10:00 pm

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All I can say is that 8 months of kickboxing training in prep for this trip, paid off in full today. We were meant to travel 120km in 6 hours and ended up doing 30km in 6 and then had a grueling trip home and ended up being out for nearly 12 hours. So so much happened today. First up, on bikes that we had never ridden, we had to negotiate Kathmandu traffic in peak hour, with 9 bikes and no one getting lost or knocked over. This is the most congested city I have ever experienced and it was absolutely nuts. It then started to rain and with a quick turn left and right, we were out of traffic and heading up a rocky track climbing a mountain. Banjan Switchback. Shale, rutted and rocky. Heavy climbing on heavy bikes not designed for this type of terrain. Riders falling over left right and centre. More rain, amazing scenery. Then, out if the blue, numerous soldiers with big guns walk by. 15 minutes later volley after volley of gunfire. We forge on and eventfully make it to the top. Hot tea in a little shed on the side of the road and out mechanic tells us his wife just phoned to say there was another earthquake. We never felt it. 10km ride through jungle and 10 foot high marijuana fields , deep scent of sweet buds. Lunch at 3pm, eating curry with my right hand. We are at the 30km mark and are told we have 70km to go. Slippery, wet and muddy. More people falling off bikes and it's getting very very tiring to keep the bike upright. Lakes, Himalayan valleys, huge mountains all around and I realize that very few people would get to see this as you just can't get in or out easily. Military checkpoints, more machine guns and more dangerous roads. Finally bitumen but noes it's dark and we still have 30km to go. Some of the team cry mutiny because they can't go on. Fair call because it's pitch black, the road is potholed, often just mud and dirt, there are trucks coming head on, no lights and most cars and trucks don't use lights either. Stood by the side if the road in the dark and the leader calls the boss. Tries to make us keep going but the team refuse. Ended up riding single file through heavy traffic back to Kathmandu. All made it back in one piece, everyone exhausted. I didn't fall off once and although I'm baked , I'm no worse than 60 mins of sparring and conditioning. Big day, really big day.

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