Road Trip! The Road to Bandipur


Our eagerly awaited week-long road trip didn’t get off to the best of starts. Our driver started the engine as we stood waiting to load the car with suitcases and it made a very disturbing strange noise, and belched black smoke from the exhaust. Three hours, 2 mechanic visits, 30 phone calls, three trips, and one replaced air filter later…we loaded the car and left quite a bit behind schedule. I was grateful that it wasn’t something more serious, but the late departure meant that we hit some traffic on the way out of Kathmandu, but even that wasn’t too bad. And the prospect of driving out of the dusty congestion kept us going as the city disappeared quite quickly turning into a two lane highway up and out of the valley.

Kathmandu to Pokhara Road

The first part of the road westward out of Kathmandu. Narrow windy roads with trucks are one thing, but when they are also resurfacing the road as well, its something else. Fortunately it wasn’t too congested and drivers were surprisingly well behaved.

Kathmandu to Pokhara road

And the dust! Its the dry season and the unpaved (or partially paved) roads cause an incredible amount of dust which coats the roadside plants so heavily that they are almost unrecognizable. I managed to snap this banana plant with one new, still freshly-green leaf. Poor thing…it won’t be green long.

kathmandu market

Market day and mandarin oranges are in season

Trisuli River

First glimpse of the Trisuli River. The river is low as its the dry season. Apparently it can be a raging torrent in the wet season

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One of many dusty towns that we drove through

I enjoyed our drive.  Nepal is so much more than Kathmandu’s chaos and trekking.  It was my first real chance to see villages without garbage, small town life, farms and farming towns, and the Trisuli river which ran with us on much of the journey.

The scenery was interesting and varied and the towns ranged from  pretty and agriculturally charming  to dusty, dirty transportation hubs.  I tried to capture a little of each as we flashed through it all on the 4-5 hour drive to Bandipur – our first stop for the night.

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First glimpse of the Annapurnas as we climbed the 7km mountain road up to Bandipur.

To be continued

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