You hear about Asian bus journeys but I can’t believe many could be as terrifying as the ride out from Shivalaya.
We were about 10 minutes into the journey when I turned to Robb and said “No one actually knows we’re on this bus do they? In case we die or something.”
The four of us had the seats at the back of the bus, which despite being narrower than most UK buses they’d somehow found room for a 6th seat. Krista was at the window (good for vomiting out of), next to Josh, then Rob and me. I had the joy of being sat next to the grumpy Yorkshire man we’d met at various points on the trek down from Lukla. He was bad tempered at every encounter and it was clear his porter was looking forward to getting rid of him. Squeezed next to him was a porter from another group.
I was literally wedged into my seat – which turned out to be a good thing. It was such a bumpy journey everyone else was thrown up in the air bumping their heads into the overhead panels. Ouch.
The section of the journey to Jiri shouldn’t really be allowed – the road is not adequately built for vehicles. We got stuck in the mud behind another bus at one point. It was on the corner of a cliff and the driver couldn’t get enough traction. He ordered everyone off the bus so there was less weight but as we were the last ones to get off and the driver must have considered it light enough he simply closed the doors again, forcing us into the nearest seats. Or in the Yorkshire man’s case, throwing him down the aisle. The driver revved the engine and was successful in getting through the mud slick. It did result in one of the back wheels slipping off the side of the cliff but hey, nothing major.
A few more dramas, 11 hours and a flat tire later we got back to Kathmandu. We were all elated to be alive.