B Side Day 13: Drag the River

Our goal today was to ride to ride the 130km from Nako to Sangla – to see the sights and spend the night. Well, that was the plan…


We rode for a couple of hours to the town of Spello(w) and stopped for a cup of chai. Then set off again, but in less than 500 meters disaster struck. Moti hit a fairly innocuous looking rock which sent his bike out of control; the front end went up, the back end went sideways, Moti had the good sense to fall off to the right, and the bike went down on its side, slid for a bit, rolled over, pirouetted on the front wheel and popped off over the edge of the cliff and came to a less than gentle rest 20 feet below – but crucially 10 feet above the river.

Thankfully, Moti was ok. As you can see, some people were on the scene soon, but you can also see the bike was pretty smashed up.

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After a few minutes of head scratching, Moti went back into the town to see if he could get some help. He left me to top up my tan (there’s a line here about Mad Dogs and Englishmen) and to entertain the interested passers by – there were many. He returned about an hour later with a truck, a rope and 8 men – mainly a group of Nepalese workers who were borrowed from a road building crew on the far side of town.

If I’m honest, there was a lot of brawn but not a lot of brain in that group… so I ended up being the brains and did my best Sahib impression (all I needed was some khaki and a pith helmet) and directed things from the top of the bank. I was also official photographer…

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The bike was loaded into the back of a truck and taken back into town. Spello is barely a one horse town… there was a guest house, but the man in the shop advised us against it… he recommend the hotel on the hill, no idea what it was called, Moti said it was for Indians rather than westerners… it was less than £10 for the night… which explains why there were no carpets, or hot water, and funny coloured bed sheets (it was the first night on the whole trip that I used my sleeping bag liner!).

There was an cyber cafe in town, but they haven’t had an internet connection since a flood in 2013 – so, just a cafe then!

Full credit to Motorcycle Expeditions – they sent out a jeep with a new bike asap, the jeep travelled late into the night and by 6am next morning Moti had a brand new bike.

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That jeep might come in handy later on….

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