Chitwan to Kathmandu

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May 11th 2013
Published: May 14th 2013
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I woke up around 4:20am on Saturday and got ready for my bus rude to Kathmandu. As I was preparing to leave my room, I heard a low-pitched grunting sound from outside the back window. I froze, casting my mind back to the tiger attack story, although, from my expert experience of watching the Discovery Channel, the sound didn't strike me as tiger-like.

As time was ticking by, I decided to make a run for it. It was no longer pitch-black outside, so I knew I'd at least see my attacker as it mauled me to death. I ran out with my backpack on, stopping off on Cindy's porch to leave some travel wash (since she actually has the motivation to do these things, rather than lazily paying for laundry services, as I do), before heading to the front gate. I made it!

I waited in the front office with the poor guy I just woke up (in fairness, he told me to do so the night before), and my minibus arrived at gone 5:30am - over half an hour late. Tut tut. I climbed on, saying hello to my fellow foreign passengers, but was greeted with miserable looks. Obviously not morning people! Anyway, I squeezed through to my allocated seat at the back, popped my earphones in, and relaxed.

The ride was somewhat white knuckle inducing, with constant pot-hole bumps lifting me out of my seat and several close-calls with cliff edges. At one point, I looked out of the window and could see straight down to the river, a good 100m below. It was the first time since being in Nepal that I questioned whether I would actually reach my destination.

After a few hours, several passengers alighted and others took their place. A tiny little man sat down beside me, and a woman I assumed to be his wife sat in front. I couldn't understand why this man felt the need to practically sit on my lap, or why the wife was scowling at me like I'd invited him to. I shifted as close to the window as possible, hoping he'd get the message, but to no avail. Then, I glanced round and saw them both looking at me with mockingly amused expressions. I shot them both dirty looks, rolled my eyes and turned away, which seemed to raise a sense of annoyance from the woman, judging by the tone of her subsequent rant. I simply turned up the volume on my iPod and dozed off for the remainder of the journey.

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