Route/Last location

Saturday, February 28, 2009


The guy from the reception didn't wake us up, so we missed the taxi to Bhairawa, although Kara got to the reception on time... I suspect he arranged things with his uncle so that he would drive us to Pokhara by an alternative way. We have to take is offer and accept their deal: his uncle will try to drive us to Bhairawa, if we can't make it there or if buses are not going, he will drive us to Butwal for 2000 Rupees, Tansen for 5000 or Pokhara for 7000.

Halfway to Bhairawa he receives a phone call. There's a road block. He changes road and starts driving north to Butwal. The main road is also blocked so he goes through something I wouldn't call a road that ends up in a walking bridge. We put the side mirrors inwards and cross the bridge... I kind of freaked out a little!

In Butwal we try to withdraw some cash, but, since there's no power the ATMs are all down...

There's a road block about 500m from the place where we are. We ask him if we can cross it walking and since he said yes we ask him to drive us as close as possible to it. We pay, grab our stuff and walk normally through it. Everything went normal and after some meters we find a bus going to Tansen, which is on the way to Pokhara. We almost hop in, but another guy came saying that 5 min ahead there was a bus going to Pokhara. Finally things seem to start working out fine.

The Himalaya and Pokhara
As we take our seats on the bus we realize that a special passengers is going to make the trip in the best of the sits, the roof: a goat. Actually roof topping is a national hobby and there are always people sitting on the roof tops of buses, although it can be a dangerous "sport" due to the way bus drivers drive.
The beginning of our journey finally brings us the beautiful Himalayas. As we start ascending we start crossing beautiful valleys, amazing stepped fields that are as green as a cultured field can be, and rivers that run downhill on the opposite direction we are taking. The first hour is amazing, as Kara keeps saying. Then we kind of get tired or maybe just dizzy from all the curves, road bumps and the altitude. Or maybe we were saving ourselves for what was about to come. A bit before we started descending to Pokhara the ticket collector calls the roof toppers inside. We soon understand why... The driver then begins a crazy downhill race. We are jumping all over our seats, we get scared each time a curve comes and we see the abyss just there (sometimes with some crashed buses down on the valley some hundred meters bellow us). The goat, the only roof top survivor is screaming desperatly. This lasts for over an hour, and it's with great relieve that we reach Pokhara and leave the bus.

In Pokhara we take a public bus to the lakeside. I ask the driver to leave us in a place where it is easy to find cheap accommodation, and so he does.
We stay at the New Friendly Home, for 400 Rupees per night. On one side of the hotel we have the beautiful lake and on the other side the beautiful Himalayan mountains make us feel small.

We have dinner at the Love Kush, a bit more expensive than we're used to, but the personnel is so nice and the food so good that we don't really care and end up going there a few more times.

After a good night sleep we prepare for what brought us to Pokhara: trekking. I rent a down jacket and a pair of gloves. Next we bought the trekking permit - 2200 Rupees - and then it was mostly shopping and relaxing. Me and Kara spend the afternoon paddling in the lake. It's a beautiful place, quite relaxing. Pokhara is definitely the place to go and charge batteries before the trekking.


CHV said...
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CHV said...

I loved the bus ride! Hang on!!