Thursday, October 7, 2010

6 October 2010

We left Siliguri on 'national highway 31' (absolute disgrace) and could
barely manage some potholes that had no daylight at the bottom. It took 2
hours to cover the 27km to the Nepalese border.

We were all a little nervous about entering the eastern terai region as it
is known for fearsome torrential rivers, washed out roads, and general
lawlessness. Wow- precisely the opposite is true. The landscape is simply
stunning, with broad floodways that are almost dry at the moment and filled
with a flowering plant that stands head high and looks like snow on a stick.
There is a sea of this stuff everywhere you look, against a background of
the himalayas foothills.

The nepalese people are SO lovely. They are very striking looking and have
the most enormous smiles. Stopping anywhere brings a small crowd of curious
people. If there are kids around, then I whip out the iPhone and show them
some of rorys games. You should see their little faces light up,

Stayed last night in itahari on the terai, and noted that we had not seen a
single western face since Calcutta and had spoken no English with locals
since the Nepalese border. Dinner in itahari was astonishingly bad. Constant
power outages (a feature of life in Nepal) and bad service made for an
unpleasant evening. Glad to go to bed.