I left Charaali to the north. It was a misty day again, like pretty much every day since I landed in Dhaka 4.5 weeks ago.
After 6 kilometers the first mountains appeared in ‘the distance’, layer after layer. What I saw were only the first ‘hills’, not the the high peaks of the Himalayas. After 10 kilometers the road started to climb and I was leaving the plains behind me.
I climbed up to 1700m, slowly, and then down a little to a place called Phikkal at 1500, where the road turned west. If everything goes according to plan, I will come back here from a different direction (roughly northish) in a couple of days. The road followed a ridge with slight declines, before going down into a river valey to 500m. That part of the road was an awesome ride. Then it went back up.
A few kilometers before Ilam, my destination for the day, I was stopped by a young man who invited me to stay the night at a child orphanage he was volunteering at. He had seen me a while back coming back up from the plains (he had brought a Danish volunteer to the airport who’d been at the orphanage for 3 months). He and his brother are taking care of 6 little kids, the youngest just 2 years old. She had been found abandoned in a public bus.
I received a fine dinner and before going to bed we watched a Nepali movie about domestic violence, in which one of the girls had starred.
Electricity is a luxury here. It is usually available from 6pm to 6.30, and then from 7pm through the night. The orphanage had just moved into a new building that was semi-finished (the kitchen and a 2nd storey were still missing). It is being funded by donations and government as well as municipality help.