For the next two weeks or so I’m going to diverge a little from my usual topics and tell you all about the adventure I’m currently having,
I’m in Nepal and have just embarked on the Annapurna Circuit trek. I’m walking with two people I met from a trekking buddies website, Derek and Tamara. I’m going to try to draw a cartoon that encapsulates something of each day.
Today we took the bus from Pokhara to the start of the trek at Besisahar, which was one of the more sketchy bus rides I’ve taken in Asia, coming second only to the night bus from Saigon to Dalat in Vietnam, which involved some high speed overtaking around some pretty hairy bends, slipping back onto the right side of the road at the last minute, often with an emergency stop to prevent head-on collision with oncoming trucks, horns blaring and everyone flying forward in their (un-seatbelted) seats.
Anyway, today was a little like that with the added thrill of racing along potholed roads along the edges of a steep gorge whilst trying not to look down too much.
So, half an hour into the journey, still in the suburbs of Pokhara, we had a minor collision with a motorbike, which involved one of the rib-crunching emergency stops. Anyway, we sailed on and all was well, until another 30 minutes or so later our bus got stopped by the police, who had apparently been informed of the incident. The bus then did a complete U-turn in the road and off we went back to the scene of the crime for an ‘investigation’. I’m not sure what happened next except that we basically drove nearly all the way back to Pokhara, did another U-turn and then carried on our way.
Nearly six hours later we arrived at the start of the trek and hiked the three hours or so to Bhulbhule. Beautiful: little hillside hamlets, goats, fields of corn, children yelling ‘Namaste’, grassy paths and a stunning view of some snowy peaks in the distance (see photo below). We are staying here for the night, in a cute little tea house, dahl baht and rice for dinner, chatting to other trekkers and feeling positive about the coming days.