Tour inside Angola was completely different than I had expected. I was a little skeptic about Angola before entering because it has not been so long after the country has got rid of a very long civil war. And now, when I have successfully had a very pleasurable visit to Angola, from every corner of my heart I thank Angolan public and apologize for my misconception.
The walls on the cities, suburbs are filled with bullet holes as marks of war but it's the greatness of people that their heart has no any blueprints of war, aggression or revenge. Nobody cares which side of violence they took, rather everyone is united to have a peaceful mind, kind heart and a prosperous country. It is not that everyone has completely got rid of the bad effects caused by war but most of the people have stood strong to have peace, harmony, brotherhood and happiness. I believe, all of us around the world must learn these attributes and attitude of people here if not everyone must respect, admire and appreciate Angolan people.
I met an accident on 26th of March because it was raining heavily and road to Luanda was small and difficult to pass. After the accident, I was not riding my bike but pushing it. I found that accidents were normal. Within 10 km of distance, I saw 3 road accidents. And the reason was small road with heavy traffic and slippery road due to the rain.
Rain was the main problem for me since I left Huambo on 22nd. While I was taking the uphill to Kimpapa, the sky was full of clouds but the rain got a chance to hit me only after I left Kimpapa and it didn't stop completely until I reach Luanda.
After the accident on 26th, I was pushing the bicycle in the small and slippery road of Angola, a lorry stopped nearby. Rogeiro Marqnd came out from the lorry and offered me a help. As I have just met and accident and it was getting more difficult to reach the Luanda, that way, I took a little distance of lift in the Lorry. Not only the lift but he also let me stay with him in the expensive Luanda for the time I was there.
When the 21st century started, the world was struggling to get on track of the technological advancement while Angolans were struggling to get their basic needs fulfilled- food, cloth, water and a secure shelter. But after more than 3 decades of war that ended in 2002, Angola is on the mend and free from violence and hatred. Nobody cares that which side they fought or which ideology they carried; now Angolans are peace loving, benevolent, helpful, cordial people. It's rarely seen in most of the countries devastated by war.
Imagine being on the direct sizzling heat of sun and often rain comes to cool you down. You get full of sweat. If you are traveling, you could have a lot of dirt attached with you. You didn’t find a place to take a shower even while you have traveled for many days. And when you get a chance to refresh yourself with some cold water in the hot days; it’s one of the most pleasurable time of life. It was the same for me. I had to travel 9 days the same way and reaching Huambo and having a shower was a heavenly refreshing. Though, I got a chance to take a shower in Lubbango, the tank got empty and I had to clean myself with just the towel.
On entering Namibia, a latent feeling of being in some part of Europe arose. It was 22nd of February. Unlike most of the part in Africa, Namibia portrays itself as a well planned, sophisticated and a developed nation. After entering from Gobabis, I had some time to spend at Windhoek-the capital.
The splendid time at Backpacker Unite started with a warm welcome and a warm coffee. Regular work of visa processing and preparation continued before 1th of March.
1st was friday when Herman took me to the Namib desert and Bay harbor to feel the magnificence of the ‘Land of Endless Horizons’. For the precious moments of life, I dont have any words to thank him.
It’s the slogan for Nepal Tourism and I too carried it while I pedaled on the road on 2011- The Nepal Tourism Year. For me, it was a lot of respect and devotion to my country then. Now, after I met Herman Piljoen, those words honor and delight me being a Nepalese Citizen.
Herman is a Namibian. He was interested in Nepal since the times Hippies were all eager to visit Kathmandu- the heaven city. He says “ I thought, I would go one time, be satisfied by a long hike. But, that was just the beginning of the long relationship with Nepal and Nepalese.” The first time he hiked from Jiri to Lukla; second time from Lukla to Everest base camp and third time The Jomsom Trail. Still, in contradiction of belief he’d got during the first time, he is interested in doing the Mustang tour in the fourth visit to Nepal
Every aspect of environment has its critical importance. Here, we can take an example of Wild cats.
Scientists’ studies have shown wild cats not only have direct effects on populations of animals such as deer and elk, but also indirectly affect entire ecosystems. Without wild cats, deer dramatically increase, leading to loss of the riparian cottonwood trees deer love to nibble on. Lack of cottonwoods, which serve as riverbank anchors, result in extensive erosion. This is because deer eat young cottonwood trees almost as fast as the trees can sprout. Floodplains disappears and with them fish, amphibians, butterflies, wildflowers, and countless other animals and plants disappear too. Restoring the wild cats would re-balance its ecosystem.
Moosa Angamia is the owner of first bicycle shop in Botswana. His father established Gabronoe Garage Cycles in 1948. He took his family business after his school in 1995 when his father got ill. Since then, he has successfully operated the shop. He remembers the time when the shop was the only bicycle shop in the country.
It was 14th February. Oops! It was Valentines Day. Then, I hadn’t noticed that as well. I have been to Gabronoe Garage Cycle to fix problem with tailor. I got a chance to have friendship with a charming young man. While his employee fixed my tailor, he showed me pictures of famous cyclist around the world he has met which also included a former Nepali cyclist- Puskar Shah. He likes to help people and I felt it as he generously and courteously helped me repair my brake upon my request on 16th when the shop was closed on Saturday. He not only helped me on his off day but also didn’t charge me, rather he gifted me a sunglass.
Getting off of the fear is the greatest of all independence. As Botswana ranks top among African countries in peace, it was obvious. Here, I mean, fear of being insecure. After entering the African Continent, I felt it for the first time in Botswana. While the whole Africa is infamous for insecurity, Botswana was an exception. It was a pleasure to getting acquainted with warmhearted Botswan and spend some good time.
Bot swana literally mean "place of Tswana" in the dominant national language ( Set swana), and the citizen are called Bat swana, or Tswana people. The term Batswana, however, bears a double meaning. In government rhetoric, it refers to all citizens of Botswana. But the word also refers to ethnically "Tswana" people, as distinct from the other ethnic groups present in the country. This double meaning allows for both the expression of strong civic national sentiments and debate about the dominance of Tswana people and ideology over the broader population.
mmegi, 15 February 2013, Vol.30 No.24 page 54
Furtemba Sherpa, a cyclist from Nepal, located between India and china, arrived in Botswana on Wednesday. He leaves tomorrow. While in Botswana, Sherpa plans to meet the media.
Sherpa has been cycling around the world since 2003 advocating world peace and environmental protection. He is hopeful that this will encourage people to use their bicycle instead of automobiles. Sherpa has travelled through 89 countries so far and witnessed great pain and sufferings amongst people due to war and oppression; and of families torn apart by their countries' ideological differences. "Insecurities have led people to distrust and lose harmony with each other," he laments. Throughout his odyssey, Sherpa carries Lord Buddha's peace flag from his birthplace Lumbini, Nepal.
Being from a country with Hindu Dominance, I got aroused to know about an unexpected presence of Hindu Society in Botswana. Since my tour of 17 countries in Africa, I have been to various places of Christian, Buddhist and Muslim devotion that worked for the development and upliftment of specific religions. Although I met many Hindus on my way, I never had a chance to be in a Hindu organized community gathered together for the same purpose. I was convinced of not finding any. Dr. Ravi Shrestha informed about a Hindu Community in Botswana known as Botswana Hindu Society. Surprised and Curious, I made a plan to visit it at least once. By saying this, I don’t mean to get distracted from my belief that every religion should be taken together to have peace and harmony in the world.
Back in Kathmandu, I remember the time when I had not started my journey to the world. Then, the craze towards automobiles had just started. As a convenient, comfortable and quick tool motorbikes were common and car was also seen often. I had just started my life in the bustling city of Kathmandu with tight time schedule. And automobile could have been my good assistance. Unlike others, I did not quit my attachment with bicycle. The passion I had with my bicycle did not reduce but my concern to the environment increased. And the same passion is the only reason I have successfully pedaled the distance of 91213 Km to 88 countries in the world spreading the message of Peace and Environmental Protection.
South Africa is the land of peaceful warriors and it is a glory to share their message of peace as a world tour cyclist. Saying peaceful warriors, I literally mean the warriors who fought the war by non violent measures.
Nelson Mandela is the most respected person in South Africa. The Nobel Peace Prize (1993) winner is also an honorable asset to the world. He is a man with a strong compassion, dignity and will power because of which he was successful to establish an equitable world for his people. 28 years of prison did not affect his strength but built him as an advocate for Human right, against poverty and inequality. He was the key to abolish apartheid and develop a peaceful, free society. His step towards social Justice and reducing HIV AIDS is always praised.
On 1953, Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and Sir, Edmund Hilary made the day ‘May 29’ historic for the world after stepping on the top of the world- Mount Everest. And on 2003, ‘May 29 Memorial Trust’ made 25th of December historic for me. I was ready to get farewell from the president Mingma Tshiri Sherpa for my 17 years of world bicycle tour. Now, I am proud to inform you that it’s already been 9 years since that day.
As every year, Jingle bell rang to give the warmth of joy to the world. Santa in his red and white outfit came to boost enthusiasm, peace and harmony. We, staying in South Africa were no exception to this.
‘Time Flies’ and it flew taking me very near to the door to completion of my 9 year of tour. It feels like yesterday in Uganda when we celebrated eighth year.
From Jinja, where the river Nile started; I started my ninth year. Like in various parts; the river Nile is no exception in deterioration by logging and mining. I was upset by the careless behavior towards environment and shared in my previous stories too. Mount Kilimanjaro was fascinating in Tanzania. Feeling the warmth of Malawi, passing through Victoria Lake was ravishing. And it would be my worst effort to explain the terrifying beauty of the gigantic Victoria Falls.
Moving slowly like a snail, I have my bicycle as my shell. It feels like a sailor in the midst of an ocean while I travel alone in the midst of my journey. Along the sea shore, middle of the jungle, desolate barren lands; I feel lonely. The only thing that accompanies me is my 8.5 feet bicycle, my luggage and flags of countries I visited.
On my journey, it is the first time I tarried this long. 70 days of idleness is annoying and frustrating for me. It was only the visa I was waiting and I was unaware about the whereabouts. I was given a code to check the processing description and I was unable to retrieve any information from it.
8:30 in the morning of 29th November, I was in a microbus for my 13th visit to immigration. A message tone rang on my mobile which said my application had been finalized and I need t collect my documents. I didn’t actually understand what the message meant. Whatever it meant, I was on my way to Embassy. Dilemma on my head weather the visa was refused or granted; I was anxious. On acceptance, I could move ahead on my journey and on Denial, I should return back to Nepal and restart the journey.
हट्यो सारा हिलो मैलो, हरायो पानिको बर्षा
भवानीको भयो पूजा, चल्यो सानन्दको बर्षा
“Slowly the cool shower of rain vanished breaking the bond of dirt and dust and with it came the auspicious moment where the almighty blesses her devotees after the humble worshipping she was offered”.
Oh yes! I am talking about Dashain. Generally accepted as a biggest festival of Nepal, the above cited poem by Lekhnath Poudel fully expresses the joy and excitement it brings in the heart of Nepalese.
Not only on the top of the world, could you find Lungta but in South Africa as well; if you plan to Sandton Mall in Johannesburg Sandton. If you are unaware about Lungta, it is one among the two sacred Buddhist prayer flag. A prayer flag is a colorful panel of rectangular cloth, often found strung along mountain ridges and peaks high in the Himalayas. They are used to bless the surrounding countryside and for other purposes. The two kinds of prayer flags: horizontal ones, called lung ta (meaning "Wind Horse") in Tibetan, and the vertical Darchor. Dar translates as "to increase life, fortune, health and wealth", and Cho translates as "all sentient beings". Lung Ta(horizontal) prayer flags are of square or rectangular shape, and are connected along their top edges to a long string or thread. They are commonly hung on a diagonal line from high to low between two objects (e.g., a rock and the top of a pole) in high places such as the tops of temples, monasteries, stupas, and mountain passes. Those flags have also been placed at the highest peak of the world -Mount Everest.