We recently received an update from Simon & Lisa Thomas of 2 Ride the World, as well as many beautiful pictures from their travels. Read about their awesome journey below, then see the photo album for more pictures. Also, keep an eye out for the new 2011, 2 Ride the World Calendar full of great photography to be available at Touratech-USA.
So I know some of you have been wondering what we’ve been up to as we’ve been a little quiet recently!
Well, after leaving the USA in June last year – 2009 – we’ve experienced some of the most amazingly different and sometimes challenging and confusing cultural aspects of our trip so far….riding through 12 countries (with all the associated visa stresses, strains and costs!) and coping with many different languages . yes, I know that we normally do but the languages we have been coping with have no Latin base …its not easy to pick up much conversational Farsi or Hindu!
When we crossed the border into Nepal from India we were ready for the trip to take on a calmer and less manic tempo…India had taken its toll. It was decision time; where was the safest location to spend the monsoon? We had 2 choices – stay in Nepal or visit Nepal quickly and move on to Thailand before the monsoon hit….mmm? This would also mean us being in Laos and Cambodia during the rainy season…. I think after our ‘session’ in Brazil’s Amazon both of us know that we’ve had enough mud to last us a lifetime!
Nepal, quieter, calmer, the traffic is still not like the States or Europe but much much better than Indian traffic, you could almost call it considerate! Our first ride in Nepal took us into Pokhara. As the early morning sun slowly rose, shining a luminescent orange we rode the most wonderful twisty mountain roads fringed with lush green tropics. This was when we decided to stick in Nepal so we could soak up this small countries atmosphere, enjoy its people, take time out, enjoy our photography and marvel at the incredible Annapurna Himalayas. What a great choice this has been.
Now …some of you know that during our time in Nepal we ended up waiting for quite a few items for the bikes. New tires,a new coil for Simon’s bike, new RT leads, the list goes on. At one point Simon’s bike was laid up for 3 weeks whilst we were waiting for the very small parcel containing Simon’s coil to be posted, flown and then released from customs here in Nepal!
So, after finally receiving all of the parts we could get to work on the bikes….but during their time off the road the bikes had been taken over and their new ‘owners’ were being extremely difficult in letting us get anywhere near the bikes! Have a look at this small part of video which will explain all. It took a little while for us to make the new owners realize that they had to give them back to us.
Between bouts of torrential downpours and with 90% humidity we finally got all of the parts back on the bikes….however, we were now smack bang in the middle of the monsoon. For anyone who hasn’t experienced a monsoon well…just imagine walking out of your front door and straight into a waterfall, where the visibility is down to inches.
This years monsoon was late and we’re told especially heavy. After hearing that a large chunk of the only road into western Kathmandu had been washed away we turned our attention North hoping to enter Nepal’s capital from a different direction. That idea was soon stopped dead in its tracks when we’d heard that land-slides had closed all roads north of the city as well. We were stuck in Pokhara for the time-being.
With an unexpected break in the weather we risked a mad dash across country hoping to reach Kathmandu, the legendary city. Heavy trucks and dozens of workers the length of the road battled to clear the cities main artery of mud and debris brought down by the slides. The aftermath of mud and deep trenches cut by the moving torrents of earth and water were beginning to paralyze the traffic ‘flow’. The last 30 kms outside the capital city were at a standstill.
24-hours after arriving in the city we hear that another sizable chunk of the main road had lost it’s battle with mother nature and had given way, falling into the river below. Now there were major delays and traffic had at one point been at a standstill for 36 hours!! We’re thankful to have timed our journey across the country and made it safely!
Kathmandu – we became real tourists for a short while visiting the most the elaborate Stupas perched high over the city (Buddhist temples). Walking the bustling and jammed packed allies and markets our senses are bombarded. As if to compensate us for the recent climatic difficulties, chance and luck played a heavy role in leading us down to the Durbar Square where unbeknown to us the Kumari Festival was getting underway. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the Worlds only living Godess (a startled looking 5-year old girl) who is brought out into public view on the rarest of occasions. Simon did say it was the first time he had ever seen a Godess – I told him not to be silly he sees ME everyday!!
Just recently we have been spending time with a very good friend in Kathmandu (riding his TT39 650)…a proper house, bed and kitchen….this has me in my element as, those of you who know me will remember that I LOVE to cook and experiment with the local spices and produce. This leads me onto telling you all about our new cookbook which will be up for sale just before Xmas. This book will cover most of the basic elements of cooking whilst on the road. yeah, I know that some of you will go …"whats the point of a camping cookbook"…but we’ve realized that there are many motorcyclists out there who can strip a bike down and put it back together with their eyes closed and hands tied.. but tell them to boil you an egg and they panic!! However, this book will tell you much much more than how to boil an egg!
finally – for those of you who want to know our next plans….we have just crated the bikes ready for shipping over to Thailand from where we will travel to Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Borneo, Singapore, Indonesia, East Timor …this will see us celebrating 8-years on the road and commencing our 9th year whilst in Australia!
Enjoy…ride safe and ride far.
See you on the road.
All the best
Lisa and Simon
Please click HERE to see more photos from Lisa and Simon.