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!|
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!