Mountain Biking…for real

Ryan started his GPS a ways through the ride, so you can see we actually gained about 1500 feet in total.
Once we got out of town, we climbed (“a nice gradual ascent”, per Ryan) one of the three main roads that leads out of town, teenage Nepali’s on motorcycles egging us (mainly me) on. Once the guys had a nice rest at the top, courtesy of my pace, we branched off onto mountain village paths, some so narrow I couldn’t pedal lest I catch the pedal on the side, but most wide enough to give two people berth.
It was utterly amazing, with all manner of animals (ducks, white cranes, water buffalo, and the common chicken) and friendly people. The kids especially were ecstatic to practice their english and were always giggling.
An exhausting (for me at least) few hours later we zoomed back through the KTM streets and had some takeout for lunch. Phenomenally fulfilling day.

Mountain Biking

Went on my first bike ride today with a great group of people.

Started out the ride downtown. Ryan had rented a couple bikes for those of us w/o household effects, and loaned me some gear. We took off on our bikes, and melded into the honking traffic (everyone honks when they pass you, or are coming up on you, never in an angry way). We slowly made our way out of town and into the rice paddies. The scenes were surreal. Village people making concrete, shoveling gravel into baskets on their backs. Greenest of green rice paddies. Amazing views. The above embedded map is that of our ride, courtesy of Ryan’s GPS.

We’re going again tomorrow if there is no strike (bandh).

Nepal Revelations

We’ve been here just about four days, and as a friend described it, to reproduce this week one would have to down a pound of ‘shrooms. In this sleep depraved state, we’ve come to discover to incredible gems of wisdom.

  • Ordering “boiled water” will get you…boiled water. In glasses. Better to order mineral water.
  • Laphroaig is only $42/bottle at the commissary! And a bottle is 1L rather than 750ml. Score.
  • Not all dahi (yoghurt) is created equal. Try try again.
  • Nobody gets angry in traffic. Or anywhere. Everything just IS.
  • Everyone’s understanding of “spicy” or “mild” is completely subjective. So is the concept of “clean.”
  • There are three distinct power socket types in our house. I’ve heard there are more than five altogether in Kathmandu. There is an indirect relationship for the number of appliances to the number of plugs available. It sometimes comes down to a choice of coffee maker vs. Internet, until we get more adapters.
  • Building codes or physics need not limit the number of floors in a house. Standard practice is to leave the concrete pillars and uncut rebar above a house for when the offspring get married and need another floor.
  • Got to take Lucas to his school orientation today. Pretty cool. Jean had her first day of work. Don’t think she’ll be home shortly after five pm anymore; busy times.

    Trying to reach us? We’re still adjusting, so email is best, but we have internet now, so you’re free to try and skype us at “hearthwood” or text me at “EMDYERII” on text+ (look it up; there is a way to start a text conversation by texting to a certain # with EMDYERII in the message.