RAT ABOARD THE BUS! – Stowaways nesting under the seats: mouse, rat, ants …?! Varanasi, 1976

[We’ve been on the Ganges and explored the labyrinths of Benares – and it’s still only 11 o’clock!  Time for a big clear out of the bus before the last stretch of the trip to Nepal – and to track down our stowaways – A MOUSE AND A RAT!  Or is it 2 rats? And a few ants …]

Jan and Janice amid the bus clear-out

MONDAY 13TH DECEMBER, 1976 – Part Three

“Had lazy morning washing and lying in the sun reading 2 pages of a book!  Bus turned upside down – all things on grass so could hunt out mouse – now spotted and believed to be a rat!  (Didn’t find it – though nest was cleared from under a seat.  There was also an ants’ nest under one of the seats!)

Afternoon, had coffee at restaurant on campsite outside in garden (very slow service).  Then me, Di, Frances and Sally went to look round nearby shops – sat round looking at lovely t-shirts.  Di and I went on to another – I traded sun specs for silk (80%) top.  Di wanted to change money so we went to posh Hotel de Paris (Encounter were booked in there).

Had coffee and paratha (stuffed) before supper!  Chapati type stuff with veg in.

Went out to Singh’s Emporium after meal and loads of us were in there rifling through shirts, lamp shades (of string and beads) – really good time!  Back for coffee and toast before bed.

In tent Di and I had hysterics listening to sudden cries from this man [nightwatchman] on one side, and thuds and screams on the other coming from the bus where Hans and Adrian were hunting down the rats!  (It’s now established that there’s a big rat and a little one!  Apparently Paul thought he saw one on the bus in Turkey – but everyone thought he was drunk and didn’t take any notice!)  Tried to stifle snorts – not with much success!”

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