Wow, afternoon sun in my face. For the first time I was traveling west instead of east, and the return to West Bengal improved my overall impression of India. Oh well, not much was needed. The Nepalese border was well hidden behind a grimy bus stand, and I spent the night in a Kakarbhitta guest house where the owner was pale and sweating and had a bad cough. In the backlight I saw a spew of virus-infested spit eject from his tremor ridden lungs. “Yes, we… cough… brrr… have a room. Here is… cough… your dinner… cough…cough.” For some mindless reason I thought I was immune.
This bridge is 113008 centimeter long. Nice to know.
They call it the Terai, the Nepalese flatland. It has many swamp-like areas from the melted masses from the 8848 meter high ridge in the north. The tarmac lay in a straight line, like a rolled-out carpet, but a heavy army presence and plenty of road check points slowed the advancement. Daybreak was made in a non-descript town. Gunshots in the night, and I could wake up to the final leg to Kathmandu. I started to feel woozy, had a puncture, and remounted the tire the wrong way. No time to fix it. The road became increasingly bad as it turned northwards and gained altitude. I lost more time. It became dark. The lack of a battery and a good headlight forced me to loiter behind trucks. Another road block. Waiting. Waiting.
I spent a week in bed. The exceptions were a few headaching walks in the Thamel district where I made myself unpopular by telling every adventure-seller to make a trek up their own behind. The Kakarbhitta virus had caught me. It was a sorry thing because I really wanted a holiday in the mountains. An independent Australian walker named Michael gave me the perfect invitation to Everest Basecamp, and clearly we could walk and talk for weeks. What a nice chap! But my fitness was down the drain. At the same time it was a forthcoming election with a ten day strike and curfew and what not. I’d decided to get away before showdown. But going where?
Here are few facts: Burma doesn’t permit entry from India by vehicle, and Chinese Tibet-policy requires that you exit through the same border as you enter (something that kinda ruin the progress). In effect these two countries block the overland route to the east. I had to make a jump over these obstacles. Some sort of shipping. That brought me to another problem. Kathmandu is 1700 meters above sea level, and Nepal has no marina.
Question: What is this warehouse worker pushing into the X-ray machine at the airport?
Posted by Erik Saue at February 04, 2006 12:48 PM GMT
Answer: My suitcase