– ODO- 12536 – 12631km
– Location- Attariya, Nepal
– Weather- 18-33 Clear with head wind
Today was my first border crossing in Asia. I left early from my hotel but was still stuck in a line of pedestrians, bikes and horse drawn carts to the border. My first impression was the disorder. In all borders I’ve crossed so far I’ve been channeled into lanes where, at the first window, my visa is stamped and payment made then at the next I complete customs. At the Indian side of the border I went all the way through to the military police point before being told to retrace my steps and visit the immigration office to get my exit stamp. I cycle back past the dissipating queue and found a two story concrete building marked “Immigration”. Once I entered the office the process was very simple – just filling in and signing a couple of thick A4 books.
Down the road I followed the locals flowing through without issue. On the Nepal side there weren’t any gates or security at all. I could have just pedalled through but I was wise this time about needing my visa. I stopped in a small office with two desks. The visa was arranged with two forms, my passport photo and $100 cash of picked up in Delhi. They also exchanged some money for a rate which matched my XE currency app.
6km down the road I got to Bhimdatta and found the first atm worked with my Monzo card and continued to the Nepal telecom building. It’s clear it’s the state carrier. It looks more like and office building. Once inside, and with one trip across the road for a photocopy of my passport (which was free), I had my sim. It worked briefly but stopped after lunch. It turned out I had to dial a special code (*1415#) and select – plan for myself. I used recharge.com to top uk then purchased a plan. Fingers crossed it will stick.