Day tripin in Kathmandu valley

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by rogerdodger, Feb 1, 2009.

  1. rogerdodger

    rogerdodger Been here awhile

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    spent a couple of months in Nepal, Mountain biking, food poisoning, hiking the Annapurna Circuit, a 250 km walk, with a 5,600 meter pass and finally just before I left rented a bike for the day and cruised around the valley from which Kathmandu lies.

    This is actually leaving, but hey you dont know the difference and it makes this story flow more if I say its me arriving! I actually arrived after a 27 hour bus ride from Varinasi india.
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    Everest some big ass mountain everyone kept going on about, hey you can't ride up it so who cares.
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    Always check out the local constabulary before you ride a bike. Some how a police woman with a big fuck off knife looks way more scary then one carrying a gun.
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    After riding in Bali and Thailand, even the crazy traffic in Kathmandu didnt seem bad. I kinda enjoy having no road rules.
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    Be back later tonight to add some more, In Singapore at the moment and I really need to get out and see the place. awesome little two strokes racers all over this island, but the bikes are really expensive and no where to rent anything. :(
    #1
  2. rogerdodger

    rogerdodger Been here awhile

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    Bikes are certainly the most convenient way to get around in Nepal. The import tax makes them expensive and means you only see, s
    small engine imports from India, China and Japan. I rented a little 125 yamaha for 400r for the day, about $4.50!
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    Kathmandu is an amazing city. From over a thousand years ago its been a main trading route from China and Tibet. Walk down any street or alley and you'll find some little entry way to ancient old courtyards.
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    The view from Patan over Kathmandu with the valley in the background and the Himalayas beyond.
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    Absolutely nothing wrong with this place, got years of good service left in her. Just dont take those 4x4's away.
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    Ok enough of the tourist shit, lets go ridin. heading out on the road north up into the hill's and it gets rural very fast.
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    since everyday has been a holiday for the last year, Id forgoten it was a Saturday and everyone was heading for the hills.
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    Doesnt matter what day of the week it is, the buses are always packed. In Pokhara I rode the roof of a jeep for about 30 miles through the mountains.
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  3. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    Now that's completely different :thumb and the rental is a bargain!

    :lurk
    #3
  4. rogerdodger

    rogerdodger Been here awhile

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    Man Im telling ya, everything in Nepal is a bargain, its an awesome place.
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  5. bosco

    bosco Raybanned

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    :ear
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  6. Chanderjeet

    Chanderjeet IndiYeah !!

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    My Neighboring Country.
    I would like to visit it my self.
    Himalayas are quite fascinating aren't they....
    I see you rented a yamaha libero. Nice
    #6
  7. rogerdodger

    rogerdodger Been here awhile

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    Good eye on the bike! Id wanted to try out a Pulsar but they wanted 800r for those and im a cheap bastard.

    My plan is to head back to india in July to travel Himachal Pradesh, Kashmir and Ladakh. I think you've done those already. But then im going back to Nepal, so stay intouch and maybe we can head over together.
    #7
  8. rogerdodger

    rogerdodger Been here awhile

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    I came up behind some other riders and was happy to sit on their tale. You never know when some big ass truck is going to be coming round the corner on your side of the road, so I was happy to let them take the hit first. After passing through some military check points, which it seems bikes dont have to stop for, we came to a village and the other bikes pulled over. I'm pretty close to the Tibet boarder so seemed like a good point to stop for tea. chatted with the other riders, then started to head back down into the valley.

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    Crazy that even in remote villages where people live on and below the poverty line,everyone is on a cell phone. By the way the average yearly income in Nepal is 25,000r about $350
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    Getting back into Kathmandu and the lovely traffic.
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    Theres one loop road round Kathmandu. Its a crazy mess of bikes, trucks, buses, buffalo and pedestrians. Its amazing to think that just back in the 50's there wasnt even a road into Kathmandu. I read the book Annapurna the first 8,000m peak, while I was hiking, and it told of how even though there was no road to Kathmandu, there was still a few roads and 100 cars in Kathmandu. how did they get there? Porters carried them over the mountains from India! 50 to 60 porters per car.

    Driving round the ring road I saw two motorcycles go down within the space of 10 minutes. no one hurt, but on a daily basis the roads out in the country have buses and trucks that go over the side of the cliffs for one reason or another. Lately theres been a lot of talk in the papers about the drunk bus drivers.

    The ring road
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    I wass heading out to the west side of town to check out a road Id come in on by bus. its the main road into Kathmandu and hooks up with the main road in from India. So its pretty crowded and today there had been a bus that had over heated on the steep climb over the pass.
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    #8
  9. Chanderjeet

    Chanderjeet IndiYeah !!

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    Wow, they are charging you a lot of money for rentals. If you are paying nepali rupees then its extra expensive. Usually they'd rent you a 500cc bullet for around 400 a day here.

    But if you are going to spend some time riding and thinking of doing the same in india, why dont you buy a used bike in nepal. It might cost you less than paying rents. Then when you are done, take it back to nepal and sell it off.
    #9
  10. rogerdodger

    rogerdodger Been here awhile

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    Bikes are 3 times as expensive in nepal as they are in India, so yeah it stands to reason that the rentals are more expensive there. but remember an Indian Rupee is worth 1.6 NR so its still dirt cheap.

    The plan had been to buy a bike in India, but i had such a great time in nepal I ran out of time. If your buying a bike, far better to buy it in India and ride to Nepal then come back to sell it in India. because weesterns cant get documentation and because if you sell a bike in Nepal you have to show that youve paid the taxes, you get a lot less on resale in nepal than you do in India.
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  11. JED

    JED Been here awhile

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    Keep it comming, I did helicopter, DeHavalin, Bus and my own two good feet up (about 5000m) and away a couple years ago while vacation there. No place like it!! Have as much fun as you can stand while your there. Pretty hard to get back once you come home. Not sure my heart is strong enough to ride the motobike and deal with all the traffic.
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  12. rogerdodger

    rogerdodger Been here awhile

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    made it out of the valley and sat off down a hillside for lunch to watch the traffic slowly winding its way into Kathmandu.

    The road surface is actually pretty good here, but you still have to watch out for potholes and trucks on the wrong side of the road. Road rules here are, the bigger you are the more right of way you have.

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    Heading back to Kathmandu I stopped at a quarry Id been at the day before. This seemed to be the local hang out place. there's no heavy machinery working the quarry just people breaking rocks by hand for 60r a day, less than a dollar.

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    This girl is one of the rock breakers.
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    They start them really young here, everyone does their bit to support the family.
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    at another part of the quarry they were even shooting a Bollywood moive
    The director explains what he wants.
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    Then he calls for "action"
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    since it was a Saturday, girls were out, dressed up for the day. I got chatting to these two, rachana and Saru.
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    Saru decides to try her hand at rock breaking
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    Like other Asian countries 3 or 4 people on a bike is considered normal. The girls and I were getting along nicely so they suggested we go get dinner back in town, they didnt give it a second thought as to both of them getting on the bike. but through sign language and bad english I gathered that the police will stop you for having more than one person on a bike, but no problem them girls know where the cops are and so just before some intersections they would tug at me and one would jump off and walk for a 100 yards and sure enough there would be a cop, then theyd jump back on and off we went again.
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    #12
  13. rogerdodger

    rogerdodger Been here awhile

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    Yeah its a magical place for sure, and changing fast, like everywhere in the world. im actually in Singapore now and heading to NZ, but I already have plans to return in October, whether that happens or not is yet to be seen.
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  14. JED

    JED Been here awhile

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    NZ and Bangkok etc. is there any place you havenot been? NZ has so many great roads and easy access to motorcycles if you have the time get on two wheels and lose yourself!!!!! Have fun. Check your PM
    #14
  15. schismatic

    schismatic Been here awhile

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    looks like a pretty fantastic place to do some riding.
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  16. J.W.Mudd

    J.W.Mudd "Moto Loco"

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    Wow what a change!

    Back in the 70's & 80's I would spend six months a year working in Nepal, guiding mountaineering trips. At that time there were maybe 12 bikes total in the whole country! Between trips I would rent a Honda 250 dirt bike and take off exploring the trails and backroads. Ah those were the days!!!

    Pakistan was another area I spent time in leading trips. Now there is a place that offers some wild riding areas! Swat Valley, Hunza, Skardu, Karakorum Highway beyond words!!!!

    Thanks for sharing your adventure and photos!














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  17. rogerdodger

    rogerdodger Been here awhile

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    yeah lots of places i havent been, thats what Im trying to put right now. :D
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  18. rogerdodger

    rogerdodger Been here awhile

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    I want to finish this little report with a word about the Annapurna range. Its part of the himalayas west of Kathmandu, over by Nepals second city Pokhara. its a beautiful place. I did a 250 km hike around the range that took 2 weeks. You walk anti clockwise, and at almost dead on 12.00 you hit Thorung Pass at 5,600 meters. Makes for a pretty tough days hiking to get you over that pass and back down to Muktinath at about 3500 meters. Now the reason Im mentioning this place is it would make a fantastic adventure ride. A road of some description was blasted in through valleys over the last couple of years. With a bit of luck i'll be back in October to do the ride. This is some of what you get to see.
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    Your only a stones throw from Tibet at this point..ok well youd have to have a pretty strong arm to reach Tibet, but its only about 70km
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    where else in the world can you ride and say, "look out for that yak!"
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    Im told parts of the road get washed out on a regular basis during the rainey season. Even in the dry time when I was there, you could see washed out parts that people just gingerly skirted around.
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    Ok well thats it.
    #18