DAY 6 – Driving back (November 16th, 2011)
“Where are you coming from? Where are you going to?”
“From Mount Everest and to the moon!”
“Can I drive you?”
One day everything comes to an end. Not always it is a good one. In my case the trekking ends with a full day bus ride adventure. The day starts early, the bus is quite full but for the first hour there is still some air left to breathe. The number of stops to pick up and drop passengers is countless. We pass 3 military control posts, in order to leave the national park we must leave the bus and walk for a while.
Monsoon rains worked hard on the roads. For long there is no good way, landslides were diged away recently. Basically we drive down a valley to Kathmandu, however for few short sections of the road we have to pass uphill passages. The first one we only can manage with the passengers walking and some brave maneuvers of the driver. At a second tricky road section we get stuck behind some trucks and buses, being unable to climb a hill passage. The road is in a bad shape and water runs down. It takes long for the vehicles in front of us to finally pass the point. Long ropes are taken out of the buses and locals as well as tourist mange to bring up the the bus before us and ours by supporting the wheel drive with rope pulling.
Having managed these adventures we enter better roads. We stop in a little city for lunch - a dhal bat party of course. Later we enter a more densely populated area. The bus is now filled up to the last cubic inch. Once again we are stopped: A bus in front of us broke down with a flat tire. The narrow road does not allow to pass bye, again we wait for an hour. Two female Spanish backpackers are on the bus with me. I learn that they are unemployed at home. Traveling in Asia is cheaper then living back home in Europe for them. It is a strange world we live in.
In the afternoon the valley gets greener, then the air is getting worse and finally we enter the wide spread outskirts of Kathmandu City. It still takes us a while to reach the center. A taxi brings me to my hotel, I have a shower and walk into the city for some dinner. The food tastes good after some days in the remote villages, so does the beer.
While walking back to the hotel I have to pass several Rickshaw drivers. I hate them, many of them offer their service in a very impolite and nerve killing way. Speaking a single sentence with them may make them follow you for minutes. Again one of them is trying to throw his hook on my: “Where are you coming from? Where are you going to?” Unnerved I answer: “From Mount Everest and to the moon!”. Preprogrammed I harvest the answer “Can I drive you?”. A smile returns on my face and will remain there for the rest of the evening!