Thursday, May 22, 2008
Chitwan National Park
There was a bit of an upset in my plans and I am currently back in Kathmandu. Today I was supposed to start rafting but my bus driver failed to drop me off, and since I did not know what the place looked like I did not know we had passed it until we arrived in Kathmandu. I was disappointed and annoyed but all is not lost, I will head out tomorrow for one day of rafting. At least I have Billy. Billy is an Australian girl that I met in Chitwan and we have gotten along very well and are sharing a room for the night.
Chitwan National Park:
My few days in Chitwan were really nice and relaxing. My guest house was along the river and reminded me of Hippo Pools (a guest house in Zimbabwe along the Zambezi). Yesterday I woke up at 6am to go on a dug out canoe ride down the river. The river is crazy shallow and I could almost always see the bottom. We saw some beautiful birds and come crocodiles, but mostly it was just a peaceful ride in the cool morning air. After an hour we docked the boat and made our way through the high grasses and into the jungle. We didn't see much wild life, but at the watch tower we did see a wild elephant which is really rare and felt special. I was glad we saw it from the watch tower and not at eye level as this elephant is know to be very aggressive and dangerous. No tigers, snakes, or rhinos on this walk.
Then we (a German couple and myself) watched the working elephants bath in the river. For a small fee you can join them and play on the elephants. It looked like fun but I couldn't bring myself to do it. Perhaps if I had stayed another day I would have. I had a few hours on down time and then I went on an elephant safari. The seat wasn't exactly comfortable but the fantastic jungle atmosphere and seeing eight rhinos certainly made up for it. The baby rhinos are soo cute. Being around these great creatures in this setting felt very "Jurassic park". We were able to get so close to them! We also saw several deer and monkeys.
After the elephant ride I sat and watched a gorgeous sunset as I shared a beer with another German guy who was on my elephant with me. All very relaxing.
The cultural show (where I first met Billy) and the guided walk through the village were also really nice. It was really funny to see all the wild marijuana growing by the road. My guide expected me to get more excited than I did, but inside I was giggling at the thought of it just growing wild.
I am working on managing without Javed, it's difficult but separation is something both of us are going to have to get used to.
So tomorrow I go rafting and then I am off trekking in Annapurna.