Tough Road Tougher Preeti!

Total Distance : Approx.  60 kilometers

Approx. Cycling time : 7 hours

Route: Pashupatinath Temple, Patan Bazaar

From Dhulikhel to Kathmandu….. Preeti  first went to the famous Pashupatinath Temple and spent a good couple of hours in there. After offering prayers she went on to see the local markets. Here is met a lady cyclist who guided Preeti about how to go ahead from Kathmandu.

From Kathmandu Preeti reached Patan Bazaar. There was a procession in progress in Patan Bazaar. Here she caught attention of a few small kids and then started a series of questions to Preeti from the kids. The kids asked her why was she here, why was she on a cycle, from where had she come. Preeti told them that she was from a place near Mumbai…. They knew Mumbai through the cartoons they watched… Preeti asked the kids to come along with her … which they replied in unison…. We wont leave our country…. This is the love one has for their own country……

After some time of cycling from Kathmandu , she saw a big hill … she had to cross that and go ahead…. The road that felt and looked good from a distance wasn’t as good to say so… Preeeti says there was no road at all….   At one point of time she felt as if she had taken the wrong route and was lost…

A lonely way, no cars or vehicles of any kind…. No one in sight either…. She could hear some animal voices in the distance… for the first time in all these days of cycling solo… Preeti felt fear…. This was the first time that she felt as if she was really doing an adventure….

The road had no street lights…. She could not see the road ahead ( A road that did not exist) Preeti was surprised that the cyclist girl gave her directions to go ahead on such a dangerous route…. Later Preeti got to know that this particular route was suggested because the other route in Lumbini via Narayan ghat , there was excavation work going on….. that route was even more difficult that this one. The ascends and the Descends were such that even walking would have been risky ……….

The locals staying in the hilly areas of Nepal are used to such terrain and are used to riding cycles here…. The locals used MTB’s in this kind of a terrain and the gears were of 2/12 where as Preeti’s cycle is a hybrid one of 3/15 gear system. MTB’s are heavy in weight but are the perfect ones to be used in the hilly terrain.

In this hilly terrain Preeti obviously could not find a decent place to eat or to stay… all she had in mind was to reach a place of good population and find a good place to stay…. She was tired and hungry…. Yet did not have the energy to eat… she finally found a home stay….. there wasn’t any cellphone reception in the home stay… time and again she had to come out and talk on the phone….. she was so tired that she did not have the will to eat anything… she decided that she would go directly to sleep…. No washing clothes tonight…

The next half a day is going to go in cycling on the nonexistent road …. She has two choices now… go ahead for 10 kilometers on a difficult ghat section or go back 35 kilometers and look for an alternative route…. She has decided to opt for the 10 kilometers of difficult patch of road as going back and looking for an alternative route would cost her a lot of time…..

Courage is not absence of fear,

It is going ahead in spite of fear!

Original Blog By : Kavita Pipada
English Translation By : Girija Shirurkar