Day 2 – Thamel to Jiri by Bus

Trip Start Mar 27, 2010
Trip End Apr 13, 2010

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Where I stayed
Surya Lodge

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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Day 2 - Thamel to Jiri, Shivalya, Deorali and Bhandar
- Woke up @ 4:30 am took a quick shower (this was going to be the last REAL hot shower before I finished the trek)

- Managed to get a taxi from Thamel to Old Bus Stand (that's where you get the bus to Jiri) for NRS 80.

- Run through the Purana (old) bus stand inside to the ticket window. You have the following options available at hand (The micro buses have stopped applying to Jiri because of the large number of accidents recorded in the last year by them).
o   Time 5:30 am super express bus to Jiri: The ticket for the same is NRS 330.
o   Time 6:00 am express bus to Jiri: The ticket for the same is NRS 320.
o   Time till 7:30 am other bus services are available for Jiri.

- Since I had reached really early I decided to have breakfast at the Purana (Old) bus stand, Boiled eggs cost NRS 10 per egg. (Record this price because later in the trek you would have to shell out at least NRS 300 for one boiled egg)

- I bought water for the way, a mineral water bottle cost NRS 20 (this price is expected to go up by 25% with every village you move ahead, you are expected to pay NRS 350 for a bottle of mineral water once after crossing Namche Bazaar)

- I took the 6:00 am express bus service, unlike the horror blogs I had read about the road quality to Jiri, in reality the road has drastically improved to Jiri. The single road is a delight to ride on now. Starting @ 6:10 am I reached Jiri @ 12:00 that means less than 6 hours journey time from Old Bus Stand in Kathmandu to Jiri. The bus was very comfortable against what I had read online about the lack of space between seats.

Ride to Jiri – Enjoy the views of Kosi River, small but good roads, two way traffic so you might notice the bus stopping at the very edges to allow the bus on the other side to pass by. I saw a group of newly married women, very beautiful Nepali ladies, oooohhh I was bowled over!

Lunch at Jiri – I had made good friends with the Bus Driver and conductor and got my lunch sponsored by them. Daal Bath (Rice with a selection of vegetable and pulse) with some meat. Actual cost NRS 80.

Bus ride from Jiri to Bhandar – People suggested because of fresh construction distance till Bhandar is coverable by road now. So I took the express bus from Jiri to Bhandar which travels via Shivalya and Deorali. The bus journey from Jiri to Bhandar cost NRS 200. Now this was a painful ride. There are just virtual roads; you are basically riding on dust and mud. The people standing were disco dancing and the people sitting banding their heads against the windows and bus ceiling. Have a look at the video of bus ride from Jiri to Bhandar. I got to know from some locals that earlier the cost of buying land for setting up a house in Bhandar was merely NRS 50,000 but because of the new road connection the costing for same piece of land has gone up to NRS 800,000. Starting from Jiri @ 1:00 pm I reached Bhandar @ 4:00 pm, the journey time from Jiri – Shivalya – Deorali – Bhandar about 4 hours.

Lodge in Bhandar – Surya Lodge
Surya Lodge was supposed to be the best lodge in Bhandar as recommended by someone I met on the bus. I managed to bargain a room for the night and dinner for NRS 200. Photos of the room for reference! I had to shell out NRS 50 for a bucket of hot (correction, there is no hot, the best it gets to is just warm) water for shower in the morning. I made some Nepali friends here who work in the Kathmandu electricity department as quality inspectors and consultants for new transmission techniques. I had a chance to try out the local Rocksy (local alcohol drink of the mountains) – This drink is made by boiling Yak cheese with wheat and Rum; its best served hot and works perfectly to relax the body. Expect to pay NRS 80 for each glass. A call to India would cost NRS 35 per minute. Mountains in Nepal offer a wide variety of options to Tea lovers, you can choose from Black, Milk, Mint, Green, Ginger, Garlic, etc, etc Tea.

You can also call Surya lodge "9744025482" if you want to book the bus from Bhandar to Kathmandu

I performed this trek for a fundraising initiative to help Indian Children break free from the cycle of poverty. You can read more details about the same here I urge you to contribute to this initiative if you feel inspired or if this travelogue proves of any help to you.
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