BNP to KT
Bardia National Park to Koshi Tappu Camp
Up at five, off at five thirty with Santosh, carefully at the wheel. So wish that once in a while he would slam the car into second and whizz past anything. He spent forty minutes trying to pass a truck, every time we pulled out and he saw a feather in the road we would would pull back in, to his tut-tutting. We made it to the Babai Bridge (where we had seen our first crocodiles) just as the sun peeped into view. Looking right, all the chaps were sleeping.
On the one, straight, smooth piece of road we passed a coach that had just left the road.
We passed through the town of Napalgunj, nearing the airport of the same name. All towns are beginning to look very generic, unfinished and tatty. By the time we had parked in the airport it was twenty to eight but reassured Buddha Air is always late........Our 8:10 flight of fifty minutes actually landed at 13:20.
Leaving Bardia behind.
The thready rivers will soon be raging torrents of floodwater. Nearing the Annapurnas.
Yay a peek at mountains.
Coming in to Kathmandu we had advised our stewardesses of our onward fight. The radioed ahead and told us that flight had not taken off. The chaos was on the ground because a Malindo flight had left the runway yesterday, by the time it had been towed out of the way, the whole day had gone to hell in a hand cart. They were still trying to catch up.
At the Domestic Terminal we were bade to leave our plane first, our luggage was brought to us and we stood for some time with a Senior Ground Staff lady who shouted into her radio like an old hand. After ten minutes she told us that our next flight was badly delayed and we should take a bus with a couple of really sick men to the building and log in again. Back through security and into a zoo.
Next flight, the 12:10 from Kathmandu took off at 18:10, we had sat on the very hot plane for an hour...... Our stewardesses felt so sorry for us that they gave us two bags of peanuts each. No chance of seeing the Himalayas in the dark...... Thirty five minutes later we were on the ground. Bear went to find a taxi and success. He assured us he knew where we needed to go. We fell for that ol’ mustard and forty minutes later, the hour and a half taxi ride got lost, we were sitting outside the wrong camp on a parallel road miles away. Frantic shouting from our mad driver down his phone at someone and yelling at anyone we passed. We rooted out what we hoped was our camp number and that seemed to pacify the now nerve-shredded driver. Back to the main road. Bear actually shut his eyes as our tiny vehicle missed ‘things’ by an inch. I had the music speakers behind me but couldn’t reach the wires to disable them. Not being able to take the Hindi music at over a hundred decibels anymore, I moved to face backwards. Oh my. When we were overtaking a lorry with a tuk tuk to his left all we could see was a wall of lights as three sets were coming toward us. Somehow we all minced through. Back on the parallel country road and we hurtled over every bump and finally came to a stop beside four very fed up men who had expected us this morning. We were lantern led through a dark scene from The Deliverance and there was our tent. Bear went for a welcome dal bhat, I rooted out our smellies.
Laying on the hardest bed ever, finally, at 22:10. So fifteen hours and ten minutes to fly for an hour and a half. A long day springs to mind. Asked if we would like breakfast at six...... the look on our faces became nine o’clock. Pity a wedding party nearby went on all night. We may be in the wilderness but quiet.................
ALL IN ALL A DAY NOT TO BE REPEATED
SUCH A LONG DAY FOR AN HOUR AND A HALF IN THE AIR