A Travellerspoint blog

John Wayne

Back in the game! The reset on the phone seems to have worked and the phone is working well. All of my photos have been saved and I'm slowly re downloading the lost music (when I have descent internet). Huge relief!
Life in Pokhara is really lovely and laid back. Back in 1992 it was a small town set by a lovely lake, now it's a city of 1 million people, but the "tourist" area is set by the lake and has a wonderful vibe - it has a great buzz and laid back hippy feel. Beautiful views of hills all around the lake, with hundreds of paragliders flying from the highest hill every hour. When the sky is clear, some of the huge mountains can be seen in the distance. The are hundreds of small cafes (many are vegan/vegetarian/organic) sell wonderful food and fresh juices, often over looking the lake. Any weight I may have lost walking has been put back - the food is just so good.
I've met some trekkers that I walked with, which has been great, catching up stories over a beer. An Australian lady, Ashleigh, who I met in the last few days of walking (who was doing an organised short trek) has been staying in a really nice hotel in Pokhara in a small "apartment". As my hotel didn't even have water coming out of the taps she suggested I shared her place. (Just friends - no funny business before rumours start!). I've got my own room, a great shower, balcony overlooks all the paragliders. There is even toilet roll provided! Luxury. So kind of her. We have a good laugh hanging out together.
Back to the title of the blog. Whilst having a beer in "the godfather" restaurant, I got chatting to the owner (shekhar) - a great smiley happy chappy. He suggested we went for a little bike ride the next day as a way of showing me around...it turns out he cycles every day and has legs the size of tree trunks. I turn up in football shorts/tee shirt/sandals, he has padded shorts, Lycra and a mega expensive mountain bike. His mate Om turns up - he's just returned from cycling! the 20 day trek I did around the Annapurna circuit, cycling over the 5416 m pass! They thought it would be fun to take me up the biggest hill around (sarangkot). It was all up incredibly steep Dusty, bumpy, Stony uneven dirt tracks. It was so steep that in places the front wheel left the ground! I'm glad I had done a bit of cycling before as it was incredibly tough going. It was 2 hours of sweating my nuts off (it was really hot and sunny) and gasping for a bit more air. I like a challenge, but this was getting to my limit. Heart was wondering what was happening. We stopped for a drink half way up and shekhar and om smoked a joint! At the top the views were amazing, overlooking Pokhara and the lake. The ride down was even steeper and bumpier. The other 2 guys whizzed down at a suicidal rate. I took it slowly, fearing broken limbs if I fell off, the front and back brakes being the opposite way round to English bikes made it trickier. The adrenaline rush when I got down was amazing. There were high fives all round. I don't think I let the side down too much. It was so kind of them to take me out and provide a bike for me. An amazing experience!
A tender bottom and agravated piles made me walk a little like John Wayne at first, but a hot shower, an application of ointment and 3 beers helped.
The next day was spent relaxing, eating and drinking amazing foods in different cafes. What a great place.

Posted by simonstravels 19:01

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A worse hill than wheal Jane hill? Surely not.
Sounds awesome. Glad you’re having a great time.

by Simon.coley

Looks and sounds fantastic bro.
I know what you mean with the steepness, the front wheel lifts but if you shift your weight too much to the front the rear wheel spins- have to get it it just right.
Fantastic that these guys took you out.

by munichnewman

How the other half live! Even down to the complimenting colours of your scarf and helmet, very coordinated :)

by Bev

Well done Simon. Sounds awesome. I hope it didn't "pile" on the agony too much.

by Chris

What an incredible experience! Like you say, good job you've had plenty experience cycling. The town where you are staying sounds wonderful; enjoy the rest, you deserve it.x

by Mum-Annie

"the ride down was even steeper"- now that just can't be true can it.. unless you came down a different hill?

by Jack Newman

Can be true mate, less bends= steeper. Come skiing with me sometime and I‘ll show you how that works.

by munichnewman

Brilliant blog Si. Sounds amazing. Can you just stay there til next July...must be tempting! XX

by Josephine Kane

Surely it can't get any better than this! From the relief of sorting your phone out to the exhilaration of the ride and satisfaction of finishing it. Loving your blog.

by Steve Newman

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