Dave's Dream 2010 Bike Ride from Kathmandu in Nepal to Bhutan via Darjeeling in India......Some photo's
Time out to plan the coming adventure....oh well, any excuse for a beer is acceptable isn't it?
The start of the trip outside the Shangri La Hotel in Kathmandu.
Overlooking the Kathmandu Valley.
The Bhutanese are big into archery and well represented in Olympic Games contests. While practising, it is not unusual to see them enjoying a beer or two. They love that too! The Bhutanese Druk beer has a big kick in it...about 8% (so they say, but I think it's more!).
Bee hives hang high up under the eves of the famous Puna Mochhu Monastry in Bhutan.
Puna Mochhu Monastry in Bhutan
Restoration of the bridge.
A Bodhi tree stands proud in the famous Puna Mochhu Monastry in Bhutan.
Mike and I enjoy a joke by the roadside in Bhutan. His T-Shirt has the Bhutanese endless knot of love and compassion embroided on it. They measure their country's wealth in terms of its "gross national happiness".
Bhutan is very mountainous as seen in this photo taken just after take-off from Paro Airport. Those twisty roads restrict speed to about 30-40 KPH on the Enfield, but you must stay sharp, as the consequences for not paying attention can be quite disasterous with the steep drop-offs from the roadsides.
This is a typical checkpoint (and there are lots of them to stop you just wandering around where you're not supposed to). Deven is in the foreground. He was our guide for the entire trip from Kathmandu all the way to Paro in Bhutan. Originally he is from Darjeeling. The construction of this archway is in preparation for a royal visit along this road in the near future.
Chelela - the highest altitude point on this trip. Our Bhutanese guide Eugan (Uee for short) is dressed in his official Goh, which I guess got a bit breezy while riding the bike.
This was photographed inside the Tibetan Refuge Centre which was established for those who fled Tibet when the Chinese invaded their country around 50 years ago. Many Tibetans already lived in Bhutan, as a result, there is a lot of Tibetan influence there religiously, culturally, and architecturally.
This is how a second floor is built in Chitwan, Nepal. It seems to work. Very inventive, but has been like that since time began, I guess.
Chitwan is famous for it's Elephant rides.
The elephants take a well-earned bath after carrying tourists around all morning in Chitwan National Park.
Do you recon he is enjoying that?
A little maintenance on the Enfield in Chitwan - nothing serious, just a broken gear lever return spring.
Geese in Chitwan. A really nice picture, even if I do say so myself!
Mike & me outside our Chitwan accomodation.
That was just after our first elephant ride, and before we parted company with Tom and his wife Okyo.
Rhinos in the mud. Taken from the back of an elephant in Chitwan.
Words of wisdom from The Dalai Lama.
It looks like a dog's life in Darjeeling.
Darjeeling. Built on the side of mountains.
A street in Darjeeling.
Tea tasting in Darjeeling. Mike doesn't look happy. Where's the beer?
An old steam engine still used to entertain the tourists today. Darjeeling.
Yep. This is the train station in Darjeeling.
A hilltop Dzong in Bhutan. Sort of a fortress for protection when battles flaired up between neighbouring tribes in the past.
The foreground shows a Royal Palace and the hillside building is a Dzong used to protect in troubled times. Now it houses a museum with some of the worlds most valuable stamps and artifacts collected and preserved in Bhutan.
This giant Buddha is going to be the largest in the world. It is manufactured in sections made from bronze in Singapore, and assembled piece by piece. It overlooks the capitol city of Thimphu.
The Haa Valley in Bhutan. Our quarters for the night.
Proof that they still hand-pick tea in Darjeeling.
High on the hill, a Dzong overlooks the surrounding territory.
Hotel in Paro. Bit of a misty early morning start to the day.
Not far to the Bhutan border. We were still in India.
Water buffalo in India.
The King, "K4" and his 4 wives - all sisters. They all live in their own separate homes, have children, and the King lives in his very modest Palace. (Less trouble that way, I guess?).
On the road to Kalimpong, India. Kalimpong is well known for its vast number of education facilities. Huge British influence there. The schools are very well supported by the people of India who need to be pretty-well cashed up to send their kids to these places.
This is the most famous Stupa/Buddhist Temple in Kathmandu, Nepal.
See the symbol for the Mad Monk on the wall of this house? It is a bit of a joke, but also represnts good luck and a wish for fertility.
Another example for all to see.
These young monks live in a Monastry dedicated to the Mad Monk. They were fasinated by our bikes and indeed, our very presence. We had a good laugh with them as they tried on our helmets and gear.
Another tribute to the Mad Monk is this water feature on the climb up to the Tiger's Nest.
Mike & me somewhere in India?
Puna Mochhu Monastry in Bhutan.
This is the bridge into the Puna Mochhu Monastry in Bhutan.
It's all like this throughout Bhutan.
Someone got a bit creative with an old Enfield. Thimphu, Bhutan.
Main Street of Paro, Bhutan. Note the consistancy of the architecture.
Post Office and Bank Thimphu, Bhutan.
Building a traditional Bhutanese home using the rammed earth technique.
The Royal Palace of the Kingdom of Bhutan.
The famous Tiger's Nest. Bit of a climb to get there, but well worth every step.
Another piece of the puzzle on Tibets invasion by the Chinese.
You won't see any of these animals outside of Bhutan.
Isn't that a strange looking animal? Things sure are different in Bhutan.