Had made the right decision to stay another night – we were both clearly more tired than we thought. Jayne woke before me and stayed in bed playing games until I decided to rejoin the land of the living!! Took our time packing up our stuff and getting ready, using the hotel wifi before the hotel owner turned it off again. As Jayne headed off to get our overnight bus tickets to Kolkata, I did a supermarket run getting snacks for tonight and a surprise for Jayne for Christmas. Having not achieved what we wanted last night and this morning using the wifi, we decided to kill some time before getting our bus in the local Internet cafe. Located at the back of a deep dark cellar, it seemed like we were walking to our impending doom… A little more successful with our list of jobs than when using the wifi but still had lots of issues with booking buses, trains and flights for the next few weeks. Decided to call it a day and try again when we had better wifi connection (hopefully in Kolkata). Went to the Tibetan temple, which was the only one we had missed and then headed to a little tent restaurant nearby for a late lunch / early dinner. Stuffed ourselves with vegetable fried rice, chowmein, spring rolls, momos and ‘creespy chilly chicken honey’, washed down with 2 cups of hot honey, ginger and lemon tea.
Went back to the hotel to collect our bags and then went to our travel agents hut and waited for our bus to arrive. About 30 minutes before it was due to leave, a man beckoned us into a TukTuk to drive us to the actual departure point. The bus is… Strange! Blinged up at the front with neon lights and has seats on the lower deck and beds on the upper deck. We have a 2-person (thin people.. Very thin!!) bed on this bus – I’m telling myself it is like the Knight Bus in Harry Potter – held together by what can only be magic but, I’m presuming, a hell of a lot less comfortable!! Gave our bags to the conductor to put in the stow, hopefully to be seen again but who knows?!? We then climbed into our bed to find one of our windows was missing and replaced with a piece of plywood. Deciding 12 hours was going to be hard enough without a natural ventilation system, we managed, after much negotiating and waiting, to organise a bunk change. We settled into the journey, Jayne much more at ease with being tossed around on a bunk bed than me!!!
Read our books for a bit whilst we settled into the rhythm of the bus before negotiating a pee stop in the middle of a field in the pitch black. Back on the ice block (a.k.a bed), we watched ‘Jurassic World’ on the netbook and then tried to settle down to get some sleep. Jayne won the argument about sleeping next to the drafty window whilst I got the aisle (protected by a little strip of metal). Managed to get some rest whilst listening to the man snore very loudly opposite us. I had to get the bus to pull over by the side of the road to go to the toilet again in the middle of the night – the cold air was playing havoc on my bladder!! Back to bed for a very uncomfortable night…
Wednesday 16th December 2015