautiful, empty and quite. A lovely dog followed us all the way to Muktinath on the other side like a watching angel ( It could have been the altitude but the dog was real ! ).
And then 2 days later I took a plane from Jomosom to Pohkara and Noa went on to finish the trek on foot.
Like I sad HOPE YOU ARE ALL FINE, hope to hear from you soon !!!
I`am getting lazy I must say ! After 6 days Pokhara I was kind of ready to leave, I knew that the others ( companions from the trek ) had as well arrived in Pokhara and I only wanted to say goodbye, buy in there place was a room available so I stayed for about another week, room direct on a lake so waking up and go for a swim - paradise ( Green Peace Lodge ).
The way back to Butwal was not exiting and the next day half way to Bardia NP guess who was there in my rear mirror - a BMW with Rik. We joint for the way into India. The border crossing took more time than expected. Nepal side not problem but of course on the India side, we need this we want that paper and so on but after a couple of hours and the quite complicated part of getting from immigration into India via small bridge`s and gates where you have to ask people somewhere for key`s ( Banbassa border ).
Then it took about 5 km to feel you are back in India, streets full of Tata Truck`s, pollution, potholes and no smiling people anymore, yes back in India.
I was actually after 2 hours close to turning around and to go back to Nepal but I didn`t.
First destination Almora a Hill Station ( Indian way ) dirty and crowded ( I thing nothing is really got after Nepal so don`t take my word for these places in India now !! )
From there to Rishikesh ( The place where The Beatles meditated and the album Magical Mystery Tour is about ). Due to the monsoon and so quite a few landslides it took a while to get there.
Then over Manali, where I got my first upset tummy in 4 month, and the decision not to go to Leh and the second highest drivable pass in the world, due to shit tummy. As well the first sign of weakness on the bike, while adjusting the valves the main bolt that hold`s the valve cap came out of the housing, great - but thanks to Locktide things are good again. I`am now in McLeod Ganj ( the exilresidence of the Dalai Lama ) who had birthday on the 06.07.03 so it was quite busy in town.
And now something absolute different JAMES you should have been more careful, yes.
Ok so much for that matter !!!
Will meet with Dalbir ( Honda Dominator ) on the 10th and then to Islamabad to get the Iranvisa. That`s the plan but yes you never know.
And sorry but I don`t translate into german anymore, don`t be angry but someone that you know will be able to read this with you :-)
After a rainy start in McLeod Ganj it got very hot again in Amritsar, where Mrs Bhandaris Guest House is a great place if you want to camp in a beautiful, quiet garden. The town itself is a bit scary, haven`t seen so many policemen and gun`s on the whole trip.
Next day I tried to cancel my flight from Delhi to Amsterdam, that was not the easiest task, the lady from the airline continued telling my I couldn't`t drive from Amritsar to Amsterdam because that`s in a different country, thank`s for that information !!! I hope in the end she canceled the flight.
The visa was finally ready on Tuesday for 2900 Rs. This night I celebrated at KFC with a big burger and a coke. The next destination was Dera Ghazi Khan, arrived at 18.00, found a hotel the only problem was they didn`t let foreigners stay. Nowhere in the whole town, a " security risk ", I`am not sure for whom. After some calls to the police and the security people the decision was that I couldn`t stay and had to leave town, the next place was 70 km away and it was already dark, that`s what I call a risk to drive at night. And it was not fun, none has proper light on there car or truck when at all. Then also cycles, people and all kind of animals on the road and not to forget to potholes. It was just luck that I didn`t crash into something.
30.08.03 In the 4 days in Esferhan I met Greg with his Enfield again, he had made it somehow over the Pakistan / Iran border without a Carnet in only 3 days. Also Andy on his Africa Twin showed up at the hotel and we decided to make it into Turkey together. From Esferhan we took a shortcut over small roads and ended up on gravel in the middle of a beautiful part of the countryside. After some dusty photo shootings and trying to figure out who gets the most stylish around the corner, kids stuff, we ended in a small village where houses are build of mud and clay, as mostly in this area, we got invited by a family. After parking the bikes in the courtyard dinner was prepared and we tried conversations with hands and feet and the help of a textbook English / Farsi.After a good night sleep, a breakfast and after wishing each other far well many times we where allowed to leave.MORE...
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