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.
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.
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.
Market day and mandarin oranges are in season
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
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.
First glimpse of the Annapurnas as we climbed the 7km mountain road up to Bandipur.
To be continued
I know this song and never made the connection! Bob Seger may be long gone from Kathmandu, but the music still hits a spot!
I hear that the truck that moves our stuff overland from Calcutta port to Kathmandu may have some similarities with this vehicle. Mmm….
We’re approaching the 120 day mark until we move and the months are starting to fill with due dates and moving realities. Back in July, it was a year away and more conceptual than anything. The lead up to Christmas was almost normal, although the realization was there that the one year mark had passed and seasonal activities and once-a-year events were not to be repeated during our stay in Manila. The fun, to-do items on the Filipino check list got revised and prioritized, but not much else affected every day life. Since Christmas with the countdown to departure looming, I have to admit I’ve been in a bit of a funk. There’s no good, specific reason why I am feeling less enthusiastic or energetic than usual. It seems to be a general rebellion against our life being put on hold until our travel orders are approved. The organiser part of me is on a practical path to take care of details that aren’t move specific: Taxes: in. Closets: clean. But the cheerleader in me is just sitting inert, looking at daily responsibilities and not feeling the love. I just don’t like feeling like I’m in stasis, and that’s how it seems right now. I know this will pass, and when it does it will be with a torrent of activity…(at least this time I don’t have to sell a house)… and I should be enjoying the quiet before the storm, but I’m not. Let’s get on with this thing already….!!