Edit Blog Post
Published: January 9th 2006
These things are all over the place and every night they have people in them watching for rhinos - one night i was in a village on the trek a hyena came into town and killed a goat
Summary: Ready to start the new year with something exciting and at least a little challenging I opted out of the usual package tour to Chitwan and hopped on a bus down to the park to see what kind of fun I would find. I ended up getting up close and personal with Rhino's and even a Tiger (orphaned youngster) aswell as almost being eaten by a crocodile. On the second night I was on the trip a Hyena came into the village where I was staying and killed a goat. I came out in the evening to see the flaming torches running about madly in the fields and hear people shouting to try and scare it away! I also spent some time in what can truly be called rural Nepal and stayed in one village where I was the star attraction for a change - I even had two women offer to marry at different points of the trip!
After arriving in Sauraha and spending one day exploring the region by bicycle I ended up going on an open ended trek into the park with two guides (you have to take two - their excuse is incase one gets
This is a very common seen in the area around chitwan national park
eaten so the other can bring you back safely...). In total I was away for three days but trekking for 2. The days would involve around nine hours walking and cover 3 major types of terain from open grass land to thick "jungle" that unsuprisingly looks like something out of the jungle book. You're not allowed to sleep in the park so we had to stay in villages just outside the park but this turned out to be one of the highlights of the trip!
The first day was the one where I nearly got eaten by a crocodile (mugger to be specific). Just after taking a picture of one of them it slid into the water and I took a couple of steps back from the river thinking it safe to look at the photo I just took. Seconds later there was lots of splashing and my guide was pushing me backwards repeating "oh my god" over and over. I looked up to see the croc sliding back into the water and realised I was nearly breakfast. No more going to close to the water then. Another highlight of the day was climbing a tree to watch a
The Man Eater...
This is the croc that seconds after taking this pic tried to have me for lunch
couple of Rhinos that we heard munching on the long grass about 30 meters from us. The grass can be well over 10 feet tall and it's impossible to see more that a metre infront of you when you're in it. That evening I checked into a crap hotel in an area set up to cater for people that do these treks. I'm pleased to say however that we didn't hang around for long and spent the evening in a village nearby where one of my guides new some people. Just to set the scene these small villages are all made of mud huts with no real electricity and surrounded by rice paddies. In the evenings every family starts a small fire on the ground and crowds around it gossiping about recent events. I had my first try of the local rice wine this night called Rakshi and it can be very strong but on the whole isn't bad.
The second day we headed south through the park towards the Indian border. I got to see a lot more wildlife this day and met some of the locals who were allowed into the park to harvest the long grass
Is that a baboon..?
Rhino watching from a tree - they were only 30m away and I was so pleased I got to climb some trees on the trek!
for 6 days every year. Halfway through the day we stopped at a crocodile breeding centre where they keep two orphaned Rhinos and one orphaned Tiger. You can get very close to the animals and even pet the Rhinos who are very affectionate. Their situation at the moment though much better than it was a couple of years ago is dire and although I tried to ask if there was any chance I could stay and help look after them for a while (god knows they need it) I wasn't allowed to. Since visiting the park I've looked into the matter a little further and found out that stories of exactly where the animals came from and how long they have been there differ but work does seem to be being done to help them... If you're interested check out the Bill Jordan Foundation Tiger Project where you can also donate. Later that night we stayed in a local village called Mandi with my guides family and friends. The place never see's tourists and as a result masses of people come up to see you and spend a lot of time just standing and staring at every move you make.
Cheesy sunset photo
sorry couldn't resist
I'm kinda used to people staring but I've never experienced it to this extent before - still, it was a great experience. I tried to take a photo of some of the kids that were around at one point as they love seeing photo's of themselves and i thought it would be cool to keep a memory. As soon as I got the camera out all hell broke loose with people scrabbling to be in the photo and parents pushing their kids whether they like it or not. Trying to get them all to move back to fit everyone in was impossible so i only got a picture of a few of them but at least it's something to keep as a memory.
While on the trip I ate nothing but Daal Bhaat as this is the only thing available in these areas. It's basically rice with curried vegetables and also curried meat. The give you a plate and just keep bringing it until you manage to fend them off. It's different in every place and is normally very nice but after having it 3 times a day I started to get very tired of it. Also especially in
This is one of the poor Rhinos I met briefly that was orphaned that desperately need more help - see my blog
the villages for the meat they pretty much eat the whole chicken including a lot of the insides i think. I'm just glad it was dark a lot of the time when I was eating!
The third day was more or less just the journey back - mostly by bus. I got into a big dispute at the border of the park on the way through where they completely ripped me off and I ended up briefly getting the army involved but to no avail. Take note if you ever just travel through the park at this point you do not have to pay the park entrance fee but you may have to fight very hard not to if you are a foreigner.
Tot: 2.468s; Tpl: 0.045s; cc: 16; qc: 59; dbt: 0.0518s; 2; m:saturn w:www (220.127.116.11); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb