Saturday, 6 February 2016

Random Jottings Asia 2016 - Bus to Pokhara January 7th

Bussing it to Pokhara

Today, it's the bus to Pokhara. With a fuel crisis going on and racketeering prevalent, what could possibly go wrong?

An early morning stomp across to Kantipath and the 7am bus to Pokhara. It's still dark as I make my way through the narrow, dimly lit lanes of Thamel, wondering who might be lurking around the next corner. Thankfully I'm not carrying too much this trip so I could make a run for it if need be, knowing my luck though I'd probably trip on the rubble that litters the place!

Well, here I am and in one piece at the bus, the one of many lined up along Kantipath. It's a busy place with ticket touts, fruit sellers and tea stands all trying to grab my attention as the first sign of dawn appears through the Himalayan mist. All sorts of dodgy looking characters milling around here - good idea to keep that wallet out of sight!

Breakfast is a boiled egg, cinnamon pastry and 2 thimbles of milk tea, 75p and it'll see me through to the first meal stop later assuming of course I haven't been poisoned!

Nearly 7am, the official departure time. But there's only 4 of us on the bus and no sign of a driver. Uh oh, looks like trouble is brewing as a spurious looking chap makes frantic phone calls - some kind of hot debate going on, but eventually us 4 are told to get on the bus behind, yes, that one with its engine running, about to leave!

The usual stop/start routine at various points around the city until the thing stops completely - apparently there's not enough fuel for the whole journey, but no worries, we're in a queue for diesel! Oh well, at least I'm not in any hurry.

45 minutes in that fuel queue, not as bad as it might have been, and eventually the bus gets going. Time to settle into the 6 hour journey and.....well, and another stop. It's the first meal stop - that's right, I've been asleep for 2 1/2 hours.

It's a pretty comfortable ride actually, despite the bumpy road it's another round of sleep until the lunch stop, then Pokhara - it's the first bus journey I can't really say much about other than I survived it!

The lunch spot, about 2 hours from Pokhara.

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