25 June 2008

to Pokhara

Another quick update:

Lin and I got to Pokhara late last night. We had taken a tourist bus from Kathmandu in the morning, but ended up having an adventure.The story - there has been a petroluem strike on for the last couple of days. The strikers/paid protesters (500 rupees a day to promote civil unrest for teenage thugs) have been stopping/harassing motorists on the highways and city streets. But they've been letting tourists travel around. Unfortunately for us, yesterday at noon they increased the strike level and bands of youths took over all of the highways while the police more or less left (returning sporadically). Our bus was stopped and three of the youths came on, looked to see we were all foriegners and then left us alone, same for all the other Indian and foreign motorists. The Nepalis on the road weren't so lucky. No serious injuries that I could see, but some cars got smashed pretty throughly. Interstingly the protesters were very polite and friendly to us, saying Namaste and some of us were even offered weed "for friendship". Anyway after about 9 hours we were finally let go (10PM) but up until 1/2 hour beforehand we though we might be held through the next day - pretty insane! Thankfully we got to Pokhara without further incident, checked into our hotel, got dinner, and went to sleep. Will let you know what we do here, once we've done it ;-)

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