Day 03. Only buses

Nepalese bus - we also rode this oneThe whole day was spent in Nepalese buses. The comfort of buses is inversely proportional to the distance to the capital. First, a half-empty tourist one, then the roof of the regular one, the overcrowded interior of the regular one, and finally a wild jump on potholes in an all-terrain minibus.Route: Kathmandu – Dumre – Besisahar – BhulbhuleTraveled: 160 km in 13 hours with four transfers.Altitude above sea level: 840 mTerrain: asphalt road, bumpy dirt roadWe got up early, got ready quickly, walked even faster – it was very cool. At 6:10 we were already standing in front of the agency, waiting for the bus. Actually, our bus arrived a long time ago, like many others. Their endless line lined up along the street. Are they all filled with tourists? There are only a few pale-faced people so far.We were waiting to board. The manager said that there were still 40 minutes before departure. I thought that I would still have time to sit still today and began to more actively explore the surroundings. A European woman with a player ran past jogging. Hm, commendable. I wonder if she only runs on highways or is there a suitable park somewhere?Before I had time to think it through, a whole platoon of soldiers in camouflage rumbled on the opposite side of the street. They also run. Sports country, however.running Nepalese soldiers Sveta broke down and helped Taras buy coffeeGradually the passengers pulled up. Backpacks and other luggage were given for loading onto the roofs of buses, while they themselves smoked, read the morning newspapers and warmed themselves with tea with milk. Taras wanted coffee, and went to the nearest mobile stall, to show miracles of ingenuity. The fact is that he does not know English, let alone Nepalese, but he needs to communicate with the locals somehow.Near the stall gathered a lot of motley audience. Bus drivers, newspaper sellers and of course tourists. Someone has already packed in gore-texas and vibrams, obviously planning to be on Everest this evening. Some were beaming in sky blue jeans and pristine white T-shirts. One young Englishman caught my attention with unusual clothes – something like a leather sheepskin coat (that is, with fur) plus a pointed knitted hat with llamas (probably visited Peru). Over the shoulder bag with a guidebook and a SLR. It would be cool if his luggage was limited to this. But later we repeatedly met this Englishman on the track and made sure that he had a backpack, but no porter. Our person!Waiting for the bus to depart in DumreOur carrier is bus World Wide Travel

World Wide Travel (Kathmandu – Dumre).

7:10. We’re off. The bus is half empty, like most others. It’s not the season, is it? A group of tourists who bought a rafting tour from some agency is traveling with us. They leave earlier than us. Then the bus will be completely empty.The bus moves very slowly around the city. Representatives (and representatives) of the Traffic Police are on duty on all the big streets and check some papers. Apparently apply for the improvement of roads.We pass a huge stadium. Nepalese soldiers are busy with self-improvement here too – they run, pull themselves up, work out blows.A poor man builds a house right on the side of the highway His tool is a digging stick8:00. Kathmandu is finally over. The chaotic structures were replaced by a rhythmic pattern of fields. Every 100 meters we pass some artel for the production of building materials. Crushed stone is crushed in them, pebbles are collected, bricks are fired. Apparently, there is a construction boom in the country.Children are loading huge cobblestones (pebbles) into the carTwo Tata trucks towardsThe city of Kathmandu is located in a wide valley. And the valley is on a vast plateau with a height of about 1300 meters above sea level. And our bus had to descend from this plateau into a deep valley, I don’t remember which river. The narrow serpentine with enviable constancy amused us with oncoming trucks, beggarly shacks almost on the roadway and slight nausea from endless turns.9:30. Stop for a snack at the roadside eatery Hamlet. From the reports we read, we already know that absolutely everyone stops here and we don’t ask unnecessary questions. We stretch our legs, eat up the buns bought in the capital.Roadside restaurant Hamlet Japanese woman didn't eat anything but took a pictureBird with a cupHamlet (cafe )

Small overlay.

After eating and fresh air on the bus, I was exhausted, I lost my vigilance, fell asleep. We stopped somewhere, landed rafters. Again we drove on along the endless river. Picked up white girls in some village. How far can you go, it’s almost one in the afternoon!To orient myself, I turn on the GPS. This road is not on my map, but there is Pokhara and it is very close to it. Weird…- Dear, – I turned to the driver. – Will we arrive in Dumre soon?- It’s been half an hour already :)- Whhhhhh, how unexpected!In short, it was necessary to be less embarrassed and more often to remind the driver about himself and about the need to land in Dumra.Slight confusionNepalese grannies13:00. The bus moored at another road restaurant for a toilet-lunch break. We, having received the luggage, stood on the side of the road. We will catch passing buses in the opposite direction.Just 10 minutes later we were picked up by a crowded Local Bus. There were no seats in the cabin and we climbed onto the roof with interest. The pleasure cost 40 rupees per person and, according to the conductor, it should have lasted 30 minutes.on the roof of a Nepalese bushold on tightview from the roof busThe bus was moving slowly and we easily managed to dodge the branches, smile at the Nepalese neighbors, take photos and videos, straighten the slipping backpacks and, having improved the moment, stretch our fingers, clinging to the trunk rails with a death grip. In other words, it’s not scary to ride on the roof, but the brains clearly understand their defenselessness and, on the sly from the curious owner, take security measures.

Dances with a tambourine and a bus (Dumre – Besisakhar).

Having traveled 16 km, we finally landed on the blessed land of the village of Dumre. And then such a mess began that I even stopped taking pictures.I asked about Besisakhar, and some barker-bred immediately picked us up and dragged us into an already departing bus. Everything is cool, let’s go. Suddenly I remember that I didn’t ask the price. The conductor smiles self-confidently and announces the verdict – 500 rupees per person. An attempt to bargain does not lead to anything – he already has four mugs in the cabin who have paid such money, and the conductor simply cannot lower the price, otherwise they will also want a discount. We quickly jump out of an overpriced vehicle.

Tip. Always (in transportation, hotels, restaurants and buying other services) negotiate a price before you start consuming the service. This gives you leverage (the ability to opt out) and thereby lowers the price.

Soon we find another bus for 100 rupees per person. He has another problem – even though he barked and promised to leave within 10 minutes, but the salon is too empty – he will have to wait for filling. In order to attract new passengers and not scare off those who have already gathered, the driver together with the signal boy perform a shamanic dance with a tambourine. Every 5 minutes, the bus starts, beeps, the boy starts hitting the body in series of 2 hits (a signal to start moving), the bus drives a couple of meters forward, a couple of meters back, stops.This circus lasts half an hour and collects a full house (the bus is filled to the limit).14:15 At last we’re leaving, for real. We drive slowly, for a long time, with a bunch of stops, because this is not a tourist bus, but an ordinary local bus. Peasants go in and out, discussing something vigorously, a few whites dozing huddled in their chairs – they all go to the final.The sleepy atmosphere is slightly diluted by Taras. He makes way for a Nepalese grandfather! At first, the old man cannot understand for a long time why the pale-faced man got up if he is not going to get off the bus. Then it “reaches” him and he begins to tell Taras something animatedly (at Nepali of course). Neighbors also pay attention to the unusual act of a European and discuss this incident.

Signs of civilization (Besisahar – Bhulbhule).

16:30. We arrive in Besisahar. We must decide whether to try to go further or stay overnight here. Not enough information to make a decision. It is not known where the buses stop on Bhulbhul, and where are the good hotels in Besisahar.We do not think for a long time. After a long sitting on the bus, we want to warm up and we decide to go exploring. They asked a local, he pointed out the direction and said not to turn anywhere. We go, we go for a long time. We passed the center with hotels and tourists, passed the TIMS checkpoint. The village is almost over, but there are still no buses. And no one to ask :(We keep walking until we notice movement down by the river. Minibuses! We run to them (suddenly the last flight). Ticket 200 rupees per person. There are almost no places. Sveta sits on the engine with her back to the carrier, I hide in the far corner. Taras climbs onto the roof.The road is terrible. The minibus shows miracles of cross-country ability and stubbornly crawls through the mud, crosses rivers, climbs stone screes. To be honest, I’m amazed. Even in our “paved” villages, transport does not always go, but here there are regular off-road trips.Nepalese schoolgirls sit nearby and scribble text messages. So they have mobile coverage. As we passed another micro-village, in one of the clay shacks with unglazed windows, I saw a teenager at the computer.It got dark outside the window. Taras went down to the salon – on the roof it became difficult to dodge invisible branches. And again, a curious local clings to him and there is a kind of dialogue on the fingers. They discuss ways of self-holding on the roof without the help of hands, as well as other aspects of dressage of Nepalese trunks.18:30. Arrived in Bhulbhul. A brave minibus covered 10 km in an hour and a half and delivered us and 4 other pale faces directly to the most recommended hotel in the village – Torung La Guest House.For 250 rupees we get a modest room with a fan. Toilets and showers (quite decent) in the yard. Following the recommendations of the guidebooks, first of all we order dinner, and then we go to the shower to wash off our tiredness.

Tip. Upon arrival at the hotel, immediately order dinner at the right time. It will take 1-2 hours to cook. Breakfast is also ordered from the evening.

Food is ready in 40 minutes. Everything is delicious except for the obviously powdered mashed potatoes – Smashed Potato with Cheese. We didn’t order this dish in Nepal anymore – we took only fried and baked potatoes.We chat a little about the meaning of travel, I try to delve into tomorrow’s route, but we have no strength and we fall asleep.It was the 3rd day of wandering around Nepal. Choose what to read next:

Kirill Yasko. February 14, 2010.

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