My Journey to Nepal

Hiregoudar

Active Member
EPILOGUE

This trip, as I mentioned initially, is not just my effort. There are many people who made this trip possible and for privacy sake I do not mention their names. I thank all of them by individual names. Above all, it’s the will of God without which it would not have taken off at all. Its all these people and most importantly I thank my bike which never missed a single beat in those horrible roads. Never had even a single puncture. We both came home safely. I was harsh on it on that slushy rainy day on the way to Muktinath. But otherwise the steep inclines on Hetauda route, it took it easy. I did go in first gear, but not while climbing up but while climbing down for better maneuverability.

What actually I aimed was to be in Himalayas and possibly a dip in Damodar Kunda in upper Mustang area past Muktinath. Knew that was expensive entry fees. Wanted to try some other means. But nothing worked. I know people even crossed over to China border to Mt. Kailash area illegally.

Then comes EBC. I had an open mind on this. I just wanted to be in that area and see the Saagarmaatha which I did. But once there I want to do more and more. Had I known a 47 existed on oximeter, I would have definitely risked and had done even three passes and Gokyo too along with Kalapathar. But I came to know only after my return.

I don’t mean others take this example. Follow your own safety measures on oxygen levels and your instincts and your endurance.

In all the total 5,697 Kms I did on this trip. Faced all sorts of roads to no roads at all in that river bed on the way Pokhara – Muktinath in Nepal. Surprisingly, the super highways with four track, toll roads. I felt really quite boring and not practical for a two wheeler in those scorching heat. No shade at all. They are just meant to commute and transportation or meant for some expensive cars and so on. Not for a trip like this.

The time of the trip is totally wrong but I had no choice. In India I faced extreme hot conditions and one can imagine a two wheeler drive in that scorching heat. Other option was night drive. On super highways that’s ok but nearly 60% of roads were under widening process and the conditions were horrible for a night drive with that sole little headlight what I had on my bike. So that’s ruled out. I did night driving several times during the trip though. But not worth the risk. Plus what would I see if I do the night drive. Not that I am scared of night. It reminds me of passing those jungles and Banti Dhaba on my Leh trip.

Then comes Nepal. Muktinath area rains have already begun. Wrong time for a two wheeler drive. All slush in those inclines. No matter what gear you are in, no matter if both the brakes applied the bike would skid the way the slush takes and its really scary when the skid is out of control at those steep edges. Moreover, its not fun to drive in rain, slush, off roads, great altitudes and cold all at the same. What views one would have in those conditions excepting the fog everywhere including on our helmet visor.

Then EBC area. During this time of the year, either it rains, or its all hazy. Only till afternoon one could expect good weather. Then the coulds would come up obliterating all views. Views fine, but in case of emergencies who depend on heli rescue, no helicopter would fly in those weather conditions. Literally none. Even the flights would get cancelled and I have seen passengers struck for several days at Lukla and had to charter a helicopter to Kathmandu lest they miss their international flight.

So, choose your time. I know best time would be October like I did my Leh trip.

Next comes pace of the trip. I never pushed to do more kilometers nor fixed a destination excepting from Kolkatta onwards. This because I was in a hurry to hit home. But the conditions are such we somehow get victimized to the temptation of reaching our destination of that particular day. Only if I could wait another day, and only if it didn’t rain that heavy that night at Goleswor. So many ‘if’s.

Health; if you are reasonably well, one can do this trip easily. Well, in my case, that food poisoning really took its toll and I still feel the tender stomach. Taste buds literally died and curiously no wish for water either. Otherwise I drink lot of water daily in my day to day life. It is difficult to choose the place of eating especially when driving because the temptation of taking the closest choice without much deviation is too great. Food poisoning and continuous dhaba food, and the extreme heat is the perfect recipe to ill health. At no point of time I felt tired and craved for a rest day. The system itself is put into gear and would stop only after the trip is over. Those three days at Mau, I really was drained and had to climb the strairs to reach my room with the help of grills. When decided to continue my journey towards Gorakhpur and then on to Nepal, all my spirits were complaining. What made me push myself I do not know. Same thing happened when approaching Himalayas of Nepal, said to myself, oh no.. once more these hills, but the inner traveler was just too happy and he won luckily.

The Drive: I had minimum maintenance work on the bike before the start of the trip. Just general cleaning of carburetor, air cleaner, jets, electrical, replacing all control cables, chain tightening and oil change. At one stage I thought of going for tubeless tire for that dreadful road of Muktinath but by the grace of God, nothing happened. I used the stock tyre. Now, what I leant from the two trips into Himalayas is best way to drive is never to hurry one thing and secondly don’t strain the bike. One would know when the bike isn’t liking the drive anymore. Just stop. Then apply brakes and clutch when its absolutely necessary. Manage with gear and throttle combination. It works very well and absolutely safe. In the hot plains the engine was getting so hot, really so hot but on experience you would know the endurance of the bike. I don’t have a CHT on my bike, yet, one could feel it. Any slightest protest from the engine, just stop. Let her breathe, it has to take you home safely, don’t forget that. Never to be nervous in difficult situations like extreme inclination of road, slush, lonely, forest or whatever the reason. Its going to be alirght at the end. And without a difficulty nothing is going to be achieved.

At the end; one can do this trip. Even could be extended provided that you have enough money for example 500 dollars permit for upper Mustand and more money in EBC area. One could even drive upto Jiri or Shivalaya and to avoid that expensive Lukla flight unless you fancy flying into the third most dangerous airport. But, tell you, you are a mere passenger, you are not a pilot. What a boring thing that it is. But this means two days of drive to and fro Kathmandu and four days extra trek. Monetaraliy it would come to the flight cost only I think. If you ask me, next time, I prefer driving and avoid Lukla flight altogether. More time to spend in Himalayas that way.

If any questions from any of the readers to help doing any sector of this trip, I can answer depending upon my experience and perception.

That’s the end of this travelogue.

PS: News of my trip came in the local telugu news paper. Here is the clipping.View attachment 753206
Khagesh ji.
Congratulations.
Wow and inspiring sir.
Read your TL with just two breaks.
Vicariously went to all those places you went, such details.

REgards
Satish
 

Khagesh

Well-Known Member
Khagesh ji.
Congratulations.
Wow and inspiring sir.
Read your TL with just two breaks.
Vicariously went to all those places you went, such details.

REgards
Satish
Thank you Satish.

As an after thought, I should have waited in writing my travelogue till I completely recuperated and then it could have been more detailed one. Like the journey itself even the travelogue was hurried a bit.

You know what, interestingly, I neither faced a single puncture on the bike nor a fall from the bike even in those hostile driving conditions. Is it not something very touching?

Nevertheless, I did fall twice, once near the bathroom in Kathmandu, so slippery and another time at a Dhaba nearing Kolkatta where they keep a big water tank for drivers to wash, there also i slipped and fell. Excepting these two incidents, never had a fall.

Driving itself was tense on those stormy rain and slushy roads to Muktinath and more even so returning from Kathmandu via short cut, again storm there.

As I think now, I myself wonder if that was truly me? And that day when oxygen level went down to 63 on EBC trek. But all this, as we asked for adventure and ventured out. So no complaints.
 

Khagesh

Well-Known Member
What a fate? Or should I call it a fate at all? Having done such long solo trip to Nepal and Leh on my bike never met with any accidents. Last Monday, while commuting to my workplace on my bike, on a deserted road a rider in front of me took a sudden right turn and you can imagine the rest. Severely bruised. Lucky nothing of that sort happened on my long trips.

This is what I had been trying to tell in my travelogues, He was there all the time, protecting us, yes us, its me and my bike.
 

Khagesh

Well-Known Member
Hope you are recovering well. Get back to your riding adventures soon!
Cheers
S
Thank you. Yes I am recovering but a long way to go. Deep gashes. Helmet saved me a lot from possible fatality. My advise for all the riders is to wear helmet however the short ride it is. Had I worn my gloves, I would not have had these gashes. Luckily no broken bones.
 

Bladebringer

New Member
Very interesting story. Please tell us what kind of flora and fauna there is. I just study to be a biologist and I am very interested in the animal and plant world of different countries. I would be very grateful for your information)
 

Khagesh

Well-Known Member
Very interesting story. Please tell us what kind of flora and fauna there is. I just study to be a biologist and I am very interested in the animal and plant world of different countries. I would be very grateful for your information)
Thank you for your interest. My journey spanned over 38 days covering different kinds of flora and fauna. I can gather you were referring to the flora and fauna of Nepal in Mustang and Annapurna sector. Assuming my guess is correct here I reply;

Unfortunately I havent encountered any fauna in wild. This is the saddest part of solo rides. The ride itself takes away the attention off the surroundings. Even on those EBC trekking days I haven't not encountered any wild animals excepting a brief sighting of musk deer just after Phunki Tenga. I had roamed traveled and lived a good part of time in Nilgiris where many had seen cheetahs but my luck never went beyond elephants, antlers, bisons, porcupines, boars etc. Now, the snow Leopard in Mustang area which is famous? Naa, not that lucky. Very unfortunate. May be they were looking at me, I was to busy in maneuvering my bike in that terrain. Nevertheless I could see birds but that too far away soaring in Himalayan valleys but then all the time bad weather overcast sky.

Coming to flora, typical Himalayan vegetation firs, deodars, many scrubs on upper reaches which unfortunately I do not know the names for my knowledge in botany is almost zero. Having said that, Rhododendrons caught my attentions and a group of biologists from Kathmandu were collecting the flowers. Then this Bhuj trees from where we get Bhujpatra caught my attention. While coming back I personally was very interested to collect some rudrakshas from trees or collectors in Terrai region of Nepal but you would know the situation if you have read the travelogue. I had to take totally unplanned route through Raxaul to come back once again to Varanasi.

I know my reply is not upto the mark to a biologist yet, that was my attempt. There it goes. :)
 
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Tilak Francis

New Member
Enjoyed reading your travelogue over 5 days time span between my work. This weekend feb 23-24 riding to belum caves from vellore. searched for lingampet whether its on the way or near to meet in person. oh its beyond hyderabad. your trip is inspiring for me in 40's.
 

Khagesh

Well-Known Member
Enjoyed reading your travelogue over 5 days time span between my work. This weekend feb 23-24 riding to belum caves from vellore. searched for lingampet whether its on the way or near to meet in person. oh its beyond hyderabad. your trip is inspiring for me in 40's.
Thank you Tilak. Lingampet is about 15km NE of Jadcherla which is on Hyderabad Bengaluru Highway and Jadcherla is about 85 kms south of Hyderabad. Thats my location. From Vellore or from Belum Caves for that matter you would be travelling North to go to Hyderabad and its 85 Kms before Hyderabad.

Prior to Nepal trip I had a similar solo trip to Leh and the link is here My Journey to Leh just in case if reading interests you.

I myself read many travelogues and get oriented to the trip and for this reason I write for it could be helpful to other similar minded people.

Thank you once again Tilak. Hope to read your travelogue soon. :)
 
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