From Kathmandu till elephant

The unrest is noticeable in Kathmandu every day. One day there are demonstrations by students, because they want discount for public transport.

The next day the garbage collectors start a strike which leaves the city with an overdoses of dirt and a disgusting smell. The taxi drivers block the important roads, because a colleague had been killed during the night. The rickshaw drivers don’t have work for days, because their boss increased the rent of the rickshaw’s. The evening before we leave there’s more breaking news on the Nepalese television: the Maoist Party resigns from the government, because things are going too slowly. This leads to a general strike.

After all the beautiful meetings in the Kathmandu Valley it’s time to start cycling again. At 7.30 am our bicycles are all packed and ready to go. Due to the strike it’s very quiet on the streets. There are almost no busses, which makes the cycling easier for us without all the black gasses blowing into our faces. Soon we are standing on top of the pass and we are looking down on the other side of the mountain. We can see the bending road going down to the valley and with our hands close to the breaks we start the beautiful descent. We have ridden this road a few times now, but it’s still amazing. The green hills covered with corn plants and banana trees, the small huts made of bamboo and straw, the playing and waving kids, the terraces with the bright green rice straws and the incredible brown stream of wild water of the Trisuli River.

In Muglin we turn left in the direction of the Terrai. The road becomes even smaller with on our left side a steep mountain and on our right side the swollen river. There is no lack of water here and we refresh ourselves now and then by one of the streams. We also witness that it goes wrong sometimes when we arrive at three little huts destroyed by a landslide. Big rocks and a lot of sand came down and didn’t leave much of the huts.

When we descended the last bit the scenery changes. The hills disappears and we can look a far distance on the flat land. The bicycle is here the way of transport and we are surrounded by cyclists and rickshaw’s. We turn of to Sauraha and the road changes into a small dirt road, with little huts on the side made ode of clay and straw. It starts raining and we see more people start working in the fields. Water is received here with open arms and is ideal for planting the rice.

Sauraha is situated next to the Chitwan National Park, where besides crocodiles there are rhino’s and tigers as well. You can enter the park on a back of an elephant. The streets of the village are often covered with elephant dung and in the back yards of the people there are big shelters made for the elephants. The big animals are treated very well here and it’s great to watch them.

When we are enjoying our breakfast in the morning at the riverside, we are surprised by six elephants who are coming to take a bath. The elephants seem to love their bath. They play around in the water, making noises, going under and throw the water in the air. It’s great to see. The owners of the elephants are having their animals fantastic under control. The women of the village aren’t afraid and are washing clothes at ten meters distance of the bathing animals.

We leave this special village and head to the border with India. The scenery doesn’t change but the people do. The atmosphere is more chaotic here and it feels like we are in India already. But before we are really entering India we have to receive our stamps in Birganj, which doesn’t seem to be easy. Before we know we are facing the Indian side of the border. The Indian police welcomes us into their country, but we still don’t have the stamps of Nepal. We cycle back into Nepal and we find the little custom house hidden below a tree. With two beautiful stamps in our passports we leave Nepal and we cross the border.

Katmandu-Bhaktapur-Kathmandu: 50 km
Kathmandu- Kurintar: 105 km
Kurintar – Sauraha: 64 km
Sauraha- Hetauda: 73 km
Hetauda- grens Birganj: 57 km
Total Nepal: 349 km



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