Thursday, 7 July 2016


We awoke early and headed down to Smoking Joe's to meet the guys,  finalize plans and get our bikes packed, before setting out into the rat maze of madness that is Kathmandu traffic.  Day 1 will see us make our way to Pokhara, jumping off point for the bulk of the trekking tours.

Troy's bike

My beast for the trip!

 To be honest, it was a little daunting at first, the traffic situation coupled with a very unfamiliar bike left me on high alert and not really able to relax until almost an hour later when we were clear of the city proper.

Even once out of the city, road and traffic conditions do not improve much and we cruise along at a fairly slow pace before coming to an almost grinding halt at the first mountain pass. 

There is some political unrest here presently, as per usual after an election - half of the population are not at all happy with the result!  There were droves of people coming into town to protest and all the trucks, buses and cars that use this already crowded and dangerous mountain pass, are at a standstill.  

We duck and weave our way through this madness,  never really able to take in the amazing views or blast around one of the hundreds of tight winding corners on this pass.  Though we can see for literally miles, the traffic backed up and unmoving as the roads snake their way up, down and around the mountains we are on.

The riding is a little slow and we are basically stuck behind our leader, having to go at his pace, another reason I generally dont do tours.  It becomes too much for me and as soon as I see some open road i'm gone, tearing past Julian and feeling like i'm actually riding.

Watching somebody's taillight and following them at their pace just doesn't allow you to ride properly, to experience what we ride for - an open road, the wind in your face and that feeling of freedom.  To me, following somebody like that isn't riding,  it's merely sitting on a bike.

I keep the guys in sight though and pull over for pictures, a cigarette etc until they catch up again, you still need to keep your group together.  But I needed to see what the bike could do and open it up, well as best you can here with the crazy traffic and poor road conditions.

We have a few quick stops, including a local Nepali style lunch which was delicious, and with only a couple of hours left to ride, the heavens open up on us and we get absolutely soaked.  The storm gets so bad we shelter in a concrete hut somewhere in the mountains, freezing cold and soaked to the bone.

Nepali Lunch

Absolutely soaked and freezing cold.... "na...  i don'tneed one of those dry, warm leather jckets you have at the shop..."    F#*@ing idiot I am!!

The last run into Pokhara takes what feels like forever, as we have to ride super slow, conditions are wet, dark and dangerous, my body feels like ice. Wet, twisting mountain roads full of huge potholes, large trucks and low visibility do not make for relaxing riding! 

As we finally roll into Pokhara I am so cold I can barely move my hands, they are almost frozen in riding position, but we've made it!  A great day's riding with a slight hiccup - you never tell the stories about the days everything went perfectly anyway!!

We check into Hotel Greenland and I go buy some dry, warmer clothes before grabbing a much needed hot shower and then of course it's....   Beer o'clock!  We grab some dinner at a nice restaurant near the hotel, before heading to the local hotspot, Busy Bee    , where seemingly everybody in town likes to hang out!

Busy Bee is a huge bar with great service, food, live music and absolutely buzzing with atmosphere,  don't miss it!