Monday, 24 September 2012

Bumpy Bus to Behisahar

We’d decided to save money and take the public bus to Behisahar so we were up early and at the "New Bus Station" by 8.30am and surprisingly on our way fifteen minutes later.  We though this would mean we would make good time to Behisahar, except that the first hour of the trip involved slowly driving around the outskirts of town picking up passengers and salesmen/sales children along the way (the latter of which jumped back off once their sales pitch had ended).  By 9.45 we finally seemed to be on our way out of town, only to have our progress halted at 10.30 since this is the time for Nepalese to have lunch.  

Finally at 11am we hit the road, only to again have our progress encumbered, and this time by something more dire than Nepalese lunch - a massive traffic jam.  Our young driver turned out to be pretty cheeky and skipped ahead quite a few kilometers by driving on the wrong side of the road as oncoming traffic was thankfully scarce.  We only realized 30 minutes later when we pulled into a tyre shop that he’d been trying to get to the repair shop as fast as he could as we'd been driving on a burst tyre!

Inside our retro bus with our mascot Che
We sat outside the repair shop for half an hour while the tyre was patched up and re-inflated, watching as all the traffic we’d just overtaken kept slowly crawling past.  We stared somewhat longingly into the comfortable tourist buses which, even though stuck in the same traffic as everyone else, clearly had their AC on and were in seated in reclined comfort while we sweated and waited.

We were on our way again soon enough, however our driver must’ve decided that he enjoyed dicing with death and so again he gained us a few kilometres by driving up the wrong side whenever the chance presented itself.  Around 3pm we finally saw the cause of the traffic jam, a bus had overturned on a narrow bridge forcing the traffic into one lane.  Thankfully the bus didn’t look too damaged so we hoped that there were no serious injuries from the accident.

Our bus was full, but thankfully not this full!
Once we crossed over the bridge the traffic thankfully began to flow at a decent speed (meaning that we finally had some cool air coming in the window!) but our troublesome tyre decided that we needed another hot wait in the sun.  An hour later the tyre had been repaired for the second time and we were again on our way, but not after some serious debate whether we should leave our crippled bus and jump ship to another one passing by.  

By the time we got to Dumre it was late afternoon and we knew we wouldn’t be able to get our first section of hiking in as we’d hoped.  After a change of bus and another round of pick-ups we finally struck out again and arrived at our destination, Behisahar, at almost 6pm.  It had been a long day on a very hot and sweaty bus and we really needed a shower and some food as we’d only eaten our emergency dried fruit supply all day.  This meant we were rather keen to find ourselves some accommodation and since we hadn't planned on spending the evening in town we hadn't done any research to see what other people had recommended.  

It took about half an hour of wandering up and down the main street, checking out rooms and menus (generally speaking you have to eat where you sleep) and we finally chose a place mainly because we were tired of looking, they promised hot water and wifi and said that their kitchen was ready for dinner.  After we settled in we realised that the place we'd chosen was actually a complete dive with spiders crawling in the beds, the room looking like a moldy hell hole and that it in fact had no hot water, and to top it off - their promise of wifi was false.  Dinner took over an hour to actually arrive and it was tasteless and cold, so afterwards we decided we didn’t want to pre-order breakfast for the morning even though they were insisting we had to....   We ended up winning that argument and went back to our spider filled room to have a cold shower and get some sleep, drained after the long day but very excited to start our trek early the next morning.

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