Bouncy Bouncy Bang

The last 11 days I have been miles and miles away from civilisation, wandering the beautiful Himalayas and visiting my friend Gele’s family.  Most of the time there hasn’t been electricity, though the Internet to write my blog. I therefore resorted to old fashion pen and paper, so now over the next few weeks I will type up my adventures in Nepal.

Christmas Eve’s Epic Bus Journey

I arrived in Nepal on the 23rd December, where Gele welcomed me at the airport with a beautiful marigold garland for good luck, which it turns out I needed by the amples.  Not much rest for the wicked, after a good night’s sleep we had a very early start.  I dragged my arse out of bed at the godly hour of 4.30am.  Luckily my body was still on Oz time, so it was not as painful as it sounds.  By 6 am I was shivering at the back of the bus, ready to start a very long and eventful journey.

Bouncy Bouncy Bang!!!

That sums up 12 out of the next 13 hours of my bus journey.  The bang was my head hitting the roof of the bus as I was catapulted from my seat!!!

It was a chilly Winter’s morning and to make matters worse the bus window would not stay shut.  It kept sliding open and blowing in an icy cold wind.  Brrrrrrrrr!!!!!!  Gele managed to tie the window shut.  I should have read the signs, since the bus journey went from bad to worse from there!!!!

A couple of hours into the journey, as we wound our way up into the beautiful Himalayas, with the early morning sun lighting up the snow peaks, the next disaster struck.  A rock hit the back window and completely shattered it.

What do you think the bus driver did?

Nepal - Back window shattered by rock

Broken Back Window

Bugger All !!!!

For the next hour glass splinters flew into the bus as the window disintegrated.  Finally, the driver did stop to cover the ever growing hole with a sheet of plastic.

The road was not up to Western standards, it was just a rocky dirt track that created a dust storm.  I had to buy a head scarf from the side of the road to prevent me breathing in the dust.  Gele and I must have looked like bandits!!!

Nepal - On a Nepali bus wearing masks to protect ourselves from the dust.

Bandits or Hiding from the Dust?

Bouncy Bouncy Bang!!!

This time the bang was the tyre puncturing.  The boy sitting opposite us went white and proceeded to throw up everywhere.  Nice!!!  We all got off the bus as the driver set about changing the tyre and one of his helpers attended to the vomit by simply throwing dust over it.

Nepal - Bus driver fixing puncture on the side of the road

1st Puncture :oS

Bouncy Bouncy Bang!!!

Yet another punctured tyre!!!

As the bus climbed higher into the Himalaya’s the road conditions worsened.  We had to cross a number of mountain streams. The bus in front of us got stuck in the mud.  When it finally managed to free itself, our driver decided he wasn’t going to risk getting stuck.  He slammed his foot on the accelerator and all the passengers that had been pushing the previous bus had to scatter quickly in fear of their lives.

The next few hours our bus kept getting stuck in the muddy streams.  It was terrifying accelerating towards sheer drops.  One false move and we could plummet to our death over the side of the mountain.

Nepal - Bus stuck in mud

Great stuck in the mud!!!!

As night fell, I started to feel scared.  The night brought with it a fall in temperature, which in my mind meant an icy road and an higher chance of plunging to our death.

The bus suddenly came to a sharp halt.  A lorry had lost it’s breaks and was blocking the road ahead.  It was rumoured we may have to spend the night on the bus.

What a way to spend Christmas Eve!!!!

We got off the bus while the drivers tried to resolve the issue.  As I tried to find a safe spot from the road, Gele said “Be careful of tigers!!!”  Great that’s all I need.

Miraculously I had mobile coverage, so I decided to ring home to hear a friendly voice and wish my parents a Merry Christmas.

Eventually we were on our way again and around 7pm we reached a village.  It was still 30 minutes drive to our final destination, however I was so over this journey from hell that we decided to find a tea house for the night.

Nepal - Nepali Tea House

A welcome break and my last proper shower for 11 days :oS

One freezing bus, 2 punctures, a dust storm, a shattered bus window, one vomiting child, constantly getting stuck in the mud and a blocked road :

I think I’ll stick to mince pies in the warm next Christmas Eve!!!

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