Day 20 Chitwan, Nepal to Lucknow, India

Approximately nine hours of straight driving over dicey roads, plus two hours of fighting with both Nepalese and Indian immigrations and customs can try one's patience. 

The border crossing we made today was a zoo. First, you need to get your passport stamped “departure“ by Nepal immigration; then you need to go to the photocopy store and buy two photocopies of the departure stamp in your passport. From there it is on to customs to prove to the officials that you’re taking out the same car you brought in. This is done by way of a Carnet (basically a passport for the car). So I, and many other competitors, took our documents to the customs office to find that the one inspector authorized to approve carnets is on his lunch break and will be back in s few minutes (translate: the man will be back in 45 minutes after he enjoys his lunch). We cool our heals and he returns and faints surprise that we are all there waiting for him. In short, it took us an hour and 20 minutes to get legally out of Nepal. 

We drive across the border and proceed 800 meter down the road to Indian immigration and customs....two different offices 600 meters apart. Here things moved a bit quicker, but the mass of humanity pushing us (read: beggars, child beggars, hawkers and a large number of creep people) made things equally frustrating. In India, the customs inspector insisted on coming out to the car and verify the VIN number. No computers; everything entered in log books; no desire to be efficient...... and totally frustrating to the end user. 

After clearing all the administrative checks to head off for a 300 km drive to Lucknow. First half of the drive on terrible roads; second half on the National Highway system. Even here one finds all sorts of free roaming cattle, goats and sheep running across the highway. We almost crashed into a 5/600 lb. Brahman Bull that stepped out from bushes along the median; he never even looked at us. 

Enough. I’m falling asleep writing this so I’ll end here.