There and back again

Categories:Adventures, Nepal, Pokhara
Vagabond Tim

I am rolling along at an altitude of 5700 feet in a bus that was last maintained before my father was born, both sides of the road are shear cliffs and we have already lost two tires. In short I am about to die.

It was about five hours into our four hour bus ride to Pokhara I began to become suspicious.

Nothing in Nepal is ever on time yet for some reason the driver was desperate to achieve remarkable speeds, going over 50kph on cow covered dirt roads with potholes large enough to swallow bus tires. We had already lost two tires.

I wasn’t worried that I would die. I had accepted that fact when I bought a bus ticket in Nepal. I was worried that the bus might die on the road before it got around to falling off a cliff. In which case I would die much more slowly as I attempted one of Pokharas famous 12 day treks in reverse and without gear.

I could have taken a 45 minute flight for slightly more than the cost of the bus, but I am fairly sure poorly maintained air planes are a bigger risk than poorly maintained buses.

The bus stopped for food as often as it stopped to change a tire, which meant it stopped a lot.
I can now say with certainty that truck stop food sucks in all countries.

So with a painfully numb backside and a fair amount of bruising caused by being thrown suddenly into the wall when the bus cornered we arrived at the bus terminal, which is a nice way of saying patch of dirt buses stop on.

My friend Arpan decided to let one of the random taxi drivers bring us to a hotel of his choosing. I had already booked our accommodation but he is not big on remembering things like that. Since I do not speak Nepali I was only made aware of the change to our plans when the taxi stopped at some random hotel.

We walked a few blocks to our actual hotel, it was a Japanese themed French bakery in Nepal…
The only upside to the place was that they actually had hot water.

While wandering around after checking in we spotted a hotel called Lakeside. The place was posh, it had a fountain and a massive garden, a rooftop terrace for drinking and smoking, it had almost everything.

What it did not have was hot water.

There was a bathtub one could fill with ice cold water though, so that’s something.

The trip back was fairly uneventful, we lost a couple tires. Stalled a few times. Caused a small avalanche as the rear tire slid off the edge. But by Nepali standards it was an uneventful trip.

Screenshot 2014-12-02 at 16.22.31

It’s somewhat disturbing when even the locals do not look thrilled at the prospective of getting on the bus

Screenshot 2014-12-02 at 16.15.38

The bus stopped, between stops to replace tires, to feed us. The restaurants were as gorgeous as the food was terrible


After the seven hundredth stop for food it began to feel like we might as well have simply walked into Pokhara

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