Kathmandu, Nepal to Bangkok, Thailand.

Distance: 0 miles
Time on bikes: 0 hours

We take it easy in the morning and checkout of the hotel at about 10 am before heading over to see Suraj at Eagle Exports as Béné is sending a package home to her parents with a few things.

Our flight is leaving Kathmandu at 1.30 pm so we get a taxi to the airport to arrive at about midday. It’s strange to be without the bikes for the first time in ages and also strange to be in a busy airport.

The flight is good, especially the food, and we arrive in Bangkok at 6 pm local time. We’re now six hours ahead of UK time, soon to be seven when BST ends. As a priority, we feel we should try and find the Air Cargo area of the airport to see if we can get to the bikes straight away.

After asking a couple of people, we get told to take the shuttle bus and ask the driver to drop us off. The first bus takes us to the main bus station, where we get told to change bus. It’s all very efficient and within two minutes another bus arrives and we again ask the driver to drop us off at the Air Cargo area. Thankfully the airport is very quiet and, although the airport (opened in 2006) is absolutely huge, the bus whisks us around and the driver tells us where to get off.

After trying a couple of buildings we find the Thai Air Cargo office and they give us directions for the places we need to go to arrange for customs clearance of the bikes; although they do say that it’s likely we’ll need to wait until Monday, as the departments we’ll need will be closed until then.

We get hassled outside the Customs office by one guy who seems to know the English word for ‘overtime’ but not much else. We try and make a go of it ourselves as the first task is to obtain a security pass, get papers issued by an office in the cargo area and then go to customs. As customs is closed however, there doesn’t seem any point. The hassling guy keeps offering help, and we mention we’re trying to clear motorbikes. At this, he simply tells us we have no chance of doing it this evening, and should return at 8 am tomorrow. We’re a bit worried about how much storage charges could cost us if we can’t clear the bikes until Monday, but it seems like it’s out of our hands.

Feeling like we’ve at least tried, we hop in a taxi to a nearby hotel. After reading how much taxis cost in the guide book, we were very pleasantly surprised to only pay £2, including a 50 p tip.

There’s a strange serenity as we’re driven along in the taxi and it takes a while for us to put our finger on exactly why the taxi ride feels so strange. The car we’re in is a fairly new Toyota and we realise that the last time we were in a modern car was when we stayed with Béné’s Parents in Marlenheim back in May. Since then, any taxis or other vehicles we’ve been in have been fairly ropey to say the least. Also, the roads are billiard table smooth and, what really takes us by a pleasant surprise, nobody is hooting at each other and fighting to get past through impossible gaps in the traffic.

The hotel turns out to be really nice and we enjoy a lovely meal and have an early night; hopeful that we’ll be able to either get the bikes tomorrow, or know a bit more about what we need to do.

Jour 194 – Vendredi 29 Octobre 2010. De Katmandu, Népal a Bangkok, Thaïlande

Distance: 0 km – Temps a moto: 0 heures

Nous passons une matinée relax, après une grasse matinée nous partons de l’hôtel vers 10 heures pour aller voir Suraj a son bureau, envoyer un petit paquet de papiers que nous voulons garder, de cartes des pays que nous avons traverses et quelques babioles a Marlenheim chez mes parents, puis il est l’heure de dire au-revoir a Suraj et de prendre un taxi pour l’aéroport, ca nous semble bizarre de ne pas avoir nos motos et de prendre l’avion. Nous arrivons a l’aéroport avec de l’avance, mais comme il y a du monde c’est mieux comme ca, le temps de passer l’enregistrement et les postes de contrôle de sécurité et nous voila prêts a monter dans l’avion… nous espérons que les motos y sont aussi.

Le temps passe vite et vers 1h30 nous décollons en direction de Bangkok. L’atterrissage est a 18 heures heure locale, nous prenons le bus de l’aéroport pour aller au bureau de réception de cargo, mais les bureaux sont déjà fermes, on nous dit qu’on peut être les récupérer demain, Samedi, ou Lundi. Nous décidons donc de rester dans un hôtel proche de l’aéroport et de revenir le lendemain matin. Nous prenons un taxi pour aller a l’hôtel, ca nous semble étrangement calme…et nous réalisons soudain que c’est une voiture toute neuve, que personne n’utilise le clackson et que la route est dans un état impeccable…quel changement !

L’hôtel est très calme et après un repas léger nous allons nous coucher tôt.