December 17, 2013 - Boudha, Nepal
I woke up to alarm at 5am, spent 10 minutes finalizing packing, then left the house to catch a bus to the old bus station. A cab waited at my door. Ok, this will be faster. I took the cab to the old bus park, fifteen minutes away. I had a ticket that I bought yesterday for the Express bus to Shivalaya, near Jiri, the start of the route. 5-8 hours away. I asked around the 1000 square foot dirt bus parking lot. I found the bus with a bit of help. As I entered the bus, I smashed my head on the door frame and all the Nepalis on the bus laughed. I had a 60 liter back (light though, I don't have a tent or food, this is a "tea house" trek) and a small backpack with the essentials for the bus trip (camera, food, water, Chapstick, etc). The big bag went in the cargo bay, the small one on my lap.
At 2pm I arrived in Jiri, my planned destination, and was told there was a bus to Bhandar, a few towns away down the trail. I hopped on after a few minutes of linguistic confusion regarding the destination (this was a common issue). I stood for a few hours during the ride, then as people left I packed into the back seats. The road was rough, rocky, and muddy. The bus was stuck twice and I helped move stones and push. I ate a package of rice cakes and two energy bars on the road. I arrived in Bhandar at 8pm.
In Bhandar, I went to a guest house, paid 200 for a room, ate Tibetan bread and egg chowmein. The walking begins tomorrow.