Being the backpackers that we were, the cheapest option to get to Syrabrubesi, the starting point of our trek, was the local bus. The local bus was everything that you imagine a bus in India or Nepal to be. It was very old and extremely colorful, there were all kinds of decorations hanging from the ceiling and sitting on the roof was the norm for men traveling on the bus. That morning we met up with our wonderful guide Bolle and our porter, Dendee (that's how we pronounced it, I have no idea how to spell it) and made our way to the bus station. The bus station was very chaotic and we were so thankful to have Bolle there organizing everything and ordering us food and chai from a little stall. We had some idea as to what the standard of the bus we would be taking would be but there were a couple of other trekkers on the bus also and they seemed completely shocked by the bus.
|Our bus to Syrabrubesi|
Syrabrubesi is only 120km away from Kathmandu but unbelievably the bus journey takes anything between 8 and 12 hours! This is because from the departure point to the destination the entire road is winding mountain roads. I don't thing we ever drove more than 2km on a straight stretch of road. Also there are no bus stops along the route. A person stands on the side of the road and the bus picks them up. Luckily for us these mountain roads provided us with some outstanding views and I felt so in awe at the scenery. Everywhere the eye could see there were mountains with rice paddies going down the entire side. Most houses don't have running water so the main source of water for people is from wells on the side of the road. We saw people showering, washing dishes, doing laundry and preparing food on the roadsides.
|The scenery throughout the bus journey was so beautiful.|
|More rice paddies.|
|One of the houses on our way to Syrabrubesi.|
|Goats on the road.|
Halfway through the journey we stopped for some lunch, typical Nepali style, Dal Bhat. Dal Bhat is really delicious, it's a big plate with rice, lentil soup, pickles, some type of sauce and a curry. The typical way to eat it is to mix it all together and eat with your fingers. It took us a week before we'd try eating it the traditional way.
|A typical Nepali Dal Bhat|
I have to say though that the bus ride, for me, was honestly the scariest I have ever taken. The roads were so windy that a few people seemed to feel sick, in fact a very unfortunate incident happened on the bus. A person on the rooftop was feeling sick and started vomiting, unfortunately because he was on the roof the vomit was going down into the open window below and on to a poor woman! We were counting our lucky stars that it wasn't us!
We were getting higher and higher as we went along and the road was only barely big enough for two vehicles. The vehicle on the outside would have to edge off of the road so all there was was a sheer fall down a mountain. We would have to get so close to the edge that one of our wheels would be nearly off of the road. If the driver made one slight mistake then we were going to be tumbling down the edge of the mountain. I was sitting by the window and nearly pee'd my pants every time someone would overtake us, as I couldn't see any road, only the sheer drop of the mountain. Then there was the scariest part of the road. This one part had been swept away by a waterfall where the road should have been. It was raining so there was quite a bit of water too. And to make matters worse there was another vehicle going the opposite way, so we had to pull out to the edge of the rubble to let the other driver pass.
With my hand on my heart, I truly thought those were my last seconds on Earth. I had come to terms with the fact that I was going to die. It sounds silly but that is how scared I was. I couldn't see anything underneath us, just the side of the mountain and we were driving over huge rocks that would make the bus lean to one side. In that crazy moment that I thought was my last all I could think about was what would happen to Willy.
As you've probably guessed by now, we didn't die! We arrived in Syrabrubesi alive and well after about ten hours. We got settled into our guesthouse, had some food, watched some Dexter and had our last hot shower for a while.
We were both so nervous that night as the next day would mark the beginning of our seven-day Langtang Valley trek.
|Scenery on our way to the beginning of our trek.|
|One of the many rivers in the area.|
|Getting up high and the mist covers the tops of the mountains.|
Exotic Mt.Treks: They were very honest and really seemed to want to help us in the best way possible. I'd definitely recommend any travelers to use their services.
Bolle Magar: firstname.lastname@example.org
He was a highly qualified guide who always had our best interests at heart, he always had a smile on his face and became a good friend during our trek. His English is also great.
Hint: if you book with him directly you will be able to cut out the agent fees and save some money.