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Details of the London to Kathmandu tour, September-October 1979 by Nick Whetstone.

Part four - Amritsar to Kathmandu

London to Istanbul

Istanbul to Isfahan

Isfahan to Amritsar

Amritsar to Kathmandu

 Diary (click on thumbnails for enlargement)

 

October 5
Head north from Amritsar and drive all day climbing up from the plains. Spectacular views. Camp in the grounds of a dak bungalow at Kud.
October 6
A slow drive through countless gorges climbing ever higher. Then through a long tunnel from which we emerged looking out on the vale of Kashmir. Drove on to Srinigar where we were to stay on houseboats. Sheer luxury compared to sleeping on the ground and servants to prepare our food and look after our every need.

Houseboats on the lake at Srinigar - click for enlargement
Houseboats on the lake at Srinigar

October 7
Sightseeing and shopping in Srinigar and lounging around on the houseboat. Beautiful weather and a blissful rest from the travelling. Big party in the evening with all the people from the Swedish buses.

Dal Lake at Srinigar - click for enlargement
Houseboats on the lake at Srinigar

October 8
More shopping and taking it easy. Borrowed a rowing boat to visit the other AACCC folks on their houseboats.
October 9
Yet more of the same.
October 10
End of paradise and back on the bus. Drove all day heading south and reached Udhanpur where we made camp.
October 11
Had to push start bus due to flat battery, drove to Jammu where we stopped for breakfast. Continued south on to Grand Trunk Road and just south of Jallendur we collided with a scooterist who pulled across in front of us. Kept going, chased by lorry full of Sikhs until we were halted by closed level-crossing gates. Fortunately the police arrived and after much argument we were all released to continue on our way while the police held the Sikhs until we were well out of reach. Due to the delay we didn't reach Delhi as planned and camped in the grounds of a service station on the main road.

The Grand Truck Road, main road to Delhi with typical transport - click for enlargement
The Grand Truck Road, main road to Delhi with typical transport

October 12
Reached Delhi at 14.30 and made camp at the Delhi Gate campsite after a quick tour of the city.

Taxis, Delhi style - click for enlargement
Taxis, Delhi style

October 13
Sightseeing and shopping and a chance to pick up Nepalese visas for those without them. Plenty of good places to eat and drink.
October 14
Another day in and around Delhi. Took laundry to the dhobi wallah. In the evening I went with Tim to find some diesel. Could not believe the roads at night, full of people, bicycles, ox carts etc and nobody with any lights on!
October 15
Said a sad goodbye to Roger who was unable to continue due to a back problem Left the camp and headed south for Agra after collecting visas. Stopped about half way to view Akbah's Tomb before going on to the Taj Mahal. Arrived in evening at the Highway Inn campsite. Met an Australian who was cycling home from England.

The Taj Mahal at Agra - click for enlargement
The Taj Mahal at Agra

October 16
Headed east to Allahabad with only two tea stops along the way. Very hot and dusty drive. Camped in grounds of a dak bungalow and I slept on the verandah as it was so hot.
October 17
Drove to Benares (Varanasi) and camped in grounds of the Mint House Hotel (building was formerly the Royal Mint). Had breakfast there before going out sightseeing and shopping. Later went out with Tim trying to find diesel.

On the Ganges at Benares - click for enlargement
On the Ganges at Benares

October 18
Take an early morning tour along the Ganges. Very atmospheric. Returned to Mint House Hotel for breakfast before leaving for the drive to Saranath (where Budha gave his first teachings). Continued on to Ghorekpur where we stopped for lunch. Then on to the border town of Sonauli where it took us a very long time to pass through the Indian control point but much less time to go through the Nepalese side. It was dark by the time we left the border but we got to Bhairawa where we camped in the grounds of the Bini Hotel.

Sarnath - click for enlargement
Sarnath

October 19
Drove up to Pokhara with the scenery getting ever more fantastic as we left the plains and headed into the foothills of the Himalaya. Camped by the lake and spent the afternoon and evening eating at the many excellent cafes.

'Fishtail' lake at Pokhara - click for enlargement
Fishtail' lake at Pokhara

October 20
The cold woke me and I got up before dawn and went for a walk along the lakeside to get warm. Watched the sun rise which turned the mountains from black to pink to white, all reflected in the still waters of the lake. After breakfast at Snowlands we drove to Kathmandu stopping at Mugling for lunch and again to take a swim in the river which runs beside the road for much of the way. Arrived in Kathmandu late afternoon and unpacked the luggage for the last time. Tim had pre booked accommodation in the Kathmandu Guest House. It was Devali and there was a Christmas like atmosphere which made my arrival in Kathmandu all the more magical.

Durbar Square, Kathmandu - click for enlargement
Durbar Square, Kathmandu

London to Istanbul

Istanbul to Isfahan

Isfahan to Amritsar

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Last update: May 6th 2002 - (The AACCC Website) - Author Nick Whetstone. All rights Reserved.