March 10, 2013
And I thought the driving situation in Italy was bad...
We landed in Kathmandu rather successfully, which we followed up with what we thought would be a fairly average taxi ride from the airport. Turns out today is some major gathering at a Hindu temple between Kathmandu and the airport, with over 100,000 people in attendance. We managed to time the taxi ride perfectly with the end of this, so what followed was some sort of hellish slalom along a dirt road.
The whole thing started with Jon trying to put his seatbelt on, only to be told by the driver that it wasn't the done thing. Whilst he was explaining this, a minibus careered off some side road straight towards us. Our driver was not fazed and this was just the beginning. It seems success on the roads over here depends on four main things: aggression, stubbornness, lack of fear and the desire to write 'sport' on your 1980's Volvo as many times as possible.
We arrived at our hotel in one piece though, and I don't think we hit a large amount of pedestrians, so over all the journey was a success, especially as it only cost us the equivalent of £4 for the ride of our lives. Talking of such things, the currency is ridiculous. I'm currently carrying around 40000 rupees which means I can barely fold my wallet in half, even though that's under £200.
All in all, a rather good day. My traffic incident count only increased threefold, I've not yet managed to get sunburnt and the hotel we're in for the night is rather nice, even if it does overlook a garage full of people aggressively playing some board game or other.