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    Run for the Border, the Hard Way

    October 10th, 2007 by steve

    The route from Everest to the border first followed a dusty frontier trail through rolling hills with Himalayan backdrop. Finally hitting the “Tibet/Nepal Friendship Highway”, we had road for 4 more hours before hitting a little outpost town just a couple hours off the border. The remaining road is under simultaneous con/de-struction and only open at night. Our plan was to circumvent this by sneaking in early in the morning before sunrise. It’s a good plan and we’re cruising on this one lane dirt/rock/rubble cliffside “road” by 7am.We slowly work our way through several sheep herds before sunrise (about 8:30 here) and then come across our first serious obstacle of the day, a cargo truck hanging precariously over 1000 foot drop – and blocking our passage. After a couple hours of discussion between the parties not involved, a bulldozer and backhoe work in harmony to simulateously upright and pull the truck to safety.A few more goatherds, several backhoes blocking the road and we make it to the actual border town. Unfortunately, this town is a one lane road that winds down a very steep hill. The cargo trucks waiting to cross block the single lane and makes passage to the immigration check and then across the 4 mile “no-man’s land” to Nepal an incredibly time consuming act. Nepal immigration was a snap. We were practically dragged by border guards through the throngs of Chinese and Tibetan travellers massed around the entry gate and into Nepal before we even knew it.Then there’s the 5 hour ride into Kathmandu. After a head-on bus accident, a flat tire, a couple goat herds and 4 hours we hit the thickest, grossest smog we’d ever seen. It’s like there’s a ring of soot around Kathmandu. Ugg. From there, it was an hour of horrible non-stop-honking traffic to get to the center of town and our hotel. All told, 12 long hours on the road for the day I chose to have food poisoning.

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