I had a longer post that I was going to put up before I left, but my computer just hates me and I couldn’t get it to transfer to my USB drive.I left Kathmandu on a chopper style bike, which puts my feet out in front of me and I sit in a reclining position. The motorcycles I normally ride (my brother’s which I had my senior year at Elon, and my dad’s sometimes at home) are much more aggressively positioned, leaning me forward not back. I find that I really like the style of riding that this bike has. I am able to sit back, relax and enjoy the view.
I took the Privati Highway from Kathmandu to Pokara, which is 225 km. I split the trip up and went to a town called Gorka, the home of the last first Shah, and rode up to the temple there. When I got to the top, they took my camera and wanted my shoes because they have (may) leather on them, and this was a Hindu holy site. The ground was covered in the feathers and blood stains from the animals they sacrifice there, so I showed them my shoes and convinced them that the leather was fake. I have no idea if it is real suede or not.
I spent the night there, goofing off with the 11-year-old who worked in the guest house and the guy who runs it. The 11-year-old went through all my stuff, enthralled with everything, and even offered me his life savings, about 400 rupees (USD $7) for my iPod. I said no, and he was upset, but he settled for a ride around town on the back of my motorcycle, yelling to all his friends he saw. The owner and I spent the night playing chess and discussing Nepali politics. Nepali politics are screwed to say the least. As I understand it the elections that are coming up on April 11th are the deciding factor on the stability of the country. He has four sons; two of them joined the army, and two joined the Maoists. They are now fighting each other.
This morning, I woke up early, had a mediocre breakfast at the guest house, and headed out. I stopped in a historic town called Bandipur, which I had heard was beautiful, but when I realized that the main thing to do in this area is to walk in the hills I decided to beg off it. My left knee still lets me know it has not forgiven me for taking it along to Everest. The town reminded me of Laung Prabong, which was the historic city in Laos, in that it had many overweight, older package tourists. I had a chocolate milkshake, walked the main bazaar, and headed out. On the upside, the road there was devoid of traffic, narrow, curvy and steep. Lots of fun both up and down.
Tommy and Chris, the German’s, had told me about the guest house they stayed at in Pokara, and I found it soon after I arrived. They were here with about 15 other German’s in the medical program, and about 10 of them are still here. I showed up and was told by Harry, they guy who owns it, that it was full. I asked him if he knew Chris and Tommy, and he immediately gave me a room he had been holding for a guy from India. I spent the afternoon hanging out in the garden, reading my book and listening to conversations I could not understand because they were in German.
As soon as I can upload some photos I will. I will stay here for tonight and tomorrow night, and then head off to Chitwan Park to see some rhinos and elephants on a safari.