– ODO- 12879 – 13002km
– Location- Lumbini, Nepal
– Weather- 18-33 Storm hit about 9am followed by strong headwind.
Last night I planned to camp out again. After oversleeping the night before I was about 50km short of the forest I’d chosen on the map. Even if I hadn’t overslept the weather had other ideas. Around 3-30pm the sky took a sudden shift from its usual haze to deep grey. I pushed deeper in the forest and turned off on a track that took me down to a stream bed. There are a lot of dry stream beds at regular intervals on this highway. My plan was to sleep on the bank of the river. As I descended I heard the sounds of trucks and diggers. It seems they use the stones and sand from the rivers here for the road construction. I settled somewhere half way between in a large clearing.
The sky became black as I rushed to put the tent up. I primed the stove with petrol, lit the flame, waited, then opened the valve slowly. It went straight out. Damn. I had to wait five minutes for it to cool before I could try again. With everything laid out in the tent I scoffed my noodles. Heavy drops of rain began to fall as I took my last bites. I made sure all of my waterproof bags were double folded and tightened down and slid into the bivvy. I can only lay down in my tent which is really limiting. At some point I need to upgrade to something bigger.
The rain hit and the sound of thunder became a constant rolling boom. I finished my desert, sipped some water sideways from the bottle and lay back to listen. I’d downloaded an app recently that played sounds to help me sleep in a noisy hostel. My favourite sound on the app (called Rain Rain) was rain on a car roof. I love these sounds. As the centre of the storm came overhead the quality of the sound changed. Gusts drove walls of water into the side and front of the tent. The material around the door began to drip into a small puddle by my head. The whole storm past in an hour. Apart from another quick burst during the night. I slept soundly, if a little contorted, avoiding the puddle.
Waking early I packed with grey clouds still sitting in the distance. Most of my kit was damp (if not soaked) but it would be hours before the heat of the sun would dry it. I rolled the wet fabric into its bags and continued on the road. Today the flat highway took its first climbs through a narrow set of hills that cut south west. As I climbed the first the clouds opened again. My jacket held. After an hour the sun came out and dried me in minutes.
As for the rest of the kit, it’s been laid out less than the time it took you to read this post and is dry as a bone. Time to pack it up, get the sun tan cream on and get back on the road.