|RMH has been in Kathmandu for a week now getting 1000 details sorted
before the main team arrives.
Our most intractible problem has been fuel. Regular Nepali fuel is or
highly questionable quality and could easily damage the 914 engine.
Both the police and army maintain their own petrol stations throughout
Nepal which is of reputedly better quality. Skydrive in UK have yet
again come to our rescue and through the great kindness of xxxxxxxx at
Shell the testing of a sample of the best petrol we can find has been
arranged, so long as it can be got to Singapore...
So which is better, Police or Army? The best answer might be found by
asking the only people who are operating microlights in Nepal, Avia Club
Nepal at Pokhara, a 5 hour drive or 30 minute flight west of Kathmandu,
so I have come here for a day.
Pokhara is a welcome relief from the constant hubbub of Kathmandu. It
is a small town in a beautiful setting next to a lake and with the
imposing Annapurna range of mountains in the background (when it is
clear enough, this time of year it is very hazy). I was met at the
airport by Stefan Shrestha and Deepti Gurung of Avia Club Nepal and
taken to their HQ.
It didn't take long to resolve my most pressing problem, which is the
best petrol? It would seem Army, so that is what I will get when I get
back to Kathmandu. They were very congenial hosts and next morning
showed me around their facility on Pokhara airport. They have three
Russian built trikes; two Biman 2 tandems and one side by side
'Cruise'. The tandems are notable for the full heightwindscreen, a
novelty which could well be tried on some of the faster trikes in UK.
Avia Club Nepal's main business is tourist flights around the area;
would I like a flight? Chief pilot Sergei took me for a fly around in
the side by side machine which was as far removed from the slightly
precarious nature of the Hornet trike as could be imagined, it felt very
safe, if a bit heavy on the bar, proper foot controls and really quite
The area really is beautiful, town next to lake, enormous stupa on a
ridge above, and as you climb higher the enormous vista of the
Annapurnas begins to appear through the murk.
The main team begins to arrive tomorrow.