This post covers our journey cycling the length of Nepal the far west to the far east, in mid-December and January. Our route included Bardiya National Park and Lumbini, climbing up into the hills to Pokhara via Tansen, and finally into Kathmandu for New Year via Bandipur.
Following almost two months in India, Nepal provided a welcome respite. We were pressed for time due to the Christmas holidays (wanting to be in Pokhara for Christmas and Kathmandu for New Year) so we largely stuck to the main highway. The road conditions on the whole exceeded our expectations, aside from a small section when climbing up to Pokhara. Western Nepal was our favourite to cycle: quiet roads and beautiful scenery. The middle is far dustier with many more trucks on the road and the east was less scenic. There are more picturesque routes however expect gravel tracks and tough inclines. Food and accommodation was cheaper and easy to find, with many wild camping options - just beware of wild animals…
Pedalling into Nepal - country nineteenth - felt like a big moment for us both. Here we would be celebrating our seven-month bike anniversary, Matt’s 32nd birthday, Christmas and New Year. The first time I remember hearing of Nepal was back in school when a trip was organised (for those who could afford it) to help build a school there. It sounded so exotic. I guess I ended up taking the long route, by waiting 12 years and cycling there instead.