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Published: October 11th 2018
Arrived in Sauraha, the city next to chitwan, halfway the afternoon. Despite the bumpy road, we were in pretty good condition, because of the airconditioning. And becausee of the relative quality of the roads outside of the capital too.
The owner of 'Chillax Hostel' came with his Jeep, to pick us up. It's a bit crowded, with all us and the bags, but we were fine 😊. Upon arrival, some people helped us getting the bags to our cabin. We got the super-deluxe one, with airco,which was a whopping 6€ pppn. Super deluxe here is sort of a mud cabin, simple beds with mostly intact musquito-net-tents over them. some tiles, a bent fire-resistant door to the bathroom, that only closed when you lock it. Pink flower-tiles a leaky toilet with a bucket, loose sink, everything grimed up and a very.. Interesting electrical system.
After we were put in our cabin, people just left and were looking at each other a bit puzzled. So /this/ is a 9.2 rating on hostelworld?
Went out. They had a nice garden with vegetable plot, a shrine to Shiva and another God, a squat-down toilet on the side and a reception area in
the front. Almost no lighting around the premises.
The owner welcomed us very matter of factly when we came in. Gave us a cup of coffee, told us about what is here. Invited us to see the elephant breeding place. We declined. Elephants are treated very badly, for them to allow humans on them. An evening walk with sunset then? "-OK!" and we'll throw in some elephant seeing too. Ugh...
So at 16:30, after dropping off some laundry at the next door service place, we were off to see the sunset. And chained elephants,stsnding around sadly. We made a point to not photograph any and responded in low spirits to the explanation of the guy they trumped up for us. Also just realized that he would probably want a tip for this.
Things got better when we walked out of that place. After just a few hundred meters, we encountered a wild rhino!
Apparantly, there's quite a lot of them and they are well protected in the park. We later saw bicycle-riding military people with guns, patrolling.
The area around the rhino quickly filled up with other guides and tourists. Got a few nice photos.
One has to stay away far enough to not provoke the rhino and also have a chance of getting away if he does. We moved on before too many people were there.
Spent the rest of the time until sunset enjoying dinner at the river, that seperates the village from the national park. The most interesting find on the menu is a dish, listed in the vegetarian section. They call it 'Pataje orlog'. You can see what it is below, in the photo section. Got a beer, also for our guide, and went back to the hostel to go to the next thing from there: a Tharu cultural experience.
At the hostel, everything was dark, but a rhino had made its way towards the vegetable garden. I got a bad photo of it, before they chased the rhino out, by making noise/hitting trees.
At the culture center, we saw a couple of dances. I have videos on my phone, but I'll just upload photos here the most interesting dance was the 'peacock dance', in which a guy was dressed up in a huge peacock costume and danced around like a real peacock, quite elegantly and with use
of the head, feathers and tail.
Other dances were boys or girls making circles around a drummer. Some of them with sticks,that they use to create a rhythm.
The final thing was one where the audience could join in. Lots of people did and danced around in a circle, to varied patterns. When it was over, people got out very quickly and resumed their positions as shopkeepers, waiters and other occupations. Apparently, they had just taken some time out of their long workday, to attend, or even play in the dance. Our guide said that people come from all the villages around, to see the performance.
We turned in for the night after that. Tomorrow was gonna be an early rise again, to do a jungle trekking tour in a wildpark
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