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Blog 78 Mulkot to Bardibas

8th December

Blogged and edited until midnight. Still a day behind. Hard to factualise the stories when the journey moves so quickly. My personality and character is probably strong enough to be the links man but it’s the kernel of the days ride I’m really looking for and I cannot do that alone. How to improve. 


Set off at 9am to immediately face a 20km climb. Twisting bends, precipitous drop offs, sometimes a barrier to separate me from a fall and it would be an explicable death, buses and taxis would pass by in groups nose to tail and not know. Instead of dying I take tea and omelet next to three small goats bleating by the scruffy stall. The owner, always a man orders two woman to make my tea and wonders off smoking a cigarette. 


Across the valley Himalayan foothills look like crumpled tissues dropped by a God, the crinkles a garden of trees, bushes dressing her modesty around the bursts of scree slipped down to the river to who knows where. And so the Himalayas in time will be carried to the sea. I'm mistaken it's not the top, more to go. Drink tea and go. 

Further on I drink more tea. I’m not happy. I think I'm struggling. I’m in a swimming pool of my own making and I can’t touch the bottom. It’s all beautiful, the hills, yellow topped flowers - marigolds? The road, people pulling baskets full of vegetation (always the old) straps braced on their heads, everyone is kind but today I feel danger; the buses, the sheer falls, a blow out at an unprotected corner, someone not happy with his lite, mental illness stepping in front of me or just a dog, goats. 


You look for signs. 

Life appears normal. In the town a whistle blows, refuse is collected, someone smiles, the Nepalese word 'namaste' is a religious greeting and once said is a bond of trust. The faces of people are like stone, a parcel of hard life. Destiny revoked because some things will never happen to them. What they see on their telephone tells them all they are able to know and almost nothing they are able to do.


At the top of the pass - it took all morning to climb - I stopped for a rest. There is an image in my mind and it couldn’t be framed. There was no discipline today no energy, no containment and focus to keep me cycling. It was a temporary detioration of thought energy that had left me flat lining. No interest. Another valley. Another mountain range. But at least it's now downhill.


Map of the Day


Postcard from Home

I'm a very nostalgic person and though you would find this very hard to believe, I was not the natural traveller in my youth as I appear to be now. I like travelling but don't like being away from home - work that out but there is a conflict in my head daily. When I was young I owuld be physically sick with homesickness and it always took about three weeks to subside, afterwhich I didn't want to return home. My earlier trips were programmed never to be more than 3 months, it was a good plan. All the stories you need to tell can be done in that short time but this journey is a very long project and necessarily so but there will be times when I will find it very hard. Here is one of my dear friends Jonny Pickles from my home town of Machynlleth - we have coffee together when I'm home, a lovely man, a cyclist and we discussed this idea over many a coffee at Cafe Chakra on the High Street!

Mr Jonny Pickles


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tomgemini
tomgemini
Dec 12, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

That’s a heck of a climb Nick. I fold on the slightest incline these days and that’s in oh-so-flat East Anglia. Amazing effort - just keep those pedals turning! Sending positive vibes!

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Guest
Dec 11, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

I’ve copied this blog to Cafe Chakra and warned them to make ready for the reunion coffee and cake in a few months time!

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Steve Turner
Steve Turner
Dec 11, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Hey Nick, Hang in there! What you're doing is pretty amazing!! Not just the calories but all the brilliant blogs and filming and editing etc. Like the mountains around you, you're going to have ups and downs naturally. Stiff upper lip old boy!! You're nailing it! 😁 👍🏼💪🚴💨💨💨💨

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Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Nick, we are +/- about the same age. Your adventure is veery demanding and therefore feelings like "today not enough energy or motivation to head on" is, I think, nothing but normal. You are not on a quicky hipster trip but on a very serious one. Maybe you permit your self now and then a break more and a day of, for admiring your surrounding and the people you meet? Not only your bikes batteries have to be charged every day... Big respect for your exhausting project. Whether finish line on spot or a couple of days later but with fine inner feelings, your choice... I personally would go for the "little extended version". Ralph

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Thanks Nina. We all support Nick and his fantastic project.

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