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Galah-travels We live in Central Australia and are travelling around India and Nepal. Please only post general comments - do not include names or contact details of other people.

Bardia, Bus, Banda

NEPAL | Thursday, 10 May 2007 | Views [3943] | Comments [9]

Loading Goats onto bus roof

Loading Goats onto bus roof

After Bardia Adventure Resort, we were taken to the Mahendra Highway to catch a bus to Pokhara via Kohanpur, Butwal and Tansen. This is supposed to be a 16 hour journey.

The bus was already over an hour late due to a banda further west on the highway. We got on at 2.30pm. Soon after getting on we came to another banda (road closure by groups wanting to make their protest to the government) - this was only a 1 hour stoppage, so no problem. Then we stopped at a village, where the bus conductor spent a few minutes negotiating with a man who had a pile of bags of produce (rice?) and a dozen goats. There were already a few goats on the bus roof. After a bit of bargaining, the bags were loaded into the aisle of the bus and the goats were hauled onto the roof. One guy lifts the goat from underneath, another is hanging of the ladder at the back of the bus, he grabs a horn, another guy on the roof reaches down and grabs the other horn. If they both get hold then the goat does not seem to mind. The goats only complain when they are hanging just by one horn!

Next stop Konhanpur and some food (the usually Nepali Dhaal Baat combination). While we were eating, the bus was backed across the road and another 20 goats were loaded. Each goat is tied down with a short length of rope so they can't launch themselves over the side of the roof rack. After a bit of shuffling they got the goats all sitting down packed together - about 40 goats.

Another 120km to Arjun Khola, 10.30pm. Everything came to a stop. After a lot of asking and trying to understand what was going on we discovered that a bus on a side road had hit and killed a child. The mother was understandably distraught and this was a Maoist area (the intersection had a Nepal Communist Party sign). The main highway had been closed to all traffic (an "accident banda"). There were vehicles piling up on both sides of the closure. We ended up stuck all night - Phil got out of the bus and slept on the side of the road for a while.

Next morning we waited until 9am. There had been many "false starts" of the bus engine, thinking the banda was finishing. We gave up, put our packs on and walked through the banda to the town of Lamahi 2km further east and had a drink. We were hoping to find some transport further east. While we were sitting there a vehicle with about 20 Nepali riot police (in flack kackets, guns etc) went past. 30 minutes later traffic started flowing. We flagged down our bus as it came through and got back on.

25km further east we came to another banda. This one was a general protest stoppage in the district. It lasted until 12 noon. Another 20km to a further banda point, but this one was opened 5 minutes after we got there. There seemed to be Nepali Police actually doing something at these - "encouraging" the participants to reopen the road.

We had lunch/dinner (2nd afternoon) 40km west of Butwal, just next to the mis-named Mt Everest Hotel (see photo gallery). Got through Butwal about 5pm. The gorge north of Butwal to Tansen is very steep and the road winds up and into it - our first experience of looking out of the bus straight over the edge. At least we got to Tansen in daylight so we saw the scenery. More hours of winding road to Pokhara got us there at 10.30pm - 32 hours elapsed time. The usual problems with arriving late ensued, no-one knew where "Phil's Guest House" was (this had been recommended). As usual, you get taken to the taxi drivers favourite hotel..... We found something reasonable and booked in for 1 night, collapsing into a real bed.

Next morning a helpful guy went looking for "Phil's Guest House", which is actually "Phil's Inn and Store". It was only 300m away, so we moved in. Very nice rooms and hospitality.

Tags: Misadventures



Glad you are still o.k. -sounds a bit scarey with all the bandas! Life here continues uneventful - gathering of the clan for Luke's 4th Birthday Party last Saturday. I'm back riding again, also swimming so getting the legs going again. Thank you for the phone call - a great treat for me. Love you both. Mum D.

  Aileen Davis May 21, 2007 6:36 PM


Glad you are still o.k. -sounds a bit scarey with all the bandas! Life here continues uneventful - gathering of the clan for Luke's 4th Birthday Party last Saturday. I'm back riding again, also swimming so getting the legs going again. Thank you for the phone call - a great treat for me. Love you both. Mum D.

  Aileen Davis May 21, 2007 6:37 PM


Sounds like fun for you Phil - lots of adventure! How are you holding up Jenny? Hope you're OK - you'll both appreciate Alice Springs after this heh!
We're fine. Life racing on as usual. Seems quite boring in comparison with your adventures. You should have taken up my offer to be a porter.

  Heather McKay May 24, 2007 12:54 PM


Hi you guys - How's the adventure going? Plenty to see no doubt! Thinking of you heaps so come home safe and seeing as the nomadic spirit is well alive - well it was - you might want to try a small diversion through Glen Innes on the way home. Weather is a balmy -4c in the morning up to a nice 14c in the day. No problem! Take care and have a great time. We both send our love and best wishes.

  Allan & Libby Every May 25, 2007 7:06 PM


Hi! I hope you are both OK. Am a little worried as we haven't seen any postings for two weeks now. Perhaps internet cafes are hard to find in Nepal?

Take care,


  Catherine Davis May 28, 2007 8:15 PM


Hi Jenny & Phil. It certainly sounds like you are having an amazing time. It is great to be able to read your stories and adventures. We keep praying for you on your travels and especially for safety. God bless, Verity & Glen.

  Verity & Glen Hoffman Jun 22, 2007 12:17 PM


read my blog here about the reality of bus travel in Nepal.


  Neelesh Jul 28, 2010 1:00 AM


wow, what a story!
I'm curious what happened with the goats on the bus roof when there was overnight delay, were they unloaded or what did they do for food/water and excrement with that many goats?

  LLB Jun 9, 2011 3:01 AM


The goats stayed on top of the bus. When the bus is moving the urine is blown to the back. When the bus is stopped in a bhanda for the night, the urine runs down the side windows. This is one reason why it was more pleasant to sleep outside on the road!

  over-40 Jun 9, 2011 3:44 AM

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