Chitwan – A whole new experience
After a fairly non eventful time in Manali and Chandigar, we returned to Nepal. After a brief stop in Lumbini ( the birth place of buddha) we spent a few days riding through the Terai region towards the world heritage listed Chitwan National park.
The ride itself was nice enough, with a backdrop of lush green rice paddies and the low Himalayas. The real joy began when finally arrived at the sleepy little town of Sauraha at the gateway to the park.
Exhausted, hot , smelling in dire need of a shower we spent our first night resting before an early start the next day.
A surprisingly good canoe trip.
I will be honest, I wasn’t acutally that thrilled about the tours we had to join to get into the park. So it was with a small amount of trepidation that we jumped into the back of our lodge’s van to be driven to the river side for an early morning river cruise.
We duly piled into a dug out canoe and it wasn’t until we cast off that I got over my reservations and realised just how our location was. The fast flowing river quickly forced us around the first bend and almost immediately we were confronted with beautiful Kingfisher birds, Water Buffalo, colourfully dressed locals, and within ten minutes our first crocadile. Our guide of course managed to spot animals ages before us, but on the whole it was one of the most relaxing 45 mins I have spent in a long, long time.
After reaching the end of our short river sojourn, we jumped out and started out on a little trek in search of rhino, tigers, deer and elephant. After an hour of poor David Attenborough impersonations and false sightings we had to accept the fact that only animal material we were going to find was steaming piles of fresh evidence but no live beasts.
That said we had a fantastic picnic breakfast and managed to get an interesting insight into the effects climate change during an great little interview with our guide, Sanjib. ( You will be able to see it along with all our other interviews when we return to Tokyo and get them all edited. )
A surprisingly uncomfortable elephant farm.
We ended up at the Elephant Breeding site, which although mildly interesting, cute and probably necessary to maintain the Asian elephants population of Chitwan park, was a slightly uncomfortable place to be. Particularly after the freedom of walking through the jungle unfenced and unchained.
On the whole it was a great little morning cruisingon the river, traipsing through the jungle and getting up face to face with some amazing creatures. It was the afternoon to come that was really wonderful.
More about that in the next post.