After enduring a 14 hour bus ride from Kathmandu we landed in Dharan, our new home base for the at least the next nine months. Kate arrived in Nepal in early October and after a week and a half in Kathmandu we headed east. Home to about 110,000 people, Dharan is a relatively new and planned city that was settled mainly by Gorkha soilders after they retuned from overseas. There are lots of schools in the area, and outside of the central bus area and surrounding markets, the city is rather peaceful. Dharan’s ban on plastic bags is inspirational and has contributed much to clean green streets.
The road from Dharan to Hile was built by the British in the 1980's and is still considered one of the better highways in Nepal. It was originally built to support the Pakhribas Agricultural Research Station outside of Hile, a hill town in Dhankuta district. Pakhribas is famous for developing unique breeds of pigs and goats, among other flora and fauna. In the 1990's a dirt track was expanded from Hile to reach Basantapur and Terhatum Bazaar to the north. It is only in the past year or two that the road was expanded further into Sankhuwasabha, and currently there is a brand new paved road from Basantapur, through Chainpur and into Khadbari, the headquarters for the Sankhuwasbha district.