The Bus Trip From Hell..
Trip Start May 02, 2006
113Trip End Mar 02, 2007
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Chitral doesn't really have much to offer really but is more of a jumping off point to the various valleys in Northern Pakistan.
For us however it also marked the end of the worst bus trip we have ever experienced. And when we say 'ever', we mean it. This bus trip was like paying to be tortured for 16 hours straight.
You see, bus is a term we have to use lightly. It was actually a Toyota Hiace van with seating for 16 people in the back and 3-4 in the front. When these vans are sold as people movers they will generally seat 11 or 12 maximum. But oh no, not in Pakistan, they squeeze 19 people into these things as an absolute minimum and that's not counting people hanging off the back or sitting on our luggage on the roof
It's hard to describe just how excruciatingly painful this trip was for both of us. Try and imagine sitting at your desk on a wooden plank with your knees squashed up under your chin and having to rest them on the metal bar running along the seat in front of you. To each side you have a person fighting constantly to get as much shoulder and butt room from the meager space available. Then, sit there in one position for sixteen hours and have someone come along and bash your chair about like you're constantly going over large potholes.
Kat and I had to ask for a toilet break after the first four hours because we couldn't feel from the waist down. Our fellow Pakistani travellers couldn't help but laughing at the horrible pained expressions we had for the entire trip. They just laughed and laughed. And when they finished laughing, they laughed some more. They simply said that they are used to being uncomfortable.
When we finally reached our destination they had to tip me on my side and drag me out as my entire body had pins and needles and I couldn't move anything other than my mouth and was that making some strange noises.
If anyone out there is considering doing the overnight bus trip from Peshawar to Chitral, follow this advice. Fork out the extra money and buy 2 seats per person. The trip is actually a conversation point between travellers who've done it as it's widely recognised as the worst bus trip on earth. If only we'd known we'd have flown.
Chitral itself is pretty boring but I've provided some snaps nonetheless. Note, no women here either. Some scared looking donkeys about however.
Next Pod, Kalash Valley - Pakistan.
Nath and Kat.