Fuel Shortage and Road Safety

Trip Start Sep 20, 2011
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Trip End Jun 30, 2012


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Where I stayed
Tharu Village

Flag of Nepal  , Central Region,
Friday, December 9, 2011

NEPAL for those who don't know the country title stands for Never Ending Politics And Loadsharing. The government is currently attempting to revamp the Constitution and re-caste the states.  What this means for us is increasingly less power, increasingly more bandahs as any one of the seven political parties decides to throw their weight around and this last week we can add a complete lack of petrol.  The road from Kathmandu to Bhairawha  passes through an area that had a bandah (was in complete lockdown) the day before and by all accounts they were vandalising vehicles so we played it a bit cautiously and travelled the old road to Hetuanda and stopped off at Chitawan National Park where we knew we could get some reliable advice about the road ahead.  The Nepalese view the bandah updates on the evening News which leaves us at a bit of a disadvantage as we don’t watch the Nepalese News Chanel. 

We were both pretty happy to get off the bike after riding possibly one of the most scenic roads in Nepal. The old road is a narrow winding mostly bitumen that basically goes straight over the range through a couple of high passes up to 2488mtrs above sea level.  All was fantastic until Lisa got cold, uncomfortable and  hungry … boy did she make it know…my response was what the freak do you want me to do…you head into one of the village houses and see if you get anything that will not kill us..  The Enfield is blessed with a very comfortable looking seat however the reality is it feels like a slab of rock after about 1 hour of riding and really could do with some extra foam.  Numb Bums combined with the requirement to have nerves of steel make for a long day. 

Suicidal animals of every description and brain dead road users of every other description are hazard enough but the public bus drivers are a breed of their very own.  I really don’t know what the criterion is for them achieving a bus driving licence, a complete lack of respect for their lives the lives of their passengers and other road users is a good start.  They also seem to be the only Nepalese with any sense of urgency hence patience is not part of their makeup and will overtake when it is completely inappropriate to do so.  Sadly they also weren’t taught the meaning of good old Aussie abuse or the bone so sadly Darren is wasting a lot of extra energy that could be channelled elsewhere. Shouting 'Hey D.ck Head only cause them to become even more confused and random.

It appears that the Government is so caught up in the Constitution battle that they forgot to pay India’s bill for its petrol.  Nepal has no natural resources of its own.  We managed to find a petrol station in Kathmandu that had some and filled our tank for the ride home.  We got about 50 Kms from our home town and the bike starts to chug, we switch to reserve and start a desperate search for petrol.  Every station has tarpaulins over the pumps indicating no fuel.  We chug along slowly another 20 kms then pull into the last town before an agricultural stretch with no infrastructure and start a serious black market search.  We figure if the price is right someone will have petrol.  We finally managed to con one of the locals into syphoning it out of his bike for 3 times the normal petrol price.  Given we knew we were not going to get home and it was starting to get dark, also not a good thing to be out in this area after dark we paid the cash and rolled into the driveway on the sniff of an oily rag. 

We lovingly unpacked our groceries which we carted from a supermarket in Kathmandu.  One of the items we purchased is worth a mention.  Soap!!  Now soap does not normally get to be the feature of a blog but this stuff was different.  It was Ayurvedic Soap with some added stuff that we did not recognise but hell Lisa’s philosophy is …if it is Ayurvedic it must be good…  The soap was in a box and double wrapped so we could not smell it.  Long story short this was not one of our best investments.  Once we got it wet it seemed to have a chemical reaction with the water that released gasses that induced the body’s natural coughing reflex. It became difficult to breathe in the bathroom similar to easy off bam.  We then rubbed this stuff on our body as you would any soap and it kind of felt like tiger balm. Once rinsed off we noticed a strange sensation by the way of a cold feeling followed by a warming sensation that increased until we both were looking at each other thinking.. WHAT THE…  For the gentlemen out there they will know that tiger balm like sensations are not good down there… What to do.. grab the Savlon cream and start spreading. A happy ending was the result. We now have purchased different soap and will probably give some bus driver the other bar to see if the warming sensation help blood to flow to their head to increase brain function.
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Comments

David on

WTF : self service with Savlon when you have a wife?

harryabroad
harryabroad on

I know, however in this instance the Savlon was definately the better option. Try putting tiger balm on your dangly bits and see what you go looking for first!! i bet it is the savlon or a bucket of cold water. Ha ha

davo on

talk about great balls of fire

jorgie0
jorgie0 on

A happy ending in more ways than one ;-)

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