Published: July 30th 2009July 30th 2009
After a couple more days in Pokhara we booked a jungle trip for a few days. This was after a visit to the 'bat cave' one of the highlights of pokhara. This consisted of visiting 2 or 3 'temples' which were tiny and crap, but proby still managed to get ripped off by talking to a guide all the way round then stupidly giving him 500rs (4quid) when the guy demanded money? The Bat cave and the other associated with it were cheape nough to get in but guides tried to rip us off telling us we'd need help. With no torches it was a bit tricky but paying would have bin a rip off as they were just caves which were dark and full of bats (surprisingly). I did however get a really good official army Gurka knife not a pretend fake tourist one from a crazy old guy in real pokhara town.
A bit of a crazy bus ride which started with a german/austrian family telling us we were in their seats and not letting us sit down, refusing to show us tickets saying they had the seats, then going to ring and complain to whoever they got
ripped off for the bus by. After sorting that a 6 hour bus ride elapsed on roads stuck to the side of cliffs over perilous drops ranging from 50-500feet while the bus clinked and clonked over potholes, overtaking on blind corners and stopping here there and everywhere so the driver could make extra money by giving lifts and delivering things for locals on our "tourist bus". The views were stunning and it wasnt really dangerous even tho jon had tried to scare us with excerpts from my nemesis 'the lonely planet guidebook'.
Anyway, we arrived in our hostel with everything in tact. The rooms were average and we had a crappy tour of a local villiage house on arrival. Then after not a great tea, expecting the worst went to a stick dance by locals which was amazing, probably one of the best shows by indiginous people i've seen on any travels. The next day we went on a canoe ride which we saw a couple of crocs/muggers and some deer in the forrest, though on rhinos. We then left to spend the night in a lodge deep in to the rainforest. We drove there in a jeep (breaking
down on the way) and it was actually quite remote. We went for a jungle walk saw more deer and the shapes of rhino moving through long grass but we were not high enough to make them out, no bother, we saw some later from the lodge balcony but no tigers! I did however find a leech on me after the walk through the jungle, the guide just pulled it off but couldnt actually feel it so maybe long sleeves would have been a good idea! Also met a guy form newcastle medical school in 4th year who'd just done his elective up the road, random random but great times and had great things to say about nepal and wilderness medicine, something i definatley want to pursue once it gets interesting, but now i'm resigned to treating jon and proby's constant travellers illness.
After a good nights sleep we rested back at the hostel before going on elephant safari, i'd riden an elephant before but the others werent too aprehensive and after 30 minutes we were deep in the jungle. More deer and due to the fact we'd gone earlier than everyone else on just 3 elephants for our
10 people, a much better chance of seeing anything. After the deer we came to a watering hole in a clearing an finally a rhino!!! It was massive and just eating grass on the other side of the water. Our guide's 'devil may care' attitude meant we took the elephant through the water till we were literally feet from it, the best way to see animals int he wild for sure. Really really great experience. Then in the next clearing. 2 adults with a baby (calf??) which was amazing, and once again we walked among them 10 feet up without a problem on our elephant. Another 20 minute ride back when it just started to rain so we got back just in time to see about 20 other elephants loaded with people riding into the jungle sopping wet and not looking happy. Great choice to go early!!!
Since then we pretty much just came here to Kathmandu on a similar bus journey filled with proby's moaning about food, lack of sugar in his diet and the fact that he has to carry his bag. Maybe its a good job he probably doesnt have money for the everest trek. Me and quick will almost definately do it as i think its a once in a lifetime opportunity and i'd rather do it in my prime. whats the point of doing a smaller trek? how many people can say they've climbed to everest base camp?? (6000m up)
Once again i'll add pictures once i've got them off the others, i'm not taking many for myself, especially of views as the others have better cameras. Might be in need of a few cheap weeks after an everest trek clocking in at around 300-500 quid. Could do with a relax in darjeeling/sikkim