i had the longest journey to kathmandu, ever. first, i went down the hill from darjeeling to a town called siliguri. then i had to take a taxi to the border town of panitanki (india side) to cross to kakarbhitta (nepal side). there are supposedly buses from there to kathmandu, but there's some sort of strike going on. which entails people protesting against the government by blocking all the highways between kakarbhitta and kathmandu. i'm sure there is more to it, but this is the most information i could get out of anyone.
so, i was stuck in kakarbhitta. which is a dusty town which has nothing but tourist offices and hotels, and their main square is the bus stand. also, no atms, no electricity for 16 hours a day, sometimes no water, and dodgy phone lines that were never working at the same time as the electricity or when i wanted to make a phone call. i was only there for one night, but i was starting to feel as trapped as the indian tiger i saw at the darjeeling zoo. it was only a matter of hours before i started pacing back and forth down kakarbhitta's only street. so this morning when i woke up and the hotel people told me the strike was still on and could be for another 7 days, i decided to take drastic measures to get the hell out of there.
this involved booking a plane ticket from the nearest airport (4 hours away), jumping in a shared taxi and driving back into india and around the nepal border to a different shithole border town, using the atm machine, and making my plane 10 min. before it left.
but i am here, in glorious (by that i mean dirty and big) kathmandu!
actually, kathmandu doesn't seem terrible. i've seen much worse on this trip. like delhi. also, nepali people are really nice. they are amazed that i'm not nepali and they all seem to feel the need to tell me that i have a nepali face at least 4 times after realizing i'm not from nepal.
tomorrow is a new day and i will have a look around the city and then the next day head to chitwan national park in the south, where i will hopefully see tigers or some sort of wildlife.
ok, goodbye for now