– ODO- 13536 – 13669km
– Location- Bagmati, Nepal
– Weather- 18-36 Super humid
My last diary from the road was on the 10th of April – a whole month ago. Pokhara is just perfect for me. The area with all the action is lakeside. A small strip of land between the ridge and the water. The city itself sprawls out across the wider strip of the valley to the east.
I began my time in Pokhara paragliding. I met up with a Canadian pilot called Kevin who joined me on a couple of spectacular hike and fly days. Starting at the Freedom cafe looking over the boats for breakfast. At about 9 am we started walking to Sarangot. The trail follows the construction of a new ski lift that will make the trip to the top a snap when it opens. An hour and a half surrounded by thick forest, monkeys calling as the soundtrack and the vultures sailing overhead looking for the first lift of the day. Flying isn’t allowed before 10 am so the first gliders take to the air just as we peak over the hill. After some water and a toilet break, most of the tandem pilots have gone and we launched into the busy sky, gaining height quickly in the warm air and flying off along the ridge.
The weekend we were flying there was a regional paragliding competition in the area. For the first time, I saw what racing paragliders is like. I was sitting up around 2000m in a big thermal, getting as much altitude as I could bank to fly down the ridge. I had been flying for half an hour and was about 5km from the launch. Below me, skimming over the trees, the gaggle of competition pilots streamed through. Turning here and there to catch bursts of lift but never wasting time. Continuing towards the next turning point. They covered those 5km in minutes.
I spent the middle week cycling to the highest lake in the world. But that’s a story for another time…
The rest of the time I was working and working hard. I picked an ideal flat overlooking the town and the forest behind on two large balconies. I felt more at home in my little flat that anywhere else I’ve lived over the years. In five minutes I could be down by the lake and the trendy hippie cafes, shops and bars.
I would rather have stayed in my little flat than go to dusty Kathmandu but I need a couple of weeks to process a new Indian visa and one for Myanmar also. The ride this morning has been smooth and mostly downhill. Toward the middle of the day, the temperature soared to 36 degrees. Nepal is far and away the most humid place I’ve ridden so far. I’m wishing clouds to form but a thick haze traps the humidity down in the valley with me. I’ll wait in the shade for a long lazy lunch and head back into the heat to climb up to Kathmandu tomorrow.