by site editor Rick McCharles
I’d loved the previous day, cycling down the world’s “deepest” gorge, the Kali Gandaki.
Sure you face the odd traffic jam in the Himalaya. 🙂
But cycling was better than walking.
Unfortunately, as you descend it’s difficult to avoid the dusty, busy road.
I detoured off it whenever I could.
All was well … until this.
I replaced the tube in the flat tire. But it wouldn’t hold air.
I spent 90min trying to repair that flat. In frustration, I finally decided to wave down the next passing vehicle.
It was a bus. And refused to stop.
Right behind the bus arrived … Reto Brunner.
He’d been on the road with his bike for 2 1/2 years. About 10 flats himself over that time.
But at one stint he worked in bicycle repair in Oman. He quickly detected a leak in my new replacement tube, patched it. And we rolled on down the mountain together.
In payment, I paid for lunch. We talked of his upcoming cycling trip the length of Baja, California with a Mexican girlfriend. Reto planned to add Spanish to the many languages he already spoke.
Reto had cycled the entire Annapurna Circuit to and from Pokhara.
I’d crossed the high Thorung Pass alongside a Nepali cycling guide and his German client.
It was easy for the Guide. But the German fell 3 times on the descent, nearly breaking his wrist on one fall.
It was mid-afternoon before Reto and I got serious about getting back on the bikes.
Our best section of single track was getting lost on the wrong side of the river.
The road got worse and worse. One of the worst rides of my life.
Ruts , dust and traffic.
Finally, a crash. Luckily I suffered only minor scrapes and bruises. Another reminder to have travel insurance that covers cycling. World Nomads is probably the most popular company with the hikers I spoke with.
It was dark by the time we climbed into the hotsprings at Tatopani.
Next morning I waved goodbye to Reto. He was cycling on to a Yoga Retreat.
I headed to Pokhara by motor vehicle. My 17 days on Manaslu and Annapurna were over. A great trip.
Leaving mid-day turned out to be a mistake. Most vehicles depart in the morning.
It took 2 taxis to get there.
see high resolution photos from this day on flickr