After a few relaxing days and becoming MTV India movie stars (just kidding), we were ready to say peace out to Manali. It was pretty empty and we were hoping to meet some more people to make our days a little more interesting. Chloe really wanted to find a Thai yoga massage class and there were none on offer in Manali.

We both wanted to go to McLeod Ganj, so it worked out perfectly to continue traveling together. From Manali to Dharamsala was a 10 hour overnight bus. We were traveling on a really tight budget. Chloe was trying to save even more so she could continue on to Nepal. Because of the budget, we decided to go local. Local buses in India can be easy and comfortable, but this one was NOT.

I’ve shared a little about travel by bus in India, and this was the one I mentioned where through the winding icey roads, they bus would stop on turns to make half the passenger get off so that the bus wouldn’t tip over and roll off a cliff!

Local buses are the size of a school bus. It was probably 0 degrees and the windows didn’t all close. The doors were open with men hanging out. Two drunk guys got in a first fight and one got kicked off in the middle of nowhere.

Whenever a fight happens, you better believe that every Indian guy on the bus wanted to get involved with that. They give their opinion (the right one) on what happened. My Indian friend tells me that guys like that are called “rubberneckers”– the same one who pull over to see what’s up when they pass an accident on the highway.

travel india bus

To make matters worse I was super sick to my stomach and my patience with Indian men was waning. There was no storage on top of the bus, so Chloe and I had to put our huge backpacks at our feet and curl up with our carry-on bags on our laps. We had literally no room to move for 10 hours. We linked arms and curled up to sleep on each other.

india bus from hell

Then it happened… some guy sat on me.

I had my leg crossed over with my foot on my other thigh. It was a pretzel like position. Some of the Indian guys were holding on to the handles above, heads dangling, for hours… some even slept that way. Well, one got too tired, because he plopped right down.

Now, here’s the kicker. He seemed absolutely appalled that I wanted him off! BAFFLING.

Another annoying thing: Teenage Indian boys.

In general teenage boys suck, but particularly when they play music on their phones loudly while the bus tries to sleep. No one tells them to stop. There are old people, babies, and women trying to sleep, but these boys don’t have any respect- coming from the midwest it’s pretty shocking.

So this was the longest, coldest, most cramped 10 hours of my life. But it makes for an interesting story and only cost 10 USD. You’d think I’d learn my lesson and stop taking local overnight buses, but I did not. I never was one for learning from my mistakes…. whoops.

Stay tuned to find out what happened after we arrive in Dharamsala/ McLeod Ganj!


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