Fog covered Pokhara all day. By the time it got to 2:00pm there had been a has exodus from Kathmandu airport with people hiring taxi’s to take them the 100+ miles to Pokhara. We rang our contact at 1:30 and within half an hour we had a rather spacious people carrier complete with driver. The agent had also sorted out a hotel for us. I must say this took a lot of the pressure and uncertainty away.
One of the people we met at the airport said that the road from Kathmandu to Pokhara was featured on the BBC “Worlds worst roads” programme. If I remember correctly I saw a bit of that ( Sam I think it was the one you rang me about). Subsequently it also appeared on a programme called something like “Ice Road Truckers”. Anyway I have come to the conclusion that there is only so much fear that you can take. After a while it becomes to exhausting so you find ways of reducing it. I decided not to be frightened by the near misses. As a result the adrenaline only kicked off at the “very near misses” After a while I decided to reserve the fear for the very near misses that involved some sort of uncontrolled skid. Then I reduced the fear further restricting it to very near misses with an uncontrolled skid where the vehicle coming towards us was bigger than we were. Eventually I gave up, took the seat belt off and went to sleep.
The journey had its pleasures. The countryside is gorgeous. Dusty but gorgeous.
We arrived in Pokhara at 9:00pm. Had a meal, a bottle of wine and went into a deep sleep. Its now8:30 on Friday and we are at breakfast. It is raining and the Himalayas are hidden by fog. We know they are there though and sometime soon they will show themselves to us.
Mrs Corban says: there is a general feeling of cooperation amongst the Nepalese we have met, wether its a comfortable co-existence of all the diverse religious groups, or the sharing of what could loosely be termed a road (pot holes don’t do them justice, there were landslides to drive through, gargantuan absences of a drivable surface). When driving all work on a first come principle as far as who goes in front of whom & when, many many what to us look like near misses, lots to beeping of horns, and everybody goes on, not a whiff or road rage. Only the pedestrians appear to be at risk.
Feeling nervous about the challenge ahead, heading off into the fog, it’ll be a bit like follow the leader today. Jo