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A STONE’S THROW AWAY: A SHORT RIDE PAST TAMANG BASTI

1Some people read books, some people go out into the city but for a certain group of people trav­eling is the best way to unwind after a hectic week. Whether you’re on your bicycle, a motor­cycle, a car or walking on your own two feet (car number 11 as my grandfather used to put it), getting away from the cooped up city will refresh you like no book or tea ever could.

Now driving and riding new vehicles isn’t what you’d call a stressful job, but I’d take any excuse to get on my motorcycle; especially since I just got myself a new Honda XR Tornado 250. So after a stressful morning of unsuccessfully trying to spread hard butter onto soft bread, I had to clear my mind.

Luckily, living in Kathmandu means that riding a very short distance will get you away from the city and you really don’t have to worry about squeezing a short trip into your busy schedule. In­stead of heading off to Nagarkot, Dhulikhel or Godavari I decided to head towards a village called Tamang Basti.2I came across this village a couple of months ago while par­ticipating on a post earthquake relief excursion. Despite the chaos and sadness, I was taken aback by the beauty of the village and promised myself that I’d come back at a better time.

Making good on my promise, I rode through the windy black tops that would lead me towards Changu Narayan. It was fairly quiet with only a few motor­cycles passing by so I had the chance to admire the surround­ings that consisted of a juxtapo­sition of rice paddies and brick kilns. And I could see a storm brewing in the distant skies.

In order to get to Tamang Basti I had to take a right kilometer or so before reaching the Changu Narayan Temple. This leads to a slightly uphill offroad patch which my Tornado was more than happy to prance across. A part of me was even hoping it would rain so I could see how far I could push the XR. Later, I was thankful that it didn’t.3

It only takes a few minutes to get to the village, even fewer if you’re willing to gun it through the rocky terrain. Once there you could see an unobstructed view of the entire valley. The absence of the sounds of the city replaced by the quiet of the village was a refreshing change. I sipped on a cup of tea with the locals I had met during the relief program (thankfully they remembered me), and decided to venture further.

I was told the trail would lead me towards Telkot and eventually to Nagarkot. How­ever, with the skies beginning to darken I decided to call it a day and leave the rest of the trail for next time. That would just give me another excuse to come back to this beautiful place. And best of all, it takes you less than an hour to get here from Kathmandu.45

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