Bus to Baireni

Trip Start Feb 23, 2007
1
19
25
Trip End Mar 18, 2007


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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Another early morning and I am taken to the bus depot for departure to Chitwan but I am going rafting for two days before my arrival at Chitwan on Tuesday.
Eventually everyone is on board the bus and we head off out of Kathmandu. Horns hooting constanly as we leave in the morning rush hour and we pick other passengers up as we leave the city. There is a mixture of tourists and locals . The rest of the rafting group are behind me. There will only be four of us , myself an American  ( Josh) and two guys from Japan. As we go I take some vidoe clips on the camera to show the scary way they drive around the mountains and to see the terrace farming by the hillside.  At about 11o'clock the bus stops. We are told that we will continue in about half an hour when the driver has had  something to eat. Everybody gets off the bus. Or luggage is on the roof under a cover to prevent tampering and to stop it getting wet if there was a sudden shower. The fruit stall does an exceeding good trade as all buses stop here and many buy some apples and bananas. The bananas are tiny, you need a hand of them for a decent snack and they are very sweet.
Everyone gets back on the bus and the conductor (or what ever they call the guy taking the tickets) checks that everyone has got back on board and off we go. I turn around to talk to the two Japanese guys behind me to ask if they know where we are to get off the bus and they too have no idea. Our fourth member is sitting behind them and he has no idea either. Gradually the river we are following begins to look more like one to raft ion but still we continue passing villages along the route.
We stop and a guy gets on board asking who is for rafting and we all get off. It seems like the middle of nowhere with just a garage type depot where we are told to get our gear on ready for rafting and then the guide will put the life jackets on us all. His assistant will join us and a third person will take the gear onto our destination for the end of the day. Our cameras are put in a waterproof container and fastened into the boat.so that they will stay with the raft even if it tips over.
The six of us get on board the boat and after a quick safety briefing and a short practice of canoeing as a team we start our journey. We travel along the river passing through some white water areas of a grade 4 to 5 level river. Of course we do get wet. Josh and I are on the left hand side and we seem to get the wettest on this journey. After about an hour we stop for lunch ( stored in the waterproof containers). The others try their hand at skimming stones and I sit and watch. Our navigator and guide have gone up top for something to eat.
Eventually after some photos we return once again to the raft. I am a little concerned that I keep my glasses on but we stay on board and enjoy the different areas of white water. Just to make it feel like home it has been raining on and off. As we journey down the river we are cheered on by people from the roadway who are sitting on top of the bus and have a clear view of us going down the river. We shout and wave back to them. Josh is the only one of us who has rafted before but we all enjoyed ourselves. We went pass Teen Devi on the river and eventually on the river bank we saw a tent. I wondered who else was camping here and  where we were going. We were then told to head for the beach and this was Josh and my campsite ( they will need a few more tents than just one. ) Are we to put up a tent each as we definately cannot share. The guide keeps checking that I am aware we are camping (they  do not realise that as a Scout leader I have camped for several night in just a field but this is the first time it will be beside a river.  As the Japanese guys get changed and then await their bus for the onward journey we also get out of our wet clothes and hope they will dry by morning. The family that are to give us our meal are very much like children in the late fifties and sixties. They enjoy playing with bits of twig and playing by the roadside. Suddenly there is one impressive clap of thunder unlike any I have experienced in the UK. The sound echoes around us and the heavens open up a masive thunder storm which lasts for half an hour. The others depart and Josh and I are left to amuse ourselves until our evening meal. Josh purchases a packet of " bourbon biscuits" and we take these with us as we go for a walk over the bridge. As we walk up the road we see a set of goal posts on a grassed area by the river and a group of young boys are playing football with a young umpire of a simular age to them.  We continue our walk and cross the bridge and find a dryist spot to sit to eat the biscuits.( nothing like an English bourbon more like a ginger biscuit without the ginger in texture with cream in between. )We eat our way through the whole packet and then return to the riverbank for our meal.  When we rget back we see that they have put up a second tent. Josh and I will each sleep in a tent and our river guide will stay with the family indoors. Although it has been raining it is not too cold.
We finally have our meal in semi darkness. We are provided with a light at the table made by using an old cd and placing LED lights around the edge and using a rechargeable battery as its power supply. It was very effective.
By the time we had eaten it was nearly nine and it was suggested that we should be escorted to our tents down the steep rocky path from the house. ( All very well but the loo is behind the house and above the rocky path) Not very practical for a night trip. A last trip to the loo and we settle down for the night it is now ten o'clock.
At midnight I am awoken by another thunderstorm I do not intend to investigate the state of the river or if water is entering the tent but hope we both stay dry. The thunderstorm rages all night and roes round and round lighting up the tent al night. Not alot of sleep with so much noise but I lie there hoping that the rain will ease before we neeed the loo. By eight the next day the rain is now just a light drizzle so Josh asks if I am awake and we both emerge from our tents. Neither of us had much sleep as we both watched the thunderstorm from inside our tents. Although he was a former eagle scout in the USA he too hand never slept out in a thunderstorm before.
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