The Longest Day    Day 29

After a torturous 22 hours bus ride from Lhasa, in which we got a 0.5 hr lunch break, two 5-minutes toilet breaks, plus a 3 hour stall on the road right next to a cliff in the middle of night; I finally arrived the border of Tibet and Nepal.

The border town on the Tibet side Zhangmu (樟木) is the end point of China's longest highway: 318, stretching 5476 km from Shanghai.

Zhangmu is situated on the south side of the Himalayas, at an altitude of 2300m, much much lower than the average Tibetan plateau. Overland travel from inland Tibet to here means winding up and down the Himalayas range. One section is particularly treacherous that it took 5 hours to go 32km.

There is a dramatic altitude drop within 45 km of distance, from Nyalam (聶拉木) in Tibet (3750m) to Kodari in Nepal (1665m). The climate is significantly different. I had only one layer of clothes and already sweating all over. I started to doubt my decision to leave Tibet for Nepal so early... may be I should hang around Tibet for another month, so Nepal had time to cool down...
Finding rides to Kathmandu at the Tibet/Nepal border town Kodari is an excruciating ordeal. Reasons: dishonest drivers plus an army of hustles... I don't even want to recall the details. The statistics: I ran up and down the slope of Kodari for 3 hours, my backpack got thrown up to the roofs of several buses and thrown back down to me 3 times. Temperature was about 35 celcius, humidity... oh, i say 120%!
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10月3至4日 拉薩 - 尼泊爾,加德滿都

恐怖的兩天。

10月3日 8am 大巴從拉薩出發,2pm 停下吃中飯,然後就一直駛到樟木。拉薩直去樟木的車每週只發兩班,我票買得遲,坐在最後、也就是最顛簸的一排。半夜一點,終於到達聶拉木,記得西藏知行書說聶拉木距樟木三十多公里,車走一個多小時就到了,心想到樟木可睡上幾小時,算不錯了。誰知聶拉木與樟木之間隔著一座喜瑪拉雅山,兩地垂直距離二千多米,三十多公里行了五個小時,在險窄及滿佈泥石流的山路中深宵獨行,其險直逼滇藏線上三江並流地帶!

10月4日 6:05am 睡下,9am 醒來,換錢,吃早飯,11am 排隊過關,掙扎過了中國關,找車去八公里以外山下的尼泊爾關。奇怪地過了尼泊爾關,那是一所破房子,裡面沒人穿制服,關員們向某些人收100Rs過關費,對某些人則網開一面。關員沒問我要錢,卻把未蓋章的護照遞回給我說可以離開。我拿著護照,有點不知所措,其他中國人一蓋要付100Rs,他意思是不是要我付錢才蓋章呢?後來我還是把護照遞還給他,請他蓋章,他就蓋了,也沒要錢。總的感覺異常混亂,沒任何規矩可言,是我接觸過最不專業最亂的海關!

然後惡夢開始了... 在尼泊爾境內,攝氏三十多度的濕熱高溫下,我與其他九個差不多時候過關的“難友”在陡斜的坡道上背著行李來回跑了十來趟,跑了三個小時,兩度把行李扛上車頂行李架後又被趕下車,原因是車子已被人包了。拉客的混混卻胡說八道,叫我們上這車上那車。在尼泊爾這邊有好些拉客的混混,他們像蒼蠅般纏著你跟你談價錢找車,我們費了好大的勁,談到虛脫,以為價錢對了,有車子了,誰知給開車的司機趕下車,還兩度給司機罵,說:“是我叫你們上車的嗎?” 這樣搞了兩個多小時,終於發現那群混混跟那些車一點關係都沒有。我們學了乖,也就不理睬他們了,直接與司機談。不過說實話,今天的車真少,聽說毛派過去三天有點動作,又好像說是罷工了。唉,可憐我們坐了22小時的大巴,半夜裡在聶拉木至樟木一段又顛得散了架,草草睡上三個不到的小時,一天多沒正式吃上頓飯,又在這裡給折騰了半天,此時我全身上下皆已濕透,只差沒掉眼淚,因為水份都變成汗了。出行剛好一個月,以為自己的心理質素提升了不少,誰知遇上糟糕的事,心情還是立即倒下來。對邊境的尼泊爾人無比厭惡,連帶對這個國家也沒甚麼好感。坐在車上時,雖然沒人瞧見,眉頭是一直皺著的。唉,無論是我的旅途,還是我的心理質素,仍有好長一段路要走啊!

6pm , 在加德滿都的 Thamel 區找到住的地方了,Hotel Nana的單人標間,雖非24小時供應熱水,但250盧比已很滿足了。洗了澡,晾了衣,穿上涼鞋出來找吃,又成功地在ATM拿到錢,心情才慢慢恢復。來到巷邊一家小店吃咖哩,店小二的態度奇佳,Hotel Nana 的掌柜也很友善,與西藏的同業大異,這才感受到尼泊爾比較討人喜悅的一面。不過加都實在太悶熱了,Hotel Nana 的掌柜千方百計給我找到一個明天出發去Pokhara 的大巴座位,決定不作停留,待天氣涼一點才回加都好好地玩他一玩吧!

宿:Hotel Nana, Rs250, 單人標間