We were picked up at 7.30, so not quite as early a start the the previous three days. We'd heard that there had been a landslide on the road after very heavy rains in the night, so we readied the kids for a long day of travelling.
Sure enough, the going was very slow as there were loads of road projects being finished before the monsoon starts in earnest in a weeks time, plus there were a large quantity of buses, coaches, trucks and lorries on the move. We crawled, we stopped, we moved a little bit, we stopped, the engine stopped, we shunted forward and so it went on for about 3 hours.
Finally, we got past the landslide and it speeded up. This is when our driver began to drive recklessly, overtaking before bends and slamming either his brakes or his accelerator. Cas and I became quite concerned after some close misses, so when we finally stopped for a break, some five hours after leaving, I had an interesting chat with the driver.
First, I showed him the kids to appeal to his heart, then I used sign language to imitate very fast curves and a big crash. He
understood and I asked him to go slowly. Finally, to appeal to his wallet I offered him 2000 rupees to drive slowly until we reached Kathmandu. This is £12.50 which compares to the average daily wage in Nepal of just 60 pence. It was my first ever bribe.
The moment of truth arrived when we set off and it was like being on a completely different bus. Slow, smooth and much safer. Both parties were happy when the bus pulled into the capital: we got off safe and sound and he got a wad of easily made money.
During the final two hours we were all very bored and eager to get off. Hat managed to salvage it by opening up 'Sparkle's Massage and Spa', which she announced in an amusing broad Yorkshire accent. Everyone had a turn lying flat across the back seats whilst Hat did head or foot massages. We all thought that Sparkle was very proficient.
It was so good to finish this difficult eleven hour journey.
We checked into the Tibet Peace Hotel and then walked to Fire and Ice Pizzeria for some well earned nosh.
Tot: 3.44s; Tpl: 0.04s; cc: 10; qc: 49; dbt: 0.0425s; 3; m:saturn w:www (18.104.22.168); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.4mb