|Two seats. Three people.|
Welcome to Nepal.
Distance (Driving): It felt like forever. (Actually, about 90 km.)
Elevation: 0 m
Jeep, bus, taxi, whatever. We woke up early to begin hours of driving on horrible roads. The combination of deep potholes, loose gravel and unnerving grade of the road (both front to back and side to side) was just gravy on the depressing travel circumstances we found ourselves in. For hours we were literally just inches from sliding into the deepest river gorge on the planet. And that is no exaggeration; the road from Jomsom to Pokhara traverses the Kali Gandaki Gorge, with a 21,000 foot difference between the level of the river and the peaks surrounding it.
Before diving into the photos, however, I wanted to offer a brief time-line of the Meshkov/Martens journey as compared to the Westrin/Foster journey. My recommendation: Fly. Fly, fly, fly.
|Don't let the tranquility of this bubbling brook fool you.|
The inside of our jeep was a bone-rattling affair.
|Terraced fields along the ride|
[JLM: Where was their cheese on the hike!?!]
|We met our next bus in Beni|
|Shiba, and two Nepalis ladies, and a small child, in two seats.|
The three of them choose to sit with Shiba despite their boarding the bus when there were unoccupied two-zers.
Shiba said they just wanted those seats. We attributed it to his good looks.
|The bus could properly be described as crowded|
|We are still unclear whether it was so bad that this lady should have sat on Jesse's lap.|
|She was reluctant to join us for a photo |
(We couldn't blame her, no one wants to have their photo taken when they are not feeling well)
|The side view really shows the coziness|
|A Nepali man on break|
|Jesse played peek-a-boo with a fellow passenger|
|He was more interested in his limeade|
|The scenery remained dramatic|
|Nepali ladies hauling crops|
(they need a porter!)
|The rest stops on the Jomsom-Pokhara highway do not resemble those on the Jersey Turnpike.|
[JLM: I really could have used a TCBY]
|We chatted up this guy who was heading to school|
|Like a clown car!|
|And we wouldn't have had it any other way.|
As a special welcome-back-to-civilization treat, Shiba and his wife graciously invited us over to their house to meet their family and enjoy some delicious home-cooked dal baht. Thanks for having us!
|Masters of eating rice without utensils. It's all in the thumb.|
|Shiba, his wife, and their adorable baby.|
Not pictured: Shiba's older daughter, who took one look at Jesse and burst into tears.
* I am quite sure at this point Ted smiled to himself and thought I (but maybe not Jesse) deserved this fate after I left the back row on our Jomsom to Tatopani trip and two Nepali men replaced me.