Bardia Park to Kathmandu 



Royal Bardia National Park to Kathmandu
Geographically, Nepal is split parallel in East to West regions. The road from the Bardia Park to Kathmandu has taken us from the "Terai" or the low-lands to the Hills area where Pokhara and Kathmandu are located. Further north is the Himalaya range. The fertile Terai is considered the rice bowl of Nepal. The area is a collection of villages, paddy fields, mango groves and the remains of forests.



Bardia Park to Pokhara


On our way from the Park to Pokhara, we took a French girl who had been living in Nepal for the last months and her mum with us. We stopped at the little village where she was teaching English for lunch and were able to have a closer look at how villagers live. Despite the introduction of a few 20th century goods such as motorbikes and fridges, it seems not much has changed. With a GDP of US$ 210 per person, Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world. However, this figure does not take into account the fact that 90% of the population lives of subsistence agriculture, outside the cash economy. 


Explanation of our trip (left), roads scattered with gorgeous "Flamboyant" trees.


Perched on the hills above the road between Butwal and Pokhara (see map above), Tansen is a small town that sprawls over a steep ridge rendering many of the streets too steep for cars, thus keeping some of the less pleasant aspects of the 20th century at bay : noise and pollution. Here we had our first taste of Nepal claims to have given to architecture : pagodas. These are decorated in beautifully carved dark wood. Because of the threat of another general strike organized by the "Maoists" the next day, we decided to drive straight to Pokhara that day. We had already driven 350 km to Tansen and thought the remaining 110 would take a few hours at most... What came next was a grueling road where our average was to be no more than 15 km/h.



An average of 15 km/h for 7 hours but splendid views (road from Tansen to Pokhara, Nepal).


After having slowed down from our hectic pace in North Pakistan, we decided to slow down even more in Pokhara. Between the lake in front of us and the Annapurna range behind us, we have taken a holiday within our holiday! We started to read mountaineering stories (starting with Krakauer's "Into thin air") and have become professional armchair climbers. Our next goal is the Goddess of all mountains : Everest ! Pokhara was first discovered by hippies in 1970s. According to Lonely Planet, this was "the perfect venue for doing the things they were best at - getting stoned, eating, growing their hair, talking and staring into the middle distance while looking cool." Otherwise said, getting high in other places than the Himalaya... Pokhara has retained this laid-back pace and somewhat hedonistic way of life.



The Annapurna range, with several 7000 and 8000 peaks was visible only at the crack of dawn. Around 5.30am, clouds would engulf the mountains and block the stunning view. We guess we are lucky to have seen anything at all of the Himalayas in this monsoon season but this was nothing compared to the mountains that dwarfed us whilst in Pakistan. During the dry season, however, the snow capped mountains are reflected in the quiet lake.



Away from the touristy lake-side area, the city has retained an impressive number of traditional brick buildings.



Pokhara to Kathmandu

Soaked by the first monsoon rains, the road from Pokhara to Kathmandu led us to the little village of Gorkha where we stayed overnight. Green nature, red bricks and red soil made a beautiful combination.




It is in Gorkha that we were told by a couple of Swiss Aid workers learned the monarchy had been decimated. It is with this news that we headed for Kathmandu, not knowing quite what to expect.


The Nepalese Royal family The city of Kathmandu



The city of Bhaktapur The city of Patan



The valley of Katmandu Erotic wood carvings



Nepalese people Car & camping in Nepal
Vehicles in Nepal


We are doing well !

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