Chitwan National Park

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December 19th 2017
Published: December 21st 2017
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Despite the late night, we were off by 6:00 a.m. Not sure why the early start, it is only 150 km to Chitwan But they said it would be 7 to 10 hours, After 2 hours we had gone about 15km, the roads were chaotic and congested. Having weaved and bullied our way out off Kathmandu we found ourselves in a long slow queue weaving its way up a mountain. After falling asleep I was rudely awakened by my head crashing against the window, the road had gone, and in its place was a rock strewn mud track. Seems the road was washed away 18 months ago. Bits are being repaired in odd places, but every time we hit smooth tarmac it only lasted 50 yards. 7 hours later we arrived and gave the driver a round of applause. No time to rest though it was straight onto bikes. Safety first they made us wear crash helmets, but failed to provide brakes it seems. Still it was flat, not much traffic if you didn't count the elephants - wouldn't want to run into one of them.

Next day we set off in dug out canoes, for some reason boys in one and girls in another, needless to say they got stuck. For three hours we floated down the Rapti river, seeing wonderful birds, crocodiles and a wild elephant. Then we transferred to jeeps and wove through the forest, stopping every time we spotted something. We kept spotting rhinos but they were always buried in deep grass, you just got a hint of rhino. Then Ken spotted a mother and baby by the river, and we spent ages getting photos. It was getting late so our driver put his foot down and we hurtled through the forest, so when he did an emergency stop we all nearly catapulted out of the jeep. There was a huge rhino about 50 yards away, and when he spotted us he started walking towards us. When he was about 20 yards away he stopped, we all drew breath and were trying to get away from the sides of the jeep, but he just turned, peed, and walked off.

Now our driver really sped up, but the about 200 yards later stopped, and we had to get out to walk to our nights lodging. Thinking about that rhino put a spurt in our steps, across a plank bridge, through the forest, to a river edge, but no hotel! The we spotted the "taxi" another dug out coming across to pick us up. Again girls went first, while the guys were trying to work out if they could beat a rhino over the river. I got a beer in, so that when Ken came over, climbing the river bank, he found extra incentive given I was holding a beer out to him. Such an amazing day.

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