Sunday, 16 October 2016

Bus From Kathmandu to Pokhara - Nepal


The bus ride from Kathmandu to Pokhara was a choice between two evil. I had a choice between the local bus or the tourist bus. How I detest myself for choosing the tourist bus for I felt a true traveller must do it the local way.
 
Tourist Bus from Kathmandu to Pokhara
The price different was not much really between 400 Rp and 600 Rp. Being lazy and of course having Asanam as a companion made me took the tourist bus option of 600 Rp. Tourist bus was just a name and the bus was just slightly more better than the local one.
 
The major difference was that this bus did not stop every stretch of the way picking up people along the route, however it did try to pick up as much as possible before leaving Kathmandu. Once outside Kathmandu the bus only stopped for toilet breaks and food breaks.

I was sleep deprived. I had maybe half an hour of sleep that night before the bus ride and luckily enough we were position towards the rear end of the bus. I sat at the middle seat of the last row hoping the bus will not be full and when we finally hit the road the thankfully the last row was not occupied. I could now use it like a bed and tried to sleep the journey away.

Halfway though we had a stop for toilet and for breakfast. Asanam told me that the view was beautiful but she herself could barely keep her eyes open. I was just glad I could lie down fully for I was exhausted and the bus was going though a super windy road plus I was pretty sure he was driving crazily. A few blarring horns more louder than the rest and more urgent sounding too told me we avoided collision of some sort. At one point the emergency brakes was jammed and almost everyone flew out of their seats. I was lucky enough that one right hand was always braced for it to happen.
It took us nearly 8 hours to get to Pokhara from Kathmandu although it was only a 300 km journey. Windy roads up and down the mountains pass made it a slow journey although sitting in the bus feels like the driver was speeding 80 miles an hour all the way.

Lunch Break along the way


Off the bus and the touts were waiting for us. You could see them outside the window looking in and scouring for the idiot tourist. As much as we were trying to avoid them they were judging their prey. I got off and immediately one guy approached with a comment … China ???
 
No ! Malaysia ….. I couldn’t help but correct him.
 
Immediately he switch to Malay and greeted me like a brother in the most profound malay proficiency that one would thought he was Malaysian true and true. I politely told him that we already have a reservation and have paid. He prompt me for the name of the hostel which I had prepared in advance knowing the local tout trick (he was checking if I was lying and indeed I was lying about the reservation but I did know where we were headed too). Knowing that he had no chance to sway me to another hotel he bid me farewell while me and Asanam got our luggage and prepared for a walk. ( all the above were conversed in Malay between me and the tout )
Asanam was a greeny when it comes to backpacking. Immediately she headed straight for the first taxi driver near the gate of the bus station. I lied to her …. I seem to be doing that a lot in Nepal it seams and told her it was only a short walk away. Once clear of the touts she asked me how far it was and I lied again … 400 meters I told her. 10 minutes later I told her it was just about there … another 400 meters checking my phone map. I had no idea how far it was other than it was walkable.
She needed that motivation I suspected for I had a feeling she would not have walked if she knew how far it really was … about 3km. Too late to turn back and not knowing where we were going she was force to follow me. Once we arrive it was a story we told over and over again to new and old fellow traveller that we meet in the hostel.
Kiwi Backpackers Guesthouse was the hostel we stayed in Pokhara. Not the cheapest place but the cheapest proper hostel 500Rp a dorm bed. Other Guesthouse was offering about 250 a head in their two bed room but I was not too keen. At hostels, at least one could meet other travellers and I would be relived in providing Asanam all the conversation attention.
Pokhara

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