Published: September 30th 2008September 30th 2008
On the road..
Ignorance is bliss...happily waiting for my fellow 27 passangers to join us in the jeep to Bandipur..
Some more photos from the last days in Nepal and Kick boxing in Thailand - wu-hu - let the show begin (ok its not that great, but i get excited easily...).. My latest e/mail to all as well - so i can read it later..
Hi all, I am writing to all of you at the same time as I seem to spend an awfullot of time in these internet cafes (spending quality time cooing overthe screen with Gareth on Skype - loosing all my credebility with fellowtravellers), so I have decided to write to you all in one go... Lazy?Well, I always was so there you go... Right now I am in Pai, up north in Thailand, a place that is mostlypopulated by Israelis just out of the army, English men who have beenhigh on women, drugs and... well thats it really, for the last 20 years,philosophers, bands (its a great live music scene up here) and quite afew normal people like my good self - all though, just like in London,the weirdos seem to warmly welcome me as on one of their own.. Oh, andof course the lovely and welcoming locals. I found this place
when i waslooking for kick boxing schools and i have now spent 3 days trainingwith Bee (brother of Aaa - and I am not kidding... i asked if they had abrother called C, but apparently not), a former Muay Thai champ and hisposse of kick boxers. Its only 4 of us students so its very one on oneand very very hard!! I very nearly puked after the first session, butthat seemed to be quite normal... Today was bloody hard as well, theirEnglish is not terrific and i find it just a little hard to make outwhat they are saying when they are shouting instructions at me, hittingme at the same time and i got blood and sweat in my eyes...ok maybe notblood, but i am soaking with sweat.... After prancing around the firstday with my shorts on back-to-front they seem to have taken a liking tome, so I am being well looked after... Getting up here was another long journey (I will write this e/mailbackwards...) I arrived at BKK airport at around 1800 got on a local businto the centre of Bangkok, hailed a tuk-tuk, got to the train stationwith half an hour to spare, then the night train up
Bandipur village meeting
..preparing for the town festival, no one seem to know when it was, but there was a lot of planning..
to Chiang Mai andthen a 3 hour bus to Pai (on which i got very very car sick, but managedto hold it in). I flew in from Khatmandu where i had been having anabsolute ball!! Maybe I should start with Nepal - from the start...
Getting there (Nepal) involved a 36-hour journey from Varanasi, India -included cockroaches, night trains, drunken Nepali bus drivers, landslides, buffalo milk and the bumpiest ride ever with a suicidal busdriver... It was great fun and I made some lovely new friends, Nileshfrom Fiji/Oz and Pablo from Spain.. We made our way to Pokhara and spenttwo excellent days rowing on the lake, swimming, chatting to buddhistmonks, drinking Everest beers and just hanging out.. Nepal was sochilled and relaxing after India it was absolute bliss.. Pablo andNilesh however made their way back to India (why?) and i started a 4 daytrek up in the Nepalese mountains. I specifically told them that I am avery, very lazy and most unfit person, so I would like a gentle strollto somewhere nice... So naturally they put me on the 4-day Poon Hilltrek - involving the 20,000 steps - I have told most of you about..Anyway, it was absolutely amazing,
fuxking hard!! But absolutelyamazing, I just said that, but it really was worth every single step. Iwalked with a Nepalese lady and Julie an Aussie girl I met along the wayand her guide.. Hiking in Nepal was high up on my to-do list and feelslike a real proper achievment now that it is behind me.... Great!! After the trek I bumped into two young Dutchies that I met in atea-house on the trek and we decided to travel togehter for a bit. Soafter 10 days by the lake we set off with another suicidal bus driver(Nepalese busdrivers must be closely related to the Kamakazees) to aplace which name has escaped me. On the way the floor off the busexploded under my foot which went flying up in the air (still attachedto my leg thankfully. There was smoke and I looked straight down on theground.. as it turns out we hit a rock and it went through the floor hitmy foot and that was it.. we had to stop and change tyre and after halfand hour we were on the way again.. it is not about the destination!!But when we reached it, we climbed on to van and whilst waiting for
View to the South...
pretty damn amazing..and then you turn North...
itto depart another 27 people climbed in..they were literally hanging offthe roof..and we began the half hour ascent to a hill-top villagecalled..hmmm...(I must write these things more frequently...)...goddamnit...ok i have forgotten that as well..but it was great..perched ona hill top (doh) and with amazing views over theHimalayas..BANDIPUR...thats it..Bandipur... And i spent the night with 2cockroaches and a dead spider (but for all I know it could have been aheavy sleeper - you can never be too careful about these things..).. ...but that was not really very comforting... anway...needless to say i didnot sleep much and was pretty happy when we departed for Chitwaannational park.
1. day there we book up for a jungle walk at 0700 in the morning and ihappily turn up in my safari hat and camuflage gear (black linen trousesand a cowboy shirt...the little bit of style i ever had is out thewindow, and as for camoflage - not very successful in that departmenteither - the guides did not look too impressed.. But then again theywere going to protect us with bamboo sticks so the feeling wasmutual..!). Anyway, i was feeling very laid back as we went on the canoothat was taking us across the river,
View to the North..
..its hard to do it justice with a camera, but this should give you an idea...i have no words.. well obviously i just do, but not really...ish...
and as we stepped in to the junglewe had a little pep-talk with the guides, which consisted off: 'If wesee a tiger, do NOT break eye contact, do not turn your side to it anddo NOT run', if we meet Rhinos, climb a tree and climb higher than 6feet (i dont know now what that is in metres, but it is taller than me)and if there are no trees run zig-zag and if we meet an elephant, justrun... Easy peasy lemon squeezy I thought... a walk in the park... Thatsuntil we heard a Rhino in the bush next to us... one of the guides wavedme over and I ran like I had a rocket up my ass (well, it felt likeit!), was subsequently told off for running and then hid behind a bushwith him... Then we snook up behind the Rhino and it was the biggest,fattest Rhino ass i have ever seen (and the only), I never saw it fromthe front, but the behind was a sight in itself.. I can not beleive howscared i was for the rest of the walk though.. we saw fresh tiger tracksand that did it for me... i kept repeating what to do over
Not really a good photo..
..but enjoyed an evening of poker (with matches) and wine with new friends in Bandipur..before sleeping with cockroaches..
and overagain in my head and kept assessing trees for climbability.. I sawnone... and I was very very happy getting back in the canoe only havingseen a Rhinos ass..!!! The boys were dissappointed, but ignorance isbliss and I do not feel that they appreciated the gravity of thesituation... they did not and neither did the other 50 or so walkers wekept bumping into...which also scared the shit out of me... After thatwe went swimming with elephants which was much more fun!! We left Chitwan after 2 days and then went to Khatmandu, im not evengoing to write about the bus journey, but again it was eventful, in thesuicidal kind of way..
Khatmandu not wanting to dissappoint threw usright into a city full of rioting... Bars were supposed to be shut by2300 which meant a lot of illegal beers, in illegal bars, with renegadeNepalese... Excellent!! The first night however I spent in my hotel roomwitht the flue and a pony sized cockroach. I only discovered it as i waslying in bed reading and a giant shadow run across the floor.. Notcompletly intimidated by them anymore, i gave chase but it hid behind mybed... i tried everything and in the end
Bandipur School girl..
...who just sat on her breakfast..
gave up and walked down to thereception and demanded a cockroach free room.. they gave me a new key,but the other room was worse.. so i went back looking for the cockroachbut it was no where to be seen so i thought it had vacated thepremises.. Then at 0100 i hear rummaging on my nightable, so I put mytorch on it and come face to face with the enemy..So another 10 minutesensues of me chasing the cockroach around the room with my rubbish bin,but it went under my night table and i could not make it come outagain...So in the end i moved the night table into the corridor andthere it stayed.. and for the next 3 days he was either being verydiscreet or he went to bother someone else.. i never saw the night tablenor the cockroach ever again.. Anyway, Khatmandu did not dissappoint,had 2 fab days and 3 eventful nights and then it was off to Thailand andto where i currently recide...so there you go... Im not even going tostart on India...
I am slightly embarrassed by the lenght of this e-mail - it is rainingand i was feeling very inspired for some reason... So apologies for
Crossing the river..
in Chitwan national Park, Nepal
theslightly longer than average e-mail.. read it in stages cause it mightbe a looong while to next time.... I shall be staying here, kick boxingand avoiding weirdos until Friday and then i get on the bus back toChiang Mai and the night train back to pick up the scrumptious Gareth,who I am dying to see, from the Airport at 1500 on Saturday... expectradio silence for the next 3 weeks as we will be hanging around thesouth Islands and doing a visa run to Malaysia - its a good life!!! OK everybody have a super duper week everybody, take good care and keepme updated on everything... again, sorry about the lenght of this.. Lots of Lovin' from Fossy on tour xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
There are more photos below