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Jul 09

The road to Bajhang

The road is long…with many a winding turn!

20110709-105621.jpgThe journey to Bajhang was at best arduous, at worst death defying. To say that Bajhang is remote and virtually inaccessible could even began understatement! Our bus lurched round sharp mountain bends of narrow roads with sheer drops off to the side…sometimes on both sides at once! As we got closer to Bajhang it became less of a road and more like partially levelled out rubble, tipping the bus precariously over to one side, then the next. I am certain my window was almost horizontal with the ground a few times! The sporadic down pours of the early monsoon weather creeping in did not help to make us feel more safe or secure!

20110709-105643.jpgAt one point, we all had to disembark to cross a small landslide, which after moving around a few rocks the bus eventually conquered! Apparently, I discovered, my return journey would be far worse as the impending full force of the monsoon would like take out huge chunks of the road…meaning done hardcore trekking would be on the cards!
Every now and then we would meet a cargo truck hurtling the other way, horn blaring, brightly coloured art work emblazoned in it’s sides. The fine art of passing these trucks us not to be sniffed at…often entailing some very nerve wracking cautious reversing and a battle of wills between the two vehicles, played out in a cacophony of horn bursts!

Loud Nepali music was played constantly for the whole 20 hours journey…something I actually didn’t mind as I am sure that as well as keeping all the passengers awake it was also doing the sane for the driver! 😉

20110709-105706.jpgThe pit stops were taken in the middle of the night, for dodgy looking food, rest and copious amounts of much welcomed Nepali tea. Toilets were wherever you could find a dark corner, praying not to be stumbled upon, or worse pee-ed upon by a fellow traveller!Hilariously, every now and then we would come across a road sign…ironically indicating a sharp bend ahead or a series of turns. How it was decided which of the hundreds of endless winding corners deserved a sign was completely beyond me, as it seemed to indicate no real distinction in their severity.
At last, almost a full day after boarding we arrived at our destination…Chainpur and the Bajhang District Hospital. My home for the next few weeks, sparse and remote …but at least stationary and not at risk of plunging to our deaths!

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.clairemariethomas.com/2011/07/the-road-to-bajhang/

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