1st December. Pokhara to Hotel Yak near Baglung
The blogs have started again. I had a day off in a beautiful little hotel overlooking Pokhara Lake and realised it was my second day off since Athens. It’s only a day not riding. I’m working on a series of short films but more later. But I got fed well - absolutely love Nepal - well looked after.
Here's my breaky
Here's my dinner
So I rode out of Pokhara and expected to climb but descended just as much as climb, although the river was flowing to me and downhill so overall I’m ascending. The plan is to ride for two days deeply into the Himalayas almost to the Chinese autonomous Tibetan border, film, take a few photos and descend to Pokhara on the third day, 342 kms return trip. My sponsors all said, and quite rightly, "you are going to the Himalayas aren't you?" no pressure then ... and of course I am at which point not knowing exactly where I am having looked at a 3 inch telephone screen for directions these past two months, I’ve just passed the small town of Baglung and holed up in the Yak Hotel - of course! But what I hadn’t researched is that the next 80 kms to Lower Mustang is the Baglung-Jharkot Road marked as the F042 and one of the most dangerous roads in the world. I reckon the A64 going into York UK beats anything the Himalayas can throw up but then something which has been levelled out of a sheer cliff-hanging on a vertical mountain-side is not to be underestimated I guess, so we’ll know more tomorrow. The most challenging part of the route runs along the Kali Gandhi Gorge or the And Galchi which could be the deepest canyon in the world. Why didn’t I research this? I am terrified of heights.
Oh well, I decided to have a coffee and contemplate something, anything, why am I here or even where am I?
A Cafe on the lower slopes of the F042
So after riding all day I booked into Hotel Yak, a lovely new build, put my bike in my room and walked up the hillside following the prayer sounds from a nearby Hindu temple. There, several old women (crones) and men were performing their prayer ritual with the priest all of which looked like an interplanatery exercise communicating with alien life. The neon lit temple is like something built in the old Radiophonic Workshops in an early episode of Dr Who and nearby a lifesize model of a cow was illuminated in a tiled containment. The high mountains added to the mystery, and the next thing I saw these elderly people are prostrate on the floor, wailing. The tokenism and symbolism is bewildering to an onlooker until someone gives me an orange. Brilliant. I'm none the wiser.
Back at the hotel I am given a bindi, a similar marking is also worn by babies and children in China and, as in the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia, represents the opening of the third eye chakra. Bindu is the point or dot around which the mandala is created, representing the universe.
Pictures of the Day
Map of the Day
Do watch this map, the topography is getting very pretty, I reckon tomorrow will be awesome.
And it's goodnight from me, again....