Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Over the Hills and Far Away...

Dear Dan,

Today I missed you especially much! After our adventures in Paris dodging big buses and finely escaping death or at the least gruesome dismemberment, I felt ready to brave the mostly paved village roads of eastern Nepal! Just outside of Kathmandu, still nestled in this gorgeously sleepy valley, are a series of villages.

My scene most of the way - hills surrounding farms



Such beauty in Linear Forms!


I bravely rented a bike and wandered, aimlessly but so fulfillingly, through fields, over potholed streets, and by 42 trucks waiting relentlessly in an endless line for fuel that doesn't exist. 

The infamous gas stations...

...and 42 trucks waiting for gas. That was the shortest line I have seen since coming to Nepal!

I did it!

Thanks to my trusty friend!

Most of the road was like this

And some was like this!
I also saw village life in action and heard children chanting their times tables and howling (in two separate locations ;). Animal life in the village was thriving as you will see below in the pictures. My biggest fear, apart from being run over by a speeding jeep and falling down a cliff, was being chased by a rabid dog and having to defend myself with my water bottle and trusty mountain bike. I practiced my loudest and most threatening roar as I sped down one hill. I did amuse a few disarming passers-by but tragically failed to alarm or frighten any living beings. Which was maybe for the best since the dogs couldn't care less if I were dressed in a lion suit (it's Halloweek, right? ;) or if I had descended from Jupiter. So, I didn't need my ultra-rehearsed roar. 



Share the road!


Symbiosis


But I did need some other things -I was very grateful that I had water with me since most of the ride was a cruel but challenging marriage of uphill and downhill. I was also grateful I had some sense of navigation. And even with that, I missed one exit and had to take a detour half a mile up a steep hill. I was also glad about wearing salwaar-kameez so I didn't stick out *that* much and that Nepali and Hindi are so closely related! 


I rode 11.4 kms to a village called Sankhu!

Share the road!

Christmas trees in Nepal in October!





People Busying Around

All in all, people minded their own business, which was quite intense - spraying insecticide on their crops,   shaffing wheat, tending to their homes and shops, taking care of their roosters and cows, harvesting crops, and people-watching. 


Many temples like this everywhere - many crumbled during the earthquake


The pace - that's what struck me the most. Automobiles were rushed, but people - no, there was absolutely no sense of urgency. It was infectiously relaxing! The hills were teeming. Green, and playing a serious game of hide and seek with low-hanging clouds. I got truck-exhaust-blasted and dust-hurled at a few times and felt so grateful for our crisp pristine Colorado air and unbelievable bike trails. We're so stupendously spoiled where we live!

I was proud of myself today for leaning into my fears and am excited to note my improved skills as a biker.

I'm also excited to continue our biking adventures together!

My Nemo,

Suparna

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