We drove down a fog filled windy turny narrow paved road from Nyalum, Tibet toward Nepal – 6:30 am and dark. It had rained the night before so the road was wet coupled by many water falls cascading across the road, Perhaps Buddha was protecting me from seeing the 6,000 plus feet drop off . Our slow steady driver for the past 9 days suddenly became a barn horse – hoping to drop us off early anticipating his 17 hour drive back to Lhasa.
I longed for a flat level progressive city with a modern hotel.
The last several miles before the Tibetan border hundreds of transport trucks were lined up waiting to pick up goods from the Nepalese. Our one lane road now narrower.
We said our goodbyes to Bing Bing (our guide) and Tashi (our driver) and walked across a rainy border from Tibet to Nepal known as the Friendship Bridge – high above the raging river – stunning.
Our new driver’s destination was the Namabuddha (mountain top) Resort. We had no idea where it was only that our itinerary stated “unusual comfort”.
Our road was similar to the one in Tibet. However, now is was a dirt mud soaked one lane road bordering the same deep gorge – our 2 wheel drive van slid in the foot deep mud.
I tried to breathe, steer the van from the back seat and wonder what the hell was I doing here – occasionally reminding myself of the explorers before me, to get my “do do” together and marvel at the stunning vistas.
The tour company obviously tried to reward us after the past 5 nights of mediocre accommodations by booking a night at a fabulous organic, vegetarian (whoopie), you’ll have hot water, a toilet, shower, clean sheets and power (well… part of the day) place not knowing the monsoons would come early.
Our driver dropped us off saying “If our vehicle can not make it here to pick you up tomorrow we will arrange for a 4 wheeler to bring you down off the mountain.” This was reassuring! How about a helicopter? Or a paved 2 lane road with guard rails?
The small resort has been owned by an expat German couple for many years. The interior and exterior doors of the main rooms and cottages are about 5 feet high. But with the exception of a few bumped heads we had great fun with the German, Dutch and British vagabonders staying there. We learned that the reason for the short door openings is to make people bow upon entering a room.
Needless to say, the vegis were fabulous (you can make anything taste good with enough spices), the French wine a complete surprise and the rooms very much appreciated.
Now that I made it through the self made fiasco – I will say it was worth the drive.
That night the Karma Gods cleared the weather, dried the roads and the trip to Kathmandu the following day went perfect.
You have nothing to fear but fear itself….