The Bus

Trip Start Apr 07, 2012
1
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Trip End Nov 14, 2012


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Flag of Pakistan  ,
Monday, June 4, 2012

The Bus

Some have asked about conditions on the bus (the driver has insisted we call it a TRUCK, but we all sit as if we are on a bus)

There are 8 seats up front, and then there is a division for the steps on one side and the book rack and charging points on the other (iPods, laptops, phones, anything that needs charging really)

After that there are more seats, all facing forward, like a bus (hence I shall refer to it as a bus)

There are 20 people aboard, so we all get to have 2 seats each (and they aren't very comfortable) so you at least get to move and fidget a bit, we all move about, or rather people move your bags, so we eventually get to sit in different seats, the seats at the back are the worst, you feel every bump in the road, as it crashes over them, it jars your whole body and after a day of it you just have to move and let someone else have a turn, the bus doesnt have decent suspension, so you feel every rut and it bounces you around something awful at times, some have been physcally sick with it

The most popular seats are at the front and give a fairly smooth ride, but when it rains, you don’t see much anyway, the side windows don’t open like those further back, it would be good if there were curtains or the windows were tinted, just to stop the heat and glare

Underneath the bus, there are lockers for food, cooking utensils, tables/tools, storage of sleeping bags, tents and on the other side, the storage of truck tools and rucksacks, day bags

The truck is swept and washed out every day, usually in the evening, but really when it is washed out, it’s just redistributing the dirt, but at least an effort has been made

Everyone washes and disinfects with dettol before meals (and if we have to use a bush or tree during a 'comfort break’)

We use 3 bowls for washing up, the  first get rid of the waste food, the second to wash, the third to rinse, then into drying racks, then everything is stacked up and put away (everyone is supposed to wash their own plates, but it don’t always happen)

At the rear of the truck are steps (in case getting out of the side door is dangerous) and 2 racks of fire wood for any bush camps (or the guide don’t want to use the gas)

Sleeping on the bus is limited to the cook group, (they have an early start, and there may not be time for them to get their tents and kit away) but some try and sleep on there even if they aren’t on cook group (the lazy buggers)

Adam sleeps in the cab most nights, but in camp sites he gets to sleep in whatever they have (a hut, room, whatever) Polly usually has the same option (but usually sleeps in her tent)
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Comments

Jim on

Because of all the gear you need, its probably better, if not as overall comfortable than a ordinary bus. Reasonably well thought out. Considering the haet you have been put through, only an air conditioned bus could have helped, I would have thought.
It must be hard at times, but I expect you all expect it to be hard , and I expect its part of the experience.
So far, I reckon you have all managed well.
Thanks for the extra blog.

Edward on

Thanks for this post Derrick, I've been waiting for it!

Being an old fart who likes his comfort; this is sounding more like my journey from Hell with each posting. The term 'truck', which your driver prefers, is certainly the correct one in my estimation. After all, it's just an eight wheeler chassis and cab with a box body kitted out with windows and a few seats to carry passengers. It would never be as comfortable as a coach, as the suspension components are designed for a very different purpose.

Although I'm not really in a position to comment too much, as I haven't actually experienced the ride or the comfort/discomfort, I've got to make a few comments nevertheless! On the face of it, it seems like a great idea; the ruggedness of the eight wheeler chassis combined with the passenger capability. But it also looks, sadly, that whoever designed and built it either wasn't willing to invest enough cash, or didn't have the right background to think to build into it the levels of comfort which tye likes of myself would really require on such an arduous journey.

For example; due to it having all those opening windows, I would surmise that the passenger area isn't air-conditioned? If it's envisaged to have only enough passengers to utilise half the seats, then for quite a lot less expense, a set of quality seats could have been fitted and some of the extra room created could have been used for toilet and shower facilities.

Mind you, I'm sure that the younger, more intrepid, types (which are likely the target customer base) wouldn't be too bothered about these possible refinements!

Anyway, keep soldiering on, it's all good stuff to read for us who prefer our little comfort zones, lol.

derrick241
derrick241 on

Going along some of the roads and at the speed the driver insists on doing, we feel every bump and dip in the road, it has 4 wheel steering which makes U turns easier (we do a lot of them)

It gets bogged down easily (riverbeds arent good places to park over night)

It is designed for 40 people to travel, we are lucky, there is only 24 of us, so it gives a little more room,

As we do stops at hovels (laughingly called hotels) and stop at garages and in the wilderness for a pee break I would forgo the toilet and shower (it would be a lot of water to carry for 40 people)

There is a plate of the designer in the cab, but I guess he has never had to ride it, it has been designed with minimum cost, just basic stuff in their, the driver wont feel the bumps and dips, he has an 'air ride' seat

A/C could hace been fitted, along with curtains or tinted glass, the way the windows slide gives no respite either,

I havent heard anyone give a good word about the bus

We have had so many punctures, and just had 2nd hand tyres as a replacement, the starter motor died, another 2nd hand replacement, the power steering has a leak since Calais, its just been topped up when needed

With a little thought about the bus (and a few bob spent) it could have made so much difference to the comfort of everyone (just my opinion of course0

Edward on

By the looks of the lockers, there'd be little to no chance of carrying enough gear for 40 with all the other stuff as well. And, can you imagine travelling in that oven on wheels with another 16 people? No thanks!

Anne on

Well with heat you lot have had it must be so uncorfable it dosnt look that big so it just as well there is only 24 of you and not 40

mmbcross
mmbcross on

Thanks for these details. It makes the blog much more understandable. I guess you get what you pay for. You could never have done a trip like this for so little investment. It's something you will remember until your dying day. Afterwards you will laugh and the agony will diminish. Memorable trips are ones that are hard and often go wrong. The easy trips tend to fade as time goes by.

rossport
rossport on

I would say they call it a TRUCK for ease of Border crossings as they can claim it is a commercial vehicle and not hindered by a tourist visa and as a result is has all the suspension of a TRUCK. But agree with you mate more thought could be put into it and i think this company has been running for a few yrs now and once on a trip you never go back so they get new people all the time. maybe you should do a trip advisor review of it and start a blog and they might start improving if they get bad reviews as customers look at the reviews an go oops not for me.

derrick241
derrick241 on

When we come to a toll road, it can and does change from a bus to a truck, depending on the road tolls

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