So another run out to Nepal and time with Miles, Tom and the Land Rovers Overland team – a great bunch of guys. We headed out of Nepal this time to Pokhara, famed as a Gurkha recruitment centre, and then north up the Kali Gandaki gorge. Because it’s between Annapurna and Dhaulagiri it counts as the deepest gorge in the world, and the Gandaki river, which has carved out the gorge stretches 630km from the Nhubine Himal glacier to the Ganges, of which it is a tributary.
It passes up through the ancient Himalayan kingdom of Mustang, now called the Mustang Valley, and it led us after a 12 hour drive that was significant work for Ruby, our 2011 Land Rover Defender, including as it did many hours of hard, rutted and rocky track plus several significant river crossings.
She rose happily to the challenge however and eventually took us to Muktinath, a temple sacred to both Hindus and Buddhists, 3800m up in the Annapurna massif. At some point we took on bad fuel and this made her cough and lose power a little, but she pottered along happily, fuel issues notwithstanding, and coped a lot better with the thin air at 3800m than we did! It’s surprising how much it affects you – we all got out of breath after climbing quite a small flight of stairs.
It was just a short trip – a recce for a longer trip through Nepal to the closed kingdom of Bhutan as well as India and Bangladesh in the Spring – wonderful though. Nepalis are lovely people and the landscape is inspirational.
So I returned to the UAE to finally register Bumblebee the Camel Trophy Discovery. I put her on a flatbed at 0730 yesterday morning and rolled her to the Vehicle Registry with all the paperwork they told me I needed – to be refused. They said I needed another piece of paperwork that I hadn’t been told of. I had to get a chit from the Traffic Office in Dubai (another Emirate, remember) saying it was legal for me to register the car in my Emirate of Fujeirah. So this means I have to put the car on a low loader (again), take it back to Dubai (hundred quid on the lowloader) get them to inspect it and issue the chit, then lowloader it back to Fujeirah (another hundred quid again). I cant do this til January because I’m back in the UK next week (thank god!) By which time the MoT certificate will have run out so I need to go through that again. THEN finally register her. I hope.
Why they didn’t tell me this at the Dubai Traffic Office when I was there doing change of ownership papers last month I have no idea – they knew I was going to take her to Fujeirah….. hey ho, it is what it is. Just got to grin and bear it. But you can imagine how blue the air was yesterday.
Britain next week, after a spell in Moscow. Relief.