Divali in Pokhara
01.11.2013 - 04.11.2013 23 °C
Having arrived in Pokhara safe and sound we now had two days to explore the place. It's a favourite destination for tourists, Trekkers ,para gliders and in our case motorcyclists. Imagine a mixture of sixties hippy, "adventure " blue rinse tourist, young backpackers from all over the world, and local night clubbers. There are good bars and restaurants, many serving western food and many shops selling Chinese imitations of everything imaginable. While we were there, it was Divali or the Festival of Lights , so groups of children were performing their dance and song program's on the streets and all the shops,restaurants and hotels were dressed with the equivalent of Christmas lights.
After two days of eating ,drinking and people watching we were off on the road to Kathmandu ( that rare, unreleased Bob Hope and Bing Crosby film) . A major tourist route, it was full of local and tourist buses. The local buses,crammed with people, inside and out, belching out black smoke, and barging through all the other traffic on the road. The tourist mini buses, carrying people in air conditioned luxury.
The road condition is great, until you get within a few miles of Kathmandu , when it detiorates into an assault course of deep ditches,rock and sand. This causes vehicles to try and pick the best route through the bends, making riding the bike like a game of dodgems.
We survived this to tackle the chaos of Khatmandu traffic like old professionals! What a difference a week can make to your confidence. Last week we left the city full of trepidation ,only to return, riding like locals. Passing on both sides, filtering on pavements,squeezing between buses and trucks and missing pedestrians by inches. (Note to self: must re read the Highway Code when I get home).