We left Nainital really late! We had to get to Banbasa(India) to cross into Mahendranagar (Nepal)…ugh what were we thinking…can’t believe we’re actually completely out of our comfort zone! We didn’t have distinct directions, just cities we knew we had to hit so we knew we were going in the right direction. Basically the Garmin maps for India sucks big time (we had lots of problems with it through out North India as in even big cities were not recognized!) and Nepal is nonexistent. As we were heading out we hit a couple of small towns that were full of sardars…being in the middle of Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, it was looking like Punjab. After reading on SikhiWiki, ‘Nanak Mata’ (the name of the town), we found that there was a huge Gurudwara built here because Guru Nanak Dev Ji had stopped here during his 3rd Udasi and created a miracle. A century later Guru Hargobind Singh Dev Ji also stopped here. The Sikh descendants that live in the village today basically date back from that time.
As we got to the Indian immigration and customs there was nervousness at the back of our minds. When Nick had tried to get the bike out of customs in Delhi, the customs official wrote the pair of tires and shocker that we had brought for the Yamaha on our carnet. Later we found out the official had done that to get a promotion in a very convoluted sort of way. We had gone to Delhi after Sangrur we tried to talk to the same official to get it taken off the carnet but he told us he couldn’t so we would have to leave tires and a shocker at the Indian customs office when we got our carnet stamped out before going into Nepal or pay a duty (basically at the custom’s office will). On the way we stopped in Khatima and bought old tires and a shocker. I had read that the Banbasa-Mahendranagar border was pretty laid back, and it proved to be true. We cleared Indian immigration and customs as well. Nick basically flattered the crap out of the customs officials at Banbasa so we were able to leave the tires and shocker with them and get it crossed off. One thing we first noticed on the way to the Nepal immigration and customs was the lack of cars. It was basically bikes, walkers, and bicycles. The Nepali customs and immigration was easy! We got the visa at the border and customs had no idea had to fill out the carnet so basically Nick did it for them!
Once leaving Mahendranagar (Nepali border entry town) we noticed again that there wasn’t too much traffic and that businesses were closed. We found out that there was a ‘bandh’, basically meaning that some political party had called for a close of all businesses. There were many police and army checks along the way and since it was close to sunset we tried to haul ass to somewhere! We had heard there were hotels available in Chisapani. Once we got there we realized it was just a few huts, restaurants and rest stops…nothing much at all! We asked if there was a good hotel nearby and they directed us to the Siddharth Hotel. Welcome to the world tour…the room had pan stains all over the walls, stone floor, and stunk since the bathroom was basically inside the room. The roof was aluminum and we could hear rats crawling at night but the scariest of all was the wind. Chisapani is surrounded by hills on three sides so its almost like the wind comes and mixes up and just swirls. We felt the roof was going to come loose and wondered if we were able to leave the next day. In referece to the pan stains, the hotel guy said that they weren’t there last night…hmm..! It was 6pm and dark and no light until 8pm. So we decided to go eat and possibly drink something so we could sleep easy. We found a restaurant and settled on one that had catfish strung in the front. We ordered the Nepali rum—Kukhri and some fried fish. After the fried fish we continued with the Kukhri and the daal bhaat thali. Daal bhaat is the Nepali standard which is basically yellow daal and rice. Even after more than half a bottle of Kukhri the night did not pass so easy. Only after 2am did we get sleep!
We woke up early the next morning and found out the wind conditions were normal and would end after another kilometer. So we decided to forego the showering business and just head out. We wanted to reach Pokhara and spend New Years there so our minds were set!
Oh and by the way…as soon as we got into Nepal our bike’s horn went out. I guess BMW did not think we’d have to use it much, obviously they have never tested it in India.