Friday, 27 February 2009

Bus Adventures in Nepal

We took three buses in Nepal:

1. Baihawara (Nepal/India border) - Kathmandu

2. Kathmandu - Pokhara

3. Pokhara - Baihawara (Nepal/India border)

Bus Number 1 was our first bus. We arrived in Nepal late afternoon, and we decided to get a night bus to Kathmandu as the border town wasn't an appealing stopover for the evening.

This bus was fun.

You know how in the UK coaches have five seats in the back row (the seats that everyone dashes for on a school trip), well this coach had six seats in the back row (it was no wider than a coach in the UK).

The two middle seats of the back row were ours. We were the cool kids.

No seatbelts.

If the coach had braked quickly we would have been straight down the aisle - except we woudln't because there were a few people sat on stools in the aisle who would have broken our fall.

We didn't really sleep much. The road was bumpy and we were constantly jumping out. The couple next to me kept pushing and shoving as we rocked in their direction. She tripped over my bag as she got off at one point so that is her karma. She stole my pillow at one point as well. She wasn't very nice. You'd expect a little understanding given the circumstances.

This bus was also a local government bus. We were the only tourists on it.

Once we arrived in Kathmandu we read in the Lonely Planet that the worst thing to do in Nepal was to ride a local government bus at night to Kathmandu.

On our second bus trip we realised why.

Not long into our journey we saw a burnt out bus, and another and another. Bus crashes in the Himalayas were pretty common it seemed.

Needless to say, we were thankful to be alive. So grateful.

The other two journeys were by day.

The ride Pokhara was spectacular.

We think we might have seen Everest. Well, we didn't really, but this one mountain was bigger than the rest, and had snow on top, and was Everest-shaped. It could've been the world's tallest mountain, but it probably wasn't. Shame.

The bus journey back to India was pretty uneventful. Long. But uneventful.

I suppose the moral of the story is we survived. We were lucky to survive, but we made it.

Travelling in Nepal is pretty tricky; the planes are notorious for crashing into mountainsides; there are no trains because of the mountains; and bus crash a lot. So yeah, travelling in Nepal isn't easy. I think I'd quite like a t-shirt that says "I survived a night bus in Nepal".

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