Hope everyone had a great New Years! New Year’s Day for us was a rainy one in Pokhara…it ended up raining the whole day. (That’s how we got the website somewhat updated!) We thought we should go up to Jomsom and Muktinath to see the sights and the Annapurna Range. Somehow we go the bright idea to pick up and leave the next day! After riding only 6 hours we couldn’t take it anymore…we went from village after village through mud and water and slipping and sliding. We were fully loaded and it was getting really tough for Nick to control the bike. Eventually by 3pm we had to stop after seeing we were only in Rukha (not even half way to Tatopani—the hot springs city). We only had 2 hours of sunlight left and had very little knowledge of the route! As soon as we stopped it started to rain, our luck was just getting worse! Rukha is basically 6 guest houses in a row right on the muddy road…at that point no one was willing to take us in or admitting to the fact that they had a place to stay. Maybe they were embarrassed about the rooms they had? We approached one last stall and asked for a place to stay the night, the man that owned the stall told us he had a room but it wasn’t good. We told him it was no problem, just let us see it. As we stepped up on the Coke crates to enter the wooden house, we could see the river running behind the house. The family had strung up their laundry to dry and you could see the fresh peels of turmeric root in a pile, red chilies set for drying, and the token chickens running about. We got to the room and found two wooden beds with thin mattresses on top but covered with heavy blankets. There was just one light bulb and a few pictures of random Bollywood actors and actresses. It was cozy and we had no choice. It ended up being the best night Nick and I have had. Everyone sleeps at 8pm, so we had a couple of drinks in our room and then had dinner of generous portions of daal bhaat around 7pm. We tried to have the family to come and eat with us but they said they would eat later. We sat in their warm, cozy earthen kitchen and enjoyed dinner greatly. After dinner we quietly crept back to the room and threw back another rum and played cards. I don’t think Nick and I have ever seriously played cards together, I guess in Houston there was always something else to do! We played rounds of Rummy, Bluff, and Speed…laughed and joked like kids at a sleep-over. Eventually we tired out and decided it was best to sleep so we could get up early. The blanket wasn’t enough so we decided to get out the sleeping bags.
The next morning we got up to the sounds of kids playing before school. After sleeping for 10 hours it was a little bit of a struggle to get up, but once we did we quickly got ready, had some chai, and hit the road! The mud had dried up a bit but we figured Jomsom just wasn’t meant to be for us, so we pushed on to Lumbini.