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Nepal - Kathmundu - Hotel Avocado PDF Print E-mail
Written by Peter Smith   
Sunday, 19 April 2009 20:06
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Day 48: Wednesday 7th November 
Kathmandu to Darjeeling via Hotel Avocado
 
 

Although today's itinerary does says Kathmandu to Darjeeling there's no chance, whatsoever, of us making it. The experience of Varanasi to Kathmandu seems to have sunk in. Today's journey is 200 kilometres longer and so we intend driving until dark and then either free camping or finding a hotel. We have had to abandon the drive and trek outside Kathmandu and of course the trip to Everest Base Camp which was advertised as the highlight of the whole journey and the chance of a lifetime according to Ozbus blurb. Now, along with Mac and Mas, we all realise that the blurb meant nothing. It was just a way of getting bums on seats. Only eighteen of the thirty seven are now heading for today's destination, the others have gone off to do their own thing. Mas, and Mac left us in Delhi as soon as it was confirmed we were flying from Calcutta. They're now in Tibet. Dave, who suddenly turned up in Kathmandu, is now waiting for a flight home. John, Das, Jim, Barry, Paul, Geof, Kate and Caroline are staying in Kathmandu to bungee jump, water raft and paraglide before flying to Calcutta to rejoin us. Mas and Mac are rejoining in Bangkok.

The journey back down the road we came up was just as spectacular and this time we saw the lower section we missed two days ago in the dark; here the road is perched high above the beautiful river many feet below. We had a prepared lunch in a roadside café in an idyllic setting overlooking the river. Amazingly the owner did not seem to object to 21 people sitting at his tables and chairs eating their packed lunches. He even helped to clean up some of the mess. It would not happen in UK. We spent 4 hours retracing out journey back down towards the border before turning to follow the foothills on our left that lead to Darjeeling.

As we drive along I make another observation which is probably obvious to everyone else but not me. I have already remarked earlier in India that I saw a sign for the latest Royal Enfield bike and the place is scattered with Massey Ferguson tractors and Morris cars. Well I've suddenly realised that the Indian Sub Continent is an who's who of British products. Today while heading across Nepal I've seen adverts for Lifeboy soap, Lux washing powder and Pepsodent toothpaste. Looking at the standard of living along this route I don't think mums here will 'wonder where the yellow went' when their kids brush their teeth with you know who.

I've also noticed another unpleasant side effect to keeping a blog, to accompany the aching elbows, wrists, finger joints and eye strain from trying to focus on a screen and keyboard that's bouncing up and down from the movement of the bus, and that is a constant feeling of nausea. I first thought it was linked to Delhi belly but now realise it's a kind of travel sickness. When I just sit and look at the stunning countryside the sickness goes away. I also have to spend longer at the keyboard for less output and it's harder to find a new angle and easier just to sit and watch India go by.

The countryside around this lower part of Nepal is very different to the mountainous region obviously but has a quaint beauty to recommend it. We have journeyed for a few hours along a pretty poor road lined with lovely thatched huts sitting among palm tree groves. Constantly overshadowing everything are the forested hills, just visible through the haze and mist and a life source feeding the communities with an abundant supply of water which eventually seems to reach them from pipes by the roadside. I've just passed a man washing his car with a kind of power hose which seemed to come straight out of the hillside. On the lower part of the road is an enormous dried up river bed which must be very impressive in the Monsoon period. On the other side of this wide stony bed more forested hills lead all the way to the setting Sun on the far silhouetted horizon. The wide expansive stony river bed is alive with figures and their trucks harvesting this season's deposits presumably to be broken down further for construction and road repair. Laying by the road, having created a large deep scar through the forest, are very large boulders, smooth and round from their journey down the hillside and just waiting for next years rains and pastures new.

As darkness began to take hold talk of free camping died and hotel suggestions developed thanks mainly to Sue who'd found an attractive sounding Hotel Avocado which came highly recommended in her Lonely Planet. After travelling up and down the main street of the town we found ourselves outside the hotel. As Leighton rushed off to find out availability the area outside went into darkness as the headlights of the bus for some unknown reason cut-out. Leighton came back with tales of gloom about the hotel which had gone into serious decline in the years since Sue's book was published but the adjoining hotel was available. Our room was excellent, very large with big double bed, clean bathroom and large windows looking out over a large grassed area.

Dinner was arranged and consisted of rice and two types of curry, chicken and vegetable washed down with copious amounts of beer. All in all this was a good ending to a long but beautiful scenic day on the road.



Last Updated on Sunday, 19 April 2009 20:23