So it's 4 am again, and it's another bus journey. After 6 months on the road this was now part of the norm. Buses do not go at civilized times in other countries, no they go at dawn or at midnight or at some other part of the day that shouldn't be spent in a confined space. We had our routine, our provisions, we knew what to do. We settled into our seats by the I-won't-shut-properly-so-I'm-very-draughty-and-not-so-safe door.
We drove through the mists of morning along the curling roads out of Kathmandu and started our 2 day journey to Delhi,India. We chatted about our highlights, our special moments. We giggled with excitement about the next stage of the trip. We felt slightly sick with lack of sleep and the winding roads didn't help. Neither did the fact that the semi-empty bus became a sardine tin of people, sitting and standing and talking loudly. They crowded in on our very British space and blocked our vision. This did not help hubby's travel sickness. I rubbed off the condensation from the window to give him some sort of view but it didn't help. He was green, like some enclosed frog on the edge of spitting his tongue out. We decided not to have breakfast just yet.
Three hours later the roads evened out so we rustled into our bags and brought out crackers and thick slabs of buffalo cheese. I goggled mine down in seconds, licking my lips. It was good, it was tasty. Hubby did some deep yoga breathing, he was still concentrating too hard on the movement of the bus. He carefully constructed a double cheese cracker tower and showed it to me lovingly.
At that precise moment a small boy behind us vomited violently. The thick yellow fluid flew spectacularly between our chairs and splattered hubby's left shoulder, into his left ear and all over the cheese tower. I was caught between a retch and a laugh at his face. I dabbed his jumper and his ear as best I could while he threw his breakfast into a plastic bag. It was another hour or so before he tried again.
This time he had just finished eating when we heard a hissing sound. It seemed to be coming from above us. An Israeli traveller pointed to the tiny luggage rack above hubby's head. He jumped up to look. Our huge coke bottle had sprung a leak and was spraying high pressure columns of sticky coke out at various places. This covered hubby's face and hair before he had time to undo the bottle and release the pressure. He returned to his seat looking like a startled rock penguin, his hair standing up spiky and tall. He was not a happy bunny and I had to laugh inwardly.
Finally we reached the border and we were shown to our box room. It was hot and dirty and the water in the bathroom didn't work. Also we had a strange hybrid Asian European loo. It had no seat but instead there were foot grips like giant porcelain wings. So it looked like a 'crouch and shout' loo as we called them, on a tower. I was not sure it was particularly safe as I clambered aboard, positive the whole thing would come crashing away from the wall and knock me unconscious with my naked arse in the air.
We were in no mood to go out so went straight to sleep. The double bed was actually a large single with delusions of grandeur. We had to both sleep sideways. Me on my left, he on his right.
Morning came and with it the red spots of bed bug bites that had feasted on us in the night. Covered from face to feet. We looked like two sides of one chickenpox patient. We smiled weakly at each other then burst out laughing. It was another day, another adventure and we only had one jeep ride and a 10 hour train journey to Delhi- what could possibly go wrong?