Sept 25, 2010.
I wrote this post back in 2010 while I was backpacking in Nepal, I recently updated and translated it and added pictures.
A week ago I was crossing the border. It’s funny how in 5 minutes of walking we went back of two hours and 15 minutes (Nepal has this weird time, don’t ask me why. When in London it’s 6 pm, here it’s 10.45 pm).
It’s like traveling in time, not only in space. And an unusual passport check in Kadari. If you don’t bother walking to the counter, you might enter Nepal without stamp (but I don’t know what would happen at the moment of leaving the country as you need a visa to travel anyway).
First day in Nepal and the adventure starts. I’ll have to use the “we”, because I was with Lee and Hilde (with whom I toured Tibet). We knew there was a bus that goes from Kadari to Kathmandu (changing in Barbise). We were happy to wait for the bus for a couple of hours, so that the bus would cost us 2.5 euro for the whole trip instead of the 5 on a 4×4 (things you do to save 2 euro when you are traveling on a budget!).
One hour later we discovered that there was no bus coming because a recent landslide (that I found out being quite common in Nepal) had interrupted the road and the bus was unable to arrive. So we had to rent the jeep. And because of the new conditions (no bus was coming), the price rose to 8 euro per person. Ok. For once, if you have no choice, you can do it. Shortly after Barabise, just one hour and half after we left, with 4 more hours to go, another landslide blocked the road. We waited for a bit, we took advantage of the situation to eat our first nepalese curry, then the driver told us that due to a huge rock that the crane was unable to move, we had to take our backpacks, walk over the landslide and take another bus on the other side to Kathmandu.
Ok. A bit of excitement walking on the fresh landslide, with stones still moving, but everything went fine. The fun part comes when we see the bus, full of people (as expected, as there was a long queue of buses and jeeps before the landslide, in our same condition), so we are suggested to pop on top of the bus. We weren’t alone. Well, it was actually quite crowded. At the beginning it was scary. I thought we were going to die, that a jump on the thousand of holes that dot Nepalese roads or a sharp bend accentuated by the crazy driving, would have thrown us far away. But no, it was a beautiful experience. We had a full view of the green hills and the rice fields, we exchanged greetings with the people on the road that were looking after their business (almost everyone had a small shop or was selling something along the road), we talked to our new Nepalese friends. About whom I found out I can’t tell the age. A boy that I thought was 16 yo was actually 26. With wife and child somewere. I also learnt the numbers from 1 to 10 (but I currently only remember ek, dui, tin 1-2-3) and we got a lot of rain (the rain season hasn’t finished yet). Anyway, once the rain was over, we were dry in 5 minutes.
Four hours later, with our bottoms striped in white and blue (the rusted iron bars that are meant to carry the luggage weren’t very kind to our bottoms) we finally arrived in Kathmandu, at night (it was 6.30 pm but super dark and I was so tired it felt like it was 2 am – also because of the time change).
We found a guesthouse at 2,50 euro per night. But first of all Facebook. Finally, after almost a month in China where Facebook is banned, it was nice to be back online. And skype call with my parents (it was 2010, there wasn’t whatsapp yet).
Second day in Kathmandu. I spent the morning enjoying the luxury of having the wifi in my room trying to upload pictures of one month of traveling, with a connection so slow that proved that my patience has improved a lot.
Afternoon spent around Thamel.
Next stop: Kathmandu.