October 11, 2014
Alobar 1000 is a vortex. $3.50 for a bed. $1.60 for amazing fried momo. In my opinion, the ideal atmosphere. Travelers from a world apart all drinking, singing, and vibing.
You walk up to the rooftop of the 4 story building and at almost any hour in peak season you’ll find welcoming travelers with open minds lounging about on the mattresses that cover the floor. In the evenings you drink together, discuss your adventures while planning new ones. It’s a special thing, addicting, a vortex that sucks you in.
Jonny, sitting next to me as I type away has been here for 3 weeks. He’s 21, a young guy from England. He wants to trek the Annapurna circuit but is dealing with the same problem facing many of us. We don’t want to leave.
Everyday a face leaves and a new one arrives, rinse, repeat. If you love to socialize this is pure nirvana. People hookup, make friends, travel together and almost all of them walk in here alone. Sometimes the party goes till 7am, sometimes it’s quiet by 12pm.
I’m having the same problem as Jonny, I don’t want to leave but I know I’ll have to. You worry about finding places like this and many exist but still its hard to leave the friends you made. This is one of the bitter sweet aspects of travel, saying hello then saying goodbye.
When I got back to Alobar 5 days ago I instantly made my way to the top and got pulled into a circle, there I sat next to Cosmic Dave a guy who looks like Jesus. He’s Australian and has the most chill vibe about him. I was introduced to the other regulars who have been around for a week to months. We made plans together over the next week, everyday either adventuring or lounging at the spots around Kathmandu.
A few days ago we jumped on scooters together and spent all day exploring the outskirts of Kathmandu. From Langtang to Nagakot spending time in Bahktapur on our way back. It was awesome, that is till I wrecked my scooter. I locked up the breaks as a local stepped into the dirt road in front of me. I wasn’t going fast and I made a common mistake by trying to turn the bike with the wheels locked on the wet dirt. I took a hard dip onto my right shoulder, slightly shaken I hopped up immediately as a few locals came over to check on me.
I was okay I said and quickly hopped back on the bike to catch my friends who were far enough ahead not to see me go down. I didn’t know the way back so it was important I didn’t lose them. I eventually caught up, in pain but mostly just shaken. We walked around Bahktapur for 40 minutes and the pain in my shoulder got progressively worse. It began to rain so we started back, another hour of riding on horrible roads, mostly dirt and rocks. Every rock I bumped over sent pain up my shoulder.
As we got back into Kathmandu it was still raining and the roads are filled with cars, buses, and bikes with no discernable lanes jumbled together like a Tetris game on acid. As I was coming up behind Cosmic Dave I was going a little too fast and the bike again locked up on the slick road. I struck him, barely, and tried pulling the bike back when my flip flops slipped on the ground dropping the bike as I fell. Using my right arm, embarrassed, I tried to lift the bike with the accelerator… Yeah, oops. The bike accelerated back into Dave’s. My shoulder was numbingly painful. Eventually I got my ass back in the seat and we all continued on without incident. My bike was scratched up so we worked out how we would haggle the damages. One of our mates, Lem who’s been in Nepal for 7 months and was skilled at the art of haggling took over. I walked away in pain only $24 shorter.
That night I drank some rum to help the pain and lounged with everyone. It just got worse and worse, mobility became really bad to the point I couldn’t lift my arm. I went to sleep that night and woke up barely able to lower myself from the bunk I was in. I felt the area and realized a bone was tenting my shoulders skin. It was broken.
I checked myself into a western standards hospital as the pain continued to increase. Another $120 gone but I walked away with xrays, pain meds, clavicle brace, and a sling. Doctor said it would begin fusing in 2 weeks with another 4 or so till it heals. This would have cost me thousands in America so I was relieved.
Now I’m mending wondering if I can continue with an arm that’s almost useless. It’s painful to walk, slightly, so I can’t imagine doing anything really. It’s a great place though, to figure things out. So here I am, and here I’ll stay till I know what I want to do. It’s hard to leave but it’s also hard to know I can’t continue to travel in this condition.
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