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Blog 80 Rupani Bazaar to Laukahi




10th December (bus back to Birgunj)

The next day I set off once again. I rode all morning trying to find a way to cross the border into India. I niavely assumed the borders would all be open but the one at Laukaha was for local trade only as was the case further along at Bhimnagar. I hadn't researched this trip in any detail other than the weather so I was about to get annoyed with myself for such flagrant laxity so suddenly panicking I hotspotted on someone's phone and quickly researched the international exit points across Nepal and the one I needed at Kakarvitta was supposed to be open.


Heading south from the town of Lahan I rode 18 kms to the border and was turned away as it was a trade route and not passable for international travellers. I rode back and watched the women bending effortlessly with straight legs hefting small packets of wheat with their knives. Across all the fields I could see were neat piles laid out across small precisely divided plots of land all ready to be bundled and carried for threshing. Goats sat with their young nearby waiting for their family to take them home to be milked. The concert of family values that always see sing to me in ways they no longer have a voice back home. Here it is an orchestra of sound hearing small children laugh and play only to be mock scolded by their grand mother and held and hugged. I see whole families working the field together, working the threshing together, happily. Families in the west have lost that sound, we communicate in a vacuum compared to these happy richer people.

I carried on down the main highway, the surface alternating between the old tarmaced surface and the new road which was being laid. Sometime later I tried again to cross the border where Nepal and India came together where I thought it might be possible but once again was turned away politely. I carried on until I reached another small town. I had no money left and no idea quite what to do so I found another pharmacist to help me as the last one had been an invaluable source of local information. He sat me down and inbetween dispensing medicines, brought me tea and showed me his basic but clean treatment rooms of which is was decidely proud. I had one number saved which was for a tour agency back in Kathmandu which he kindly rang for me and the fellow there said he thought for whatever reason only the border south of Kathmandu would be open for international travel and recommended I take that. To say I'd wasted two days riding across Nepal's magnificent landscape with the utmost privilage to see rural farming people live and work was wrong. It had compromised my tight around the world schedule and I'd have to administer a deduction in time and mileage somewhere down the line, but it had been an unmitigated pleasure just to be where I was, drinking my tea.


Nevertheless a journey is a journey as is it's schedule. I was to be away from home and my loved ones for 8 months and a day here or there added to that absence could easily make it a month more. Time to reconsider my route back to the border from where I can cross into India. Mr Pharmacist sent his lad with me to an ATM and then phoned the bus company and as luck would have it, one was due past his shop in 15 minutes. Timing is everything, but so is the right nudge from a supportive local and that's where experience counts. I bought a ticket from a young fella in his wonderfully delapidated ticket office with springs poking out of his sofa. I dismantled the wheels from the bike, packed it into my cycling bag and when the bus arrived chucked it into the boot. A minute later I was crammed into the bus with villagers stretching back to East Nepal and settled in for a 9 hour ride to Birgunj, back across the unmade road I'd spent two days cycling across. How can this not make you smile, even if it's only to yourself!


Map of the Day


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Steve Turner
Steve Turner
Dec 14, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Fantastic family scene above. Brilliant! One of the hundreds of little gems you see every day Nick no doubt. These are the kind of things it's all about eh....apart from testing the durability of the Wabash ofcourse! You're doing amazing Nick!!

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Gary Lang
Gary Lang
Dec 12, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Oh bugger! At least you have had time to reflect and watch the locals busy their selves in their day..

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Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

What a bastard Nick, 1 step forward and 2 steps back.

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Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Nice one Nick. Love this part of the world. He describe so eloquently. It’s a shame that most westerners don’t come out to these parts and see the REAL world.

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