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The trek in the Himalayas was an experience that I will remember for the rest of my life. Although I was ill prepared, both physically and mentally, the locals and fellow-travellers I met along the way made it a very special week. Those people, along with the incredible surroundings, will stay in my mind longer than all the hard work and effort it took me to climb those steep mountainsides.
After another few days and a magical time in Pokhara, I returned to Kathmandu and have spent my remaining time here in the company of Australian fellow-travellers Geoff, Kim and Brom, who I teamed up with after the trek. We have had a great laugh together although the atmosphere in the last couple of days has become a little strained. You’ll understand what I mean if you read my diary.
Since leaving England over three months ago, I have been out of touch with what has been going on in the outside world most of the time. Whilst here I visited the reading room at the British embassy where they had a good selection of newspapers and magazines. Not much seems to have changed although I did find out that the Pope had been shot at, but thankfully survived.
When I set out on this trip I was intending to keep just a few notes on places I visited and things that I did. Keeping the diary up to date has now become a part of my travelling day. Sometimes I get a little fed up writing it all the time but I also appreciate the routine and being able to express my thoughts and frustrations.
All through this trip I have been sending segments of the diary to Jan, a good friend of mine in Frankfurt. It gives her an insight into another traveller’s world, which she seems to enjoy. If the diary gives pleasure to at least one person then it’s all worth the effort.
My ticket is booked for the night bus leaving tomorrow afternoon. The time here has flown by but the limitations of visas and money mean, sadly, that I need to move on again. I have loved my time in Nepal and this country will live on in my memory for many years to come.
A Lucky Escape
The road out of Kathmandu was, as always, rough. We were rewarded on the other side as we descended by the most beautiful sunset. The whole sky was aglow and the blazing red sun caused fantastic patterns around the clouds while the mountains seemed pitch black against the brilliance of the sky.
Shortly after sunset I took a Valium to relax me as the whole journey looked like being along rough roads all night. Twenty minutes later, as I was dozing, we almost had a nasty accident. There were a Danish couple sitting in front of me who explained what had happened.
The whole road to the border town of Kakarvita was narrow and our coach had tried overtaking a truck, which hadn’t moved over enough to let us pass. As a consequence our bus ploughed into the grass verge on the right-hand side of the road. We all got out of the bus as numerous people, helped by a tow-rope and a truck, managed to get the coach back onto the road.
I had a look at the skid marks on the road and the impressions made by the wheels in the grass. Another yard at the front or as little as six inches further to the side and the bus would have ended up in a river, after going down a steep embankment of thirty or forty feet. A lucky escape!
It seemed a fairly normal occurrence though and we were soon on our way again, with the driver still driving along the same way as before, which could be reckless and dangerous. We made a stop at 9 p.m. for a drink and I also had a nice joint with Mike and Chris, the English versions of their Danish names, before returning to the bus.
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