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Published: January 3rd 2012
Nepal is AWESOME..and I don't mean in a wanky American sense of the word, I mean I'm totally in AWE of this amazing country!..As soon as I was landing in the plane and saw the vast landscape of mountains I wished I'd booked more time here! The overland tour I booked from Kathmandu to Delhi starts on the 29th December which means I have two nights and only one whole day to explore! So to make the most of it I hire a guide and a driver (blew my budget for that day!) and headed up into the mountains. It is so beautiful! I had a "mini" trek across the hills then headed into old Kathmandu to explore the temples which are equally as impressive.
So after spending all day with my guide, I must admit I started to tire of the small talk, I was relieved to get to my next hotel for the night to meet the group I'd be travelling with for the next 2 weeks. The man on reception tells me the girl I'm sharing a room with is already here so I go up to the room to meet her, to which I am greeted
by Cassie; "Hi, nice to meet you...I'm so sorry I didn't know I was sharing - the room's a mess and I've just done a poo in the toilet...but come in!" - Needless to say I found this hilarious!...We spent the next hour chatting away - both nearly 30, single women, feel completely out our depth without our heels & make-up, but with a silly sense of humour...this is going to be fun!
Then we go downstairs to meet the group co-ordinators - Jenny & Phil. Jenny's an American girl and has one of those really annoying voices..? That go up at the end of every sentence..?...She proceeds with an introduction to the trip - telling us every possible bad thing that could (and has previously) happened..(ie truck breaking down, Phil getting electrocuted...etc..etc) and also talks about toilet stops...(while holding a shovel in her hand)...I'm sorry, I'm all for roughing it but I ain't shovelling no shit! Thankfully there has been no need for this as yet.
Then there's Phil - "over enthusiastic Phil" as I like to call him. Which he very much isn't. A fellow Yorkshire man, he loves his Yorkshire Tea, but hates travelling (strange
for a man in this job I did think) and he HATES India...in fact his very words at our first group dinner were "I went to India expecting it to be shit, and it is shit."...Well nothing like getting us excited! But I'm happy to form my own opinion. I've since discovered that his mundane, relaxed, carefree attitude to everything is absolutely perfect for driving this big truck around the crazy streets!
So the "Truck" that we ae travelling in is a big white and orange thing, not the most comfortable but its BIG, MEAN and has a really loud horn!...It's also called "Kristina"...of course little resemblance to myself...but I'm sure there's a joke in there somewhere..
Anyway, from Kathmandu we head out to Chitwan National Park and arrive at Rhino Lodge around lunchtime. A lovely little guesthouse on the river. We take a dug out canoe down the river and spot lots of crocodiles...the sun is shining, the birds are singing, it's so peaceful and I doze off for a moment - what a perfect afternoon.
The next day - New Years Eve. After a lazy morning, we take a jeep down to the river where
the elephants are bathing. Three of us (myself, Cassie and man named David on our trip) all climb on the back of the Elephant in the water. We're all clinging on to each other like mad to try not to fall off, at which point David takes the opportunity to hold on to my bum! Dirty old man! Though at that moment in time I was concentrating on not falling off and getting crushed by the elephant!...He did apologise later. Anyway the elephnat then sprayed us with his truck a few times before dumping us in the water. It was an amazing experience!
The afternoon was then more Elephants!...We rode them out into the National Park in search of Rhino - and saw one!...It was a truly special moment, with the stunning safari scenery and the snow capped Himalayas in the background. We then watched the last sunset of 2011 over the river, ate, drank & danced under the stars around the fire to bring in the new year - perfect! 😊
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