Tuesday, October 28, 2008

KTM 1

well, the most harrowing part of the journey is over - getting here with the bike & panniers largely intact. Checking in at Tullamarine was a breeze - I and the bike were waved straight through, and surprisingly my 15kg bike only weighed 10kg on their scales. I had weight to spare, and could have brought those extra undies along after all. I didn't wrap the bike in plastic (what a dumb idea) but merely let air out of the tyres, removed the pedals & unbolted the handlebars & wheeled it into a large metal cage to be put on the plane.

What was I thinking when I booked a room in Thamel, perhaps the noisiest, most crowded place in the universe? I've been titrating my forays out into the streets, and this morning ventured down to Durbar Square where I had a somewhat cursory look around before returning to the safety of my room. The Square was extremely crowded, with market stalls, tourist guides, phony sadhus, and countless tourists and others. I'm told it's busier than usual as tonight is the start of the Tihar festival (also known as Diwali, festival of lights) which lasts for about 5 days. Everyone seems pretty excited. and there are garlands of flowers everywhere, as well as people setting off some rather large firecrackers. I'm sure that making tourists jump is part of the fun.

And then this afternoon I ventured out onto the roads of KTM on my recently reassembled bike. In some ways this was less oppressive than walking, and I seemed to bump into fewer people. So gradually I'll acclimatise to this place & then hit the road ...

Last night was surprisingly quiet, other than the occasional barking dog, and I slept extremely soundly even though the bed was designed for people much shorter than me. So, after writing this & checking some emails, I'll have some dinner & wander about town for a bit ...

2 comments:

Mr Felix (aka Pak Peelips) said...

Hi Dave!
Looks like the tourists are back, eh? When I was last there (in 05) it was somewhat deserted.
OK, enjoy the pizzas.. I can't get pizzas where I live (Lu Xu, way out in nowhwereville, China.)
Good luck with the ride.
Felix (aka Mr Pumpy) in China

Anonymous said...

Dave I told you about the undies.
As Edna Everage Said you do not want to be caught with frayed y fronts if you have an accident.
Enjoy the ride Bikku Pete