sexta-feira, 27 de agosto de 2010

Lhasa / Kathmandu - 15th Day - Kathmandu!

Dhulikhel (1500m) - Kathmandu (1600m)
Distance - 32km
Everything comes to an end...even the greatest experiences must come to an end…but it was with a deep feeling of completion, achievement and satisfaction that I finally made the last kilometers to Kathmandu.
Despite the pollution and the noise, the 15th day was the easiest day of the journey…cycling 32 km from Dhulikhel to Kath was more like a “walk in the park”.
Only one or two hours were between me and Kathmandu, however I had already begun my “recovery program”. The company that arranged the bike tour to the group I met on the way (Makalu, Co.) invited me to stay in the same Hotel they stayed….and I must say, this could not have been better! The Hotel was really nice! With excellent facilities, a great view over the Himalayas and with a cuisine that could put anyone into ecstasy J. And, at last, the most important, I had the opportunity to share the last moments of my journey with cheerful friends from Spain, Italy, UK and Germany.
Despite the fact that I tried to live intensely every single kilometer of the last day, both my heart and mind were already looking forward to start the next journey! The Himalayas were waiting for me...and I could barely wait to find myself lost in them J
I knew that I had to be back from the mountains on the 17th of September. So I decided to stay a few days in Kath to recover myself. On September 5th I caught a Bus to Besi Sahar, the village where the 250km circuit around the Annapurna starts.
This time I have two pictures to share and a small movie that was recorded in the very moment I arrived at Thamel, in Kathmandu.


Sorry about the portuguese speech ;) ...and for those who understands portuguese, sorry about the "arrrrrrrr" between words, eheheh...I was improvising :)

Thanks Apolo!!

quarta-feira, 25 de agosto de 2010

Lhasa / Kathmandu - 14th Day

Zhangmu (2250m) - Dhulikhel (1500m)
Distance - 90km

Farewell Tibet...I wish you all the best for your mountains and your cheerful people!

After crossing the border the ride for my big backpack ended. Fortunately I had managed to solve this problem a few days before. I was supposed to wait one day for the other team near the border. Their journey was arranged by a nepali company and they were driving a big truck that was carrying all the equipment, all the way from Lhasa to Kathmandu. So, the logistic problem was solved!

Zhangmu is a village located at the border in the Tibet side. A trading post and a port of entry located in Nyalam County. When I got there I was astonished by the hundreds of nepalie truks parked in a long queue offloading goods and transfering them to trucks from the opposite country. The single narrow zigzag street of Zhangmu makes this an especially difficult operation.

Every truk is a single piece of art. The decoration and the painting area taken very seriously by the drivers. But, more important than the decoration are the horns...this and the pollution would became a nigthmare on the way to Dhulikhel...

I was again experiencing the same feeling that I had felt everytime I moved to different places and cultures. A mix of motivation, enthusiasm and a sense of discovery a different "world" that I was about to see with my own eyes :-) My eyes were again the eyes of a child looking at world wonders!

The challenge of the high altitudes were now far away, however my first day in Nepal was about to become the hardest of the journey. My body and mind were again put into proof...the challange now was called heat, tropical humidity and heavy panniers :)

At the border and about to cross the Friendship Bridge.

Nepal side. Zhangmu at the top.

Children on their way to school.

Old ladies carrying loads

Rice fields

This was the last picture I took. I was only halfway to my destination...from this point I struggled a lot to transfer all my energies to the wheels...

quinta-feira, 19 de agosto de 2010

Lhasa / Kathmandu - 13th Day

Camping (4000 m) - Zhangmu (2250 m)
Distance - 70km

What was brown and yellow yestarday became white during the dawn of my 13th day. And, beleave me, I was completely anaware and got really surprised when I awaked and saw that everything got white...I was getting more used to the day by day efford but in the other hand my tierdness was growing really fast and that became the solution and terapy for my wakeful problem. Now I was sleeping like a rock :-)

Despite the unusual and very interesting colour of the mountains surrouding us (dark brown and grey), the village was surrounded by small factories, most of them brick factories. And probably most of the villagers were workers. However there was a primary school nearby and our presence made a very special evening for tens of children. In the end of the day I realised that most of them slept inside the school. In fact that happens in most of the shools in Tibet because of the distances and the severety of the weather.

After a long breakfast, essential to warm up my soul, I was back on the road that was still heading down. My last day in Tibet was finally rolling at the same speed of the wheels of my bike...I was about to get into a completely different scenario :) Greener, warmer, wet, more wet, hilly and bumpy scenario.

After all one thing got a special place in my book of memories: a long and very steep valley with hundrends of waterfalls everywhere. The road was rough but at the same time an amazing engineering feat! This is the road that was built to link two countries, two different worlds that were divided by the himalayas!

My last day in Tibet...
The snow and the wind almost crushed one of our tents

A small village surrounded by farm fields and snowy mountains

Brown turns to green...

Does anyone see the stupa??

The valley of the waterfalls!

Getting into tropical weather

One of the beautiful roads I ever done :-)

Da Wa

A stranger in a strange land ;-) ...and his bike!

The driver

Zhangmu and Nepal...

Our last meal together...