Journey Reports

Nepal   January 11th 2017, Birendranagar, Nepal
The Himalayas


Jakob & Ernest:

The last days in India were for us only a pure kilometer-winding. Those 7 weeks on the hectic and overcrowded streets of India we both could well compare with our school days in nursing on the psychiatric stations. Only now did we feel that we were soon to be among the inmates.

The longing for quietness, untouched nature and the mountains was so great that we saw ourselves on the Nepalese border faster than we thought. The border crossing was like a small village in the middle of nowhere. No paved roads and no official buildings, let alone barriers. Unhindered, we drove past incurious, dreary Indian soldiers to Nepal. In a small house we should pick up our "Visa on Arrival". With satisfied adventurer smile, we held our passports to the frontier officials and rummaged through our bags for the 200 Dollar visa fees.

After a few minutes the official asked for our Indian exit stamp.

Stunned, we had to go back two kilometers over the runway and tell the Indian officials that we did not come from Nepal, but actually from India and just need the exit stamp. After wild gesticulating and half an hour later we were able to drive again towards Nepal.

In the beginning everything was like in India. The landscape was still flat, this impetuous honking and the many people, even the currency did not allow to conclude being in another country.

The next day then was the beginning of our mental recovery. The first mountains appeared in a few kilometers in the misty dawn. The villages became smaller, and the roads slowly began to meander the wooded mountains.

The Nepal adventure had begun!

The next two days we went steadily uphill. Soon we were surrounded by fresh air, mountains and a dreamlike nature. We camped in small villages, got a camp fire in the evening and in the morning made by children, and received freshly prepared food from our replacement mothers. The people in the small mountain villages often live in mud huts. Meals are cooked over the fire, and a living is usually made only by farming. In many villages we saw mostly women who looked after the animals, the house and the children. The economic situation in Nepal is even worse than in India. Many men search for work in India or in Arab states and send the few remaining wages home to their families.

We enjoyed every day the wonderful weather and the great views. But of course our luck did not last very long. On a small ascent a pedal of Ernest's bicycle broke with a loud crack.

When we looked at the weakened screw thread, we saw our dream of riding through the Himalayas hanging by the filament, and our mood dropped accordingly. Luckily, we found an English-speaking Nepalese in the next village, who invited us to stay in his house, thereby giving Ernest the opportunity to bridge the few kilometers to the next village by bicycle and a bus. When he arrived there, he quickly realized that a repair was impossible and our dream slowly took off. Late in the evening, frustrated and exhausted, he reached in a truck the small village, where we were taking shelter.

The helpful Nepalese encouraged us and promised a solution to the problem. After we had arrived the next day in Dadeldhura, the next larger village, Ernest and our new friend made a search for a thread cutter.

We would not have thought it possible, but there was actually a trained man at the right machine in the middle of the Himalayas who cut a perfect new thread and repaired the pedal. To this day, this is a mystery to us, but miracles really exist, dear readers ;-)

New Year's Eve we celebrated in our sleeping bags in a 4-euro hotel and spoiled our victory against the bad luck and the New Year with a Jim Beam Bourbon, which we had carried 500 kilometers from India in our pockets.

The New Year welcomed us in the following 10 days with fantastic tours and enormous sporting challenges. Not a single tourist showed up in the fantastic landscape. Once again we were the only exotics in the mountains, where one knows bicycles only from stories.

For four days we drove through areas that were free of electricity, let alone paved roads. The bicycles and we came to our borders on the furrowed, muddy and dusty paths, which snaked through the mountains without a hedge. If we had to avoid the swaying buses that spiked through the roads with spinning tires, we only had to deal with fear by simply watching. The outsides of the buses were adorned with mud and vomit. The only contact with the outside world for the locals was this street. To imagine this is still beyond our imagination.

To date, the experiences and the incredible nature that we enjoy here are unique on our journey. In the last 10 days we have managed over 10,000 meters difference in altitude upwards and about the same amount downwards. Even if we are currently at the zenith of our physical performance, the Himalayas are still a tremendous challenge for us.

So far we have seen some white peaks on the horizon, but in the next days we will be able to admire mountains like the 8091 meters high Annapurna Wikipedia from the saddle of our bike.

{Translation from German: Webmaster}

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Comments to this report:

Burkhard writes:

January 16th 2017, 21:09

Jungs, ihr seid um die herrlichen Einblicke in dieses Land zu beneiden! Die Bilder auf dem entsprechenden Link erzeugen in mir Wünsche und Sehnsüchte.
Aber ich hab ja meinen Teil gehabt und freue mich für euch.
Genießt eure jugendliche Kraft und das Erleben einer imponierenden Bergwelt.

Liebe Grüße

Martin Heilscher writes:

January 21st 2017, 01:17

Hallo Freunde,
Schön, dass ihr nach all eueren Strapazen die wunderbaren Berge genießen könnt.
Und welch ein Wunder, in diesem schwach besiedeltem Land so einen Fachmann zu finden👍.
Es ist toll, dass ihr trotz der Anstrengungen die euch abverlangt werden, die Menschen und die Natur in vollen Zügen erleben könnt. Die Menschlichkeit in all der Fremde ist ein Geschenk, das leider viel zu selten Teil unseres Lebens ist. Es ist ein Segen, für uns euch zu begleiten.
Schont euere Waden, ihr werdet sie dr7ngekd brauchen.
Wir freuen uns schon auf euere Bilder.
Grüßle aus der Ferne.

ernest und jakob writes:

January 26th 2017, 05:42

Hey ihr lieben,
Vielen Dank wieder einmal für eure schönen Worte und eure Motivation. Hier auf den Pässen sind wir auch mkt unseren noch jugendlichen Kräften an unsere Grenzen gekommen. Bald mehr dazu im nächsten Bericht! Liebe Grüße aus Phokara;)

Steffi writes:

January 30th 2017, 23:17

Ihr habt es mal wieder geschafft, mir während des Lesens quieckende Laute zu entlocken und beim Betrachten der Bilder Tränen in die Augen steigen zu lassen. Wunderschön und lebendig und für mich fast unwirklich. Ihr seid fanastisch! Danke und weiter viel Erfolg und weitere "Wunder" auf Eurer besonderen Reise!

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