Monday, December 1, 2014

Day 9 - Kagbeni to Tatopani Heading down again...

Kagbeni - Tatopani

Enjoyed another Tsampa porridge breakfast at Paradise Trekkers Home.  The wifi was good, so I took my time and posted another blog post.

Loaded up the bike around 10am and set out for Jomsom.  The fuel light had been flashing on and off on the bike but I think it was just due to the bumpiness of the road and fuel splashing around in the tank, but I wasn’t really sure.  I certainly didn’t want to run out of fuel out here, as it would turn into an entire day process to get more fuel and carry on.

The road out of Kagbeni was just as rough going back towards Jomsom as it was coming up.  I wondered if I’d get used to the harshness of the road and it would seem less so, but this was not the case.

The wind had picked up already and now I was riding into it.  I made it to Jomsom without a problem.  I found the ATM and replenished my Nepali rupee stash.  I’d been running thin, leaving me with very little buffer for things like an extra night or any incidentals that could pop up.

I then walked next door to a little storefront and asked where I could get some petrol.  The boy working there pointed to the shop next door.  I went in and bought three liters of fuel, which were handed to me in reused liter water bottles.  190 rupees per liter. (Just under $7/gallon!)  

Next it was off to the motorcycle repair shop to get a new nut for the engine mount bolt and to get the chain lubed.  This was a quick and painless process.  The kid working at the shop came out with the right nut in moments and a little old-school oil can like my grandpa had.  The chain lube of choice in these parts… used motor oil.

The wind was picking up intensity and as I looked down valley I could see clouds socking in.  I decided that if the weather got bad I would stop and spend the night in Tukuche or Marpha.

I didn’t want to be in a hurry on these roads.  The scenery wasn’t as good as when I was staring at ice-capped peaks around every corner but it was still very impressive.  It felt good to get out of the high alpine environment and get back down into the pine trees and vegetation.

The weather held out, just cloudy and windy.  The road was really wearing on my body and all I could think about was getting to the hot springs in Tatopani.   I remembered that I had one big water crossing between Ghasa and Tatopani and prepared myself again for wet feet.

But soon I was pulling up to Dhaulagiri Lodge, and even sooner I was getting into the hot springs to soak away all the lack of suspension on the Royal Enfield.  To have a BMW GS here would be incredible.  The roads would actually be fun, instead of first gear survival.

Good folks to chat with at the hot springs and over dinner.  It’s Thanksgiving in the USA.  My Nepali Dal Baht was far from turkey and trimmings, but tasty and substantial nonetheless.  I was happy that I’d made it back to Tatopani.  

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