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Out of the bubble......... One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.-- Henry Miller

A 23 hour bus ride to remember....

NEPAL | Wednesday, 24 June 2009 | Views [1215]

All right, it was a long ass ride in the bus!

I could not get comfortable the roads were rough, the frequent stops were a blessing and a curse. We experienced 2 road blocks at night, one in a village were somebody was accused of kidnapping children. The bus driver spread a carpet on the road and some uf us got comfortable - who knows how long we'll be sitting here - it could take days, hours or minutes. We talked, practiced some Nepali, had a good time and things started up again in only an hour or so. The next block had some police/military involvement. We were now in a flat landscape of Nepal in the jungle. Recently pirates had kidnapped a bus - killing the bus driver. Now the plan was to escort public buses through this dangerous area. A heavily armed soldier walked through our bus and 1/2 hour later we were on our way again - without the escort...............who knows what was really going on??

Somewhere, sometime in the night the driving crew changed. There are usually 3 or 4 - one riding on top of the bus, one or two by the door (there is usually only one door for the passengers in the front and one for the driver on the right side). They communicate with each other by banging on the side of the bus (one bang for "stop" two for "go"). During driving and especially at night they take good care of the driver, padding him on the shoulder, talking to him and sometimes even keeping an arm around his shoulder for close physical contact (and - I suppose- to keep him awake)

After coming down the Mountain from Hile, we went through flat land and through something that appeared to be a dried out lake or river. Looked like a desert with nothing but fine sand and a few settlements, small villages - huge area. Then again we entered the jungle for a while and climbed back into the Mountains to Kathmandu - we arrived in KTM at 8:30am which makes it 1 hour short of a 24 hour bus ride..........In a train you can actually lie down, walk around, sleep, eat..........this bus ride was something else and I felt every bone of my body with all the bruises from the jeep ride to accompany the areas.

Found a good place in downtown KTM, resting, shopping for loved ones, enjoying the shelter during thunder storms and hail (did the weather follow us?). A fact is, that the monsoon is near (June) so people say, and they all tell us how lucky we were that it didn't rain on our way in the jeep from Tumlingtar to Hile and I believe it…..jeeps go off the road during weather like that more than frequently.

 

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