2010-07-24 27 85
22kms to the east of Kathmandu, Nepal.
- Felix Dance - by mountain bike.
I've been staying in an orphanage for the past three weeks in the hills east of Kathmandu, but there hasn't been much internet out here so I'd been neglecting my geohashing obligations. Luckily, just a day or so ago, I asked Talex to message me if there's an accessible one, and sure enough I got a message last night informing me that a geohash lay on a highway west of Nepal, only 24 kms from me, the very next day.
I was still umming and ahhing about it the next morning when I woke up at my usual time of 5am, especially because Saturday is these orphans' only day off a week and they wanted to take me on a walk to a local Buddhist Monastery (I had actually already been a few times). In the end, geohashing won, as it always seems to do, so I crammed down some breakfast and set off around 8:30 on my Giant Mountain Bike (my one from home!).
Unfortunately, this geohash was on the exact opposite side of Kathmandu to the orphanage, so I had to negotiate the absolutely nuts traffic right through this awkward metropolis. An hour of crazy traffic, sacred cows, boys flying kites and stupid amounts of dust thrown up from road construction got me out of town and into the hills. Another hour of slow progress ascending the cruelly steep hills surrounding Kathmandu, and admiring the view, got me to within 100m of the geohash. I quickly parked my bike and walked off into the paddy fields.
Of course, this being Nepal, I was instantly followed by about ten local kids ecstatic to see a westerner grace their small village. I felt pretty awkward about trapesing through their croplands, but they seemed cool - a sort of Bizarro World from the similar-looking kids at my orphanage on the west side of the valley. They even lined themselves up for a photograph that I could not refuse including below for their posterity.
Climbing back up to the 1550m pass (At 1463m this is the highest elevation I've geohashed at), I stopped only to drink a Mirinda before plummeting back down to Kathmandu and the reverse of all I'd been through before. On the way I met a car carrying Caucasians in their middle ages, and they seemed extremely pleased to see me, giving me an encouraging wave (since this is midsummer and monsoon season, Kathmandu is almost devoid of tourists at the moment).
As it happened, I got lost on the way back, taking the Ring Road too far, extending my trip needlessly, and I've stopped at this internet cafe along the way to write the trip up as I wait for the rain to ease up.
This geohash is interesting, not just because it's the first one in Kathmandu, but also because it's the first one employing my bike brought from home. In Vietnam I didn't get around to any hashes, and in Pokhara Rob and I went by motorbike. It also qualifies for a Déjà vu geohash award, because I came down this very road from Tibet two months ago, on May the 20th. The hash was only 100m off the road.
This is my route. C is where I am now, an internet cafe on the Ring Road. C to D is mere conjecture, but I hope it will prove accurate.
Estimated total ride: 61 kms
Time of hash: 10:26am
Total time for geohash: about 4 hours.
News Flash! Nasty sunburn!
| Felix Dance earned the Land geohash achievement
| Felix Dance earned the Bicycle geohash achievement
|Felix Dance earned the Virgin Graticule Achievement|
| Felix Dance earned the Déjà Vu Geohash Achievement
| Felix Dance earned the Ambassador achievement