Saturday, November 08, 2008


Day 4 cycling: Pokhara to Galygang
DST = 79km; AVS = 16.2km/hr (estimated)

A minor hassle as I set out from Pokhara - the bike computer battery was flat; I managed to buy a new one on the outskirts of Pokhara, [... this is a Nepali/English keyboard - the comma took ages to find] ... hence had to estimate distances on day 4 riding, although fairly accurate I think. This was a fantastic day's cycling, with the snow-capped peaks of the Annupurna Range to the side for much of the first half of the ride, only to reappear much later as I rode higher & higher. The scenery could be described as stunning, striking, gob-smacking ... every time you rounded a corner a new and surprising panorama opened up. Ahh! This is why cycling is the way to go, although at times the drop to the side was so deep, so profound, and there was so much to take in visually that I could feel myself wobble on the bike as if almost magnetically drawn to just plunge over the edge. Today comprised steady uphill climbs, followed by some very satisfying downhill runs. A quite achievable ride, and nowhere near as tough a day's ride as I'd envisaged. Galyang seemed a good enough place to stop, given the time of day, distance covered, and the fact that the town had a small Hotel & Lodge. The room, at 300 NPR, was adequate, as was the associated restaurant across the road, where I had a dal baht for dinner (rice, lentils, green vege & some pickle & yoghurt, all of which I ate with gusto).


Day 5 cycling: Galyang to TANSEN
DST = 46.09km; RTM = 3hrs 53 min; AVS = 11.8km/hr; MAX = 39.8km/hr

I made an early start from Galygang, thinking that I'd knock off the last 40 or so km in no time, and be in Tansen for morning tea. It was lovely -no vehicles on the road, although the drop was precipitous on my left hand side. I found myself stopping continuously to take photos of the scenery, while aware that they lack the 3rd dimension that gives this ride such impact. The Nepalese don't seem to do breakfast, so I left just having had a cup of chai & 3 sweet biscuits I had in my bag.

As it turned out, this was a really hard ride pretty much all the way, perhaps exacerbated by my inadequate breakfast, and I found myself struggling to make the last stretch up the hill to Tansen at about 1:30 in the afternoon. I was buggered, and the maze of streets made it a torturous end to the day trying to find suitable accommodation. I eventually checked in to the Hotel The White Lake, quite overpriced at $12 USD per night, but I had little strength to argue the toss with much vigour or to look elsewhere. Their restaurant & the excellent view from the rooftop perhaps compensated a little. My first impression of Tansen hasn't been all that overwhelming but perhaps more delights await me as I explore the town a little more (mind you, I think I saw much of it yesterday as I stumbled about trying to find accommodation.)

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