I remember that moment quite clearly. We walked through small streets and suddenly we appeard on a (round) square just in front of a big white stupa called Boudhanath. Tibetian flags were flying above our heads, we smelled incense and we could hear prayers and sound of prayers grinders. There were tourists walking around us as well as many Tibetans, because this stupa is the holiest Tibetan Buddhist temple outside Tibet. But we didn’t move. We stood quiet holding our bikes, smiling and alternately looking at each other and at The Eyes of Buddha. Wow. We did it! We are in our dreamy Nepal. The country, which has been on the top of list of countries we would like to visit for many years.
A few first days we spent in Kathamndu. We assembled bikes in a hotel nearby an airport and then moved closer to the city centre. We used the Warmshower app again and we got a room at Pushkar’s place. Pushkar is a Nepalese legend, he has biked around the world and visited over 160 countries and he has also climbed Everest. His house is kind of an oasis for cyclists and we appreciated hanging around with another people and sharing our stories.
Our days in Kathmandu were flying fast. We did some sightseeing and tasted Nepalese cuisine. We fell in love with Dal Baht – lentil soup, curry, pickles and rice. Or MoMo dumplings. And Masala Tea! Our vegetarian hearts couldn’t be happier:-)
Despite we enjoyed our stay in Kathamndu, we couldn’t wait to bike again and see Himalayas. But first we had to get to Pokhara. Biking on a highway we rejected immediately. Instead we opted for a week long ride in foothills of Himalayas.
We left Kathmandu on 31st March and the first day was a good example what we could expect the next week. We climbed up to the altitude 1800 m asl. and then streight down to 500. And then up again. Sometimes there was a nice tarmac road but sometimes (often) there was only a bumpy and dusty „road“. We finished the first day quiet late, tired and dirty but happy.
The next days were almost the same. We biked/hiked the bike on a windy road all the way up to a saddle, where we could enjoy a view for a while and then descended down again. And then up. There were only hills around us and neverending fields built even on the steepest slopes. Locals were watching us with big smiles but sometimes they looked confused. What are they doing here? Oh yeah, I asked the same question to myself, especially when I was hiked the bike on the worst and steepest road ever. And what am I going to do in REAL Himalayas?
Fortunately we planned a rest day in Gorkha, the former capital of Nepal. It had been 4 days since we left Kathamndu. We used the Warmshower once again and we met an awesome Nepalese guy Birendra. He looked after us like we were royalty. We visited a palace and a temple together and next day he joined us on his bike for a part of our day. What a nice ride! Thank you Birendra!
After 7 days and (only?) 270km we finally made it to Pokhara and we could meet Gary again. We met him for the first time on Timber Trail in New Zealand some 6 months ago. He biked (same like us) Tour Aotearoa in the opposite way. That day we spent an evening together talking about biking, running and traveling and we knew it would be great to see each others one more time. It was mid February when we were texting again and planning that we all will be in Nepal in April. He liked our idea bikepacking Annapurna circuit in the opposite way (of course) and we liked the idea to bike with a company of English man. So here we are. Adventure of Bikepacking Annapurna Circuit can start!