Bicycle.

Potentially the best thing ever invented.

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[photos taken in Lumbini, Nepal.]

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Bicycle.

Pokhara to… Lumbini.

Saturday 25 August

When I’m rock climbing, we talk about two different types of fun – ‘type one’ fun and ‘type two’ fun. ‘Type one’ is where you’re fully loving every minute of what you’re doing. ‘Type two’ is when you’re mainly disliking what you’re doing, wishing for it to be over, but then when it’s over, you think ‘YEAHHHH THAT WAS AWESOME’, and usually you want to do it again. Climbing involves a lot of type two fun, normally because a) you’re totally shit-scared, b) you’re freezing cold, or c) you’re exhausted.

Today was definitely of the type two variety. We caught the 8am bus from Pokhara, supposedly to Butwal, but since I was probably asleep and Jos was too busy vomming out the window, we completely missed Butwal, and ended up hurtling down the highway to India.

We finally managed to disembark at Bhairawa, just short of the border, and after a rickshaw and a local bus, we ended up in Lumbini, which incidentally happens to be the birthplace of Buddha.

It’s incredible how different this place is to the Nepal that I have seen so far. It’s kind of how I imagine parts of rural India.

*It’s totally flat for starters, which feels weird after spending the last six weeks amongst the tallest mountains in the world.

*It’s so bloody hot.

*It’s even less-developed. Water comes through pumps in the street and the majority of houses are mud huts.

*There’s a Muslim population here. In fact, there’s a call to prayer going on right now.

*Women here seem a lot less liberated. They keep their heads covered, which I haven’t seen much here so far, and I sat next to a lady wearing a burka on the bus. She was either super unimpressed by me, or just intrigued – I couldn’t tell which. She kept poking all of my freckles.

So, our nine-hour journey was pretty bloody awful at the time, but actually, I saw so many beautiful places and crossed paths with several interesting people that I probably would do it all again.

+ Ben Howard’s ‘The Fear’.

Pokhara to… Lumbini.