Got off the train and straight onto a rammed local bus that would take me to the Sunali border crossing. There were a few Nepalis on the bus and it was good to see a change of face. There was a bit of agro on the bus too, one local was kicking off with one of the Nepalis. Wrong move. There were two Nepalis together and they both had trackies on and looked athletic as f***! May have been jumping the gun but these people were definitely Gurkhas, or training to be. One of them was only quite small but he was game as a badger! Not the type of folk you wanna be messing with. The bus ride was aweful and misty but we eventually arrived in one of the biggest dumps in India. I walked to the visa office and found people who I got the train with, who they instead paid an arm and leg for a taxi. Losers. I filled out all the stuff, and got my sticker. Just before crossing I changed my Indian rupee in Nepalese money. Me and this French guy Flavien, the oldest looking 24 year old known to man, coupled up and walked over the border together where we by mistake went past the Nepali immigration office. Was the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen. No guards checking our passports, no security, just a normal open road, and people everywhere as per. We tracked back and went inside before paying out 40 dollar and received our stamp on our sticker. Also met a Quebecian Candian guy called William who had a really robotic accent. I knew he was a bit green when he though Bangkok was in China, and that you can overland India to Burma…. Ermmmm, no.
Initially was going to go straight to Pokhara, but turns out this was another 8 hours away. Decided to just to Lumbini with the pair and from there go to Pokhara later. I also knew Lawrence was there so maybe I could find him. Got two buses and eventually arrived in the birthplace of Budha, a nothing town of only one street. The place still felt very Indian and there wasn't that many Nepali looking people around. We found place and set up shop and chilled. Learnt that William and arrived in New Dehli and got told all the buses and trains were fully booked, and even rang them up to confirm this. Would have all been a massive swindle. To cut a long story short he paid $500 for a week long tour to be carted around by some guy in a jeep. Felt so sorry for the guy when he was telling me the story. Also told a story when he went hitch hiking across Europe, and even WALKED across spain for 6 days, including a 5 hour walk in the middle of the forest just to find a vantage point as to where to go, with only a few litres of water left to drink. What a random guy.
Later on we all went for a little wander and William brought his slack line. He tied it up between two lampposts in the main street and away he went. To the locals this may have been some voodoo witchcraft for all they cared, and there was soon a massive crowd in attendance watching the bogus Frenchman in his little trewbie bobbing up and down on his slack line; changing direction, jumping on it, surfing it - the guy had skills. All the locals had their go, and everyone was laughing, even the policeman was joining in! Was a funny and random moment.
After a lemon tea we made for an internet café. Whilst sitting there in walks Lawrence. Was a complete stroke of luck and was good to see the lad again. Went a chai and some food with him later.
Later on back at the hotel I met Ash, a very intelligent guy who had just graduated with a degree in petroleum engineering, also taking a gap year. He had a very strange accent, was very shocked to learn he was in fact a Brummy. He used to live in Africa, but was of Indian decent I think. Now I've met some crazy guys on this trip so far… everyone from heroin addicts to fugitives to charity goers and city slickers, but this guy takes the biscuit. To cut a long story short the guy basically illegally smuggled himself into Iraq, before getting caught and being deported back to Turkey. He says he has a lucky coin, and if its tails he doesn't do it, and if its heads he does do it. 'Got to trust the queen' he said. The guy was also adamant he'd found a way to overland it to Burma, as well as a way to sneak into Bhutan and negating the high tourist fees by pretending to be a local. We also talked about the possibility of meeting back up to hit up Bangladesh, as apparently getting a visa is easy in Kathmandu. Man you meet some crazy people on the road!
Me and him had a good craic on with some geezer who worked at the hotel, talking about trekking as he done Everest Base Camp and he gave me some good advice. The hotel guy was also so sound as well, and made a mint change from the people of India. Everything he said was genuine and helpful. We talked about India in general and Ash joked that even the dogs in Nepal are meant to be more nicer hahaha.