Stuck in traffic on the bus from Kathmandu to Pokhara. I'm 1 of 4 Westerners (all notably in the back seats except one old large white guy). Local music playing at a low background volume. We have not gone far. Dirt, rock, and trash line road. I feel like I could be on TV or in a movie. I truly feel like I'm at the start of an expedition. It is exciting. Except for the traffic which sucks. Nirvana's “Unplugged” is now playing with the bus driver occasionally singing along. Probably driven 100 meters in past 45 minutes.
Stopped again, though outside Kathmandu at least. Steep mountain pass, descending into valley. Traffic stops are passenger times to take pisses off cliffs. A ** STRIKE** has stopped traffic on this occasion. Just talking with two couples in back of bus – English/Columbian and English. We don't know when we'll move again. I already took my turn pissing off a cliff. Drinking Coke and eating biscuits.
Hot on bus – 1 hour to go. Hot…sweaty…tired.
The bus arrived at 4:45pm (9 hours) and I shared a cab with kayakers Rob (Ireland) and Rosie (Whales) to the Snowland Hotel. Single room with private bath, TV, phone for $10/night – very nice. Resting.
Despite the long, dusty drive I wrote about in my journal, the scenery was fantastic as we drove along a river and through terraced valleys. The buses and trucks were all decorated with hand-painted designs, stickers, and ornaments. Communication was heavily dependent on the use of horns, and they often had a really funny tone to them. I got quite a kick out of them.