We made a second batch of 30 extra bricks to test using the leverarm. Our first idea was to test those bricks after 5 and 8 days, just like we did with the first batch of bricks. Unfortunately the delivery of the leverarm was delayed so we tested the bricks after 6 and 8 days. To compare the results of the first batch of bricks with the new bricks, we tested 5 bricks in the compression tester and the remaining 10 in with the leverarm.
We tested the first batch of bricks using the compression tester and the drop tester after 28 days, and the remaining bricks were tested after 38 and 39 days. We did this to see if those bricks got any stronger after the 28 days. In theory the strength should be around the same, however the bricks which were tested after 28 days, still were wet on the inside.
All the bricks of both batches have been tested, which means there are no bricks left anymore! We are processing the results right now.
We have been to a school just outside of Kathmandu. It is the first green school of Nepal where Udit is director. He is a friend of Rens and we met him several times during our trip. The school is quite big, with a kitchen where you can cook with steam, which is powered by solar energy on the roof of the school.
We also went with the motorbike to the villages Bhaktapur and Nagarkot, both close to Kathmandu. Bhaktapur is a historical village with great temples, which were unfortunately heavily damaged after the earthquake. After Bhaktapur we drove to Nagarkot, where you can see the Mount Everest on a clear day, but you do need good eyes. We saw a glimpse of the mountain during the sunrise, but the scenery of the other mountains was more spectacular. The Langtang, Annapurna and Everest mountain range could be seen from this viewpoint just 30 km outside of Kathmandu!
On Christmas Eve we went for dinner in Thamel, and on Christmas Day we had dinner with Steven at his apartment, he is also a TU student, doing his internship in Kathmandu. We made some pumpkin risotto with chicken and a chocolate mousse dessert, while listening to the famous Top 2000. We kind of felt we were in the Netherlands. When we returned home at 1 a.m. Kathmandu was totally deserted, the streets which are normally packed of cars, scooters and people were now quiet and a taxi was really difficult to find, funny to see the city so quiet!
After Christmas we had a few testing days, and for New Year we moved out of Kathmandu to Pokhara, where a big street festival was held, with food, parades and performances on the street. The day before new years eve was most fun, new years eve itself was so crowded with so many drunk people on the street that it became irritating, so we moved into a bar, which was a little more quiet. The countdown is not really a thing in Nepal, it was 2 minutes late, which was actually really funny, because they sped up the countdown when they noticed this!
After new year it was time for our small holiday, we rented four motorbikes, got permits for the Annapurna Conservation Area and drove into the region. Our first stop was just outside Pokhara with beautiful views over the Machhapuchhre, the holy mountain of 6993 meters, which cannot be climbed. They call it the fish tail mountain, because of its peak. On the second day we went to Tatopani, the roads got worse, from ‘blacktop’ to offroad. The scenery got more beautiful with huge gorges and a crystal clear river in between. In Tatopani we took a bath in the hot springs, really relaxing after a long day of driving. On the third day the group split up, Janna and Jim went for a drive to Kagbeni and Rens and Stephan went for a walk around Tatopani. Both enjoyed the days with a beautiful scenery of the Annapurna region. The day after, when we left the Annapurna’s, Rens had some motor problems and Stephan and Rens had to wait for 4 hours on the mechanic, because of road construction the road was blocked for two hours in which the mechanic was not able to reach them. On the last day we returned the bikes and went for a relaxing movie in Pokhara, Mulan.
We all returned safely in the big city and we are leaving in two days, as always, time flies! Janna will stay in Nepal for another 2,5 weeks for a trekking. Rens, Stephan and Jim will return to Delft to make some exams, great fun! In the next months we will be working on our report, and hope to give some results as soon as possible.