The Eventful Journey from Nepal to Varanasi
Leaving Chitwan National Park
After a delicious lunch in Chitwan National Park, it was time to head to India! The journey is incredibly complicated and involves what feels like 100 changes and plenty of abandonment. The first bus arrived an hour late (no surprise there) and after a short journey we were dropped off on what was called The Highway. Here we had to wait for another bus, and at one point I just thought any minute now we were going to be kidnapped and robbed of the little money we had left. Fortunately, this didn’t happen!
Adjustment of Nathans Balls
Eventually, three local buses later, we were almost at the Indian border. The driver of the final bus we were on stopped and pointed to a run-down jeep. About 10 of us hopped into the five-seater transport (me, Nath, the Nepalese driver and 7 locals) and endured an entertaining one hour drive. Nath was in an unfortunate position in the jeep. He was sat half on the driver’s seat, and half on the passenger’s seat with the gear stick in between his legs. Every time the driver changed gear, Nath had the luxury of having his balls adjusted by the driver. I couldn’t help but find this incredibly amusing.
Arriving at the Indian Border
Finally, at the border, we quickly filled out the Nepalese departure form and got our passports stamped, determined to get into India before night fell. The sun was setting fast and the border crossing was ridiculous! We walked straight into India and the immigration office was way in the town. Anyone could literally just walk in for free from Nepal! Of course, we had just paid over £80 for an Indian visa and I was not going to waste it! We filled out more forms and found a cheap local night bus going all the way to Varanasi.
The Local Indian Night Bus
We hopped on the bus, all the while getting stared at by the local Indians who probably couldn’t quite believe we had got on this local overnight bus. Even I couldn’t believe we were on this bus. The windows had all been smashed out, the bus was covered in dents and holes, the seat fabric was all ripped leaving a hard metal surface to sit on and not to mention it looked like it hadn’t been cleaned in over a century.
The bus was meant to leave in 10 minutes, so I quickly had to find us dinner. I ran through the streets trying to find something. It was my first time in India and it was dark, not to mention my time was limited. I ended up buying us each a fruit cake and some cashew nuts for our dinner and sprinted back to the bus. The heat even in the evening was intense and I was sweating so much that I had to take my jumper off. Terrible idea! Every person on the bus turned around and stared at my bare arms and chest.
Flashing my butt to local Indians
I was finally starting to catch my breath and relax and then I needed a wee! Why do I always need a wee at the most inconvenient times! I ran off the bus which was about to leave in about 30 seconds, pulled down my trousers and went for a wee in front of the whole bus and street…. It was no longer my arms and chest they were staring at, but probably the white girl peeing with her butt out. I was mid flow and then the bus started to leave. OMG! I began running and pulling my trousers up at the same time. How I never fell over I don’t know. I was finally at the driver’s window, shouting STOP at the top of my lungs and finally pulling my trousers up fully.
Back on the bus, everyone was smiling and laughing at me like I was an absolute lunatic… So embarrassing. We sat down, ate our cake and the bus finally took off. The seats were incredibly uncomfortable and my bum was already hurting.
Arriving in Varanasi covered in an inch of dust
The bus arrived in Varanasi early at five the morning. I was exhausted and the bus ride had been horrific! It had been incredibly bumpy and it turns out a bus with smashed out windows driving through the Rajasthan desert isn’t the most pleasant experience. Everyone was covered in about an inch of dust when we arrived and my nose was even blocked with dust. My throat felt like razorblades and mine and Nath’s voice had completely gone. My body was in agony from flying in the air and landing on the solid metal seats throughout the ten-hour bumpy journey and my head was hurting from the lack of sleep and probably hitting my head on the side. It wasn’t much of a surprise however that the roads were terrible and the driver had sped along them at about 100 mph… He can’t have spent much time in his seat either!
We stepped off the bus and were bombarded by tuk-tuk drivers…. welcome to India!