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Published: March 19th 2012
We arrived back into Kathmandu exhausted, our bus journey from Ramachapp felt neverending. The roads either had no tarmac or tarmac that was barely there. Those that did were in such a bad state of repair that we jumped two feet in the air every time we hit a pothole. I was travel sick, which was a combination of the bumpy roads, and lack of food and water for about 7 hours. Needless to say all we wanted to do when we finally arrived in Kathmandu was go to sleep. Our hotel, Ganesh Himah didn't have any room for us so we were put up in a 'sister' hotel. But just when we thought that things couldn't get any worse we found to our dismay that the matresses on the beds were an inch thick, it was like lying on concrete, the electricity kept going out (there was no generater). The bathroom was falling apart, it was an inner room with no working light and no hot water for the shower. When we did finally get some sleep we kept waking to packs of dogs fighting right outside our window. Wonderful. The next day, not much rested we made our way
Chitwan National Park
Busy working away on the visitor centre
back to Hotel Ganesh Himal and managed to get a room around lunchtime. We slept and had a very long hot showers (and after a week of no showers they never felt so good), by that evening we began to feel somewhat human again.
Following this very short time in Kathmandu we made our way over to Pokhara. We had just over a week left in Nepal and we were determined to make the most of it. We spent the day travelling to Pokhara and having already booked a hotel in Kathmandu, we were taken straight there when we arrived. The hotel was perfect, just what we needed for some proper rest. The next few days were spent doing exactly that, sleeping, eating good food and trying to get over our stinking colds that we had both managed to finds ourselves with. We both wished we had more time in Nepal and here in Pokhara in particular, there was so much to do here and with not feeling the best things didn't work out as well as we hoped. Still, something to save for next time!
After three nights in Pokhara we made our way south to Chitwan
National Park. We had an all inclusive tour booked so all we had to do was get on the bus, it was nice not to have to think about planning each step for a change. We were taken to our hotel which was in a great location, just outside the national park. Once we had settled in we lunch followed by a few hours rest. We spent the afternoon chatting to an american couple that were staying in the room next to us. Before dinner we took a stroll as a group through the local village and onto one of the elephant camps where we got to see a few elephants which was pretty amazing. We moved onto to a lovely spot by the river where we stopped to have a drink and watch the sunset. After the sun had gone for the day we made our way back to the hotel with good appetites for dinner. After we were treated to a performance from the local tribe that used to live in the national park. They danced with sticks which many years ago was all that they had to protect themselves from the local wildlife.
The following day
we were up for an early start, dawn in traditional boats along the river that flows around the national park. The boat trip took us the the start of our short trek through the national park, we were hoping to see some of the local wildlife but unfortunately we were unlucky. Or lucky, whichever way you look it. Our guide gave us instructions on what to do if we suddenly happened upon an animal and startled it. For elephants we had to run for our dear lives, for Rhinos climb a tree, and for Tigers and Leopards we had to all stand in a group and not move. We were very glad that we didn't have to put any of this into practise.
Before lunch we took a quick stroll down to the river to watch the Elephants have their bath time, which they seemed to absolutley love. Once cleaned they would stir up mud from the river and pour it all over them again, so they then had to get another wash. After lunch we had our much anticipated Elephant trek through Chitwan on the hunt for the rare one horned white Rhino. With four of us to
an Elephant we teamed up with our American friends and set off. This time we were incredicbly lucky, not only did we see one or two grown Rhinos we also saw a mother and baby rhino (which was super cute) and whats more the Rhinos didn't even know that we were there as the smell of the Elephants masked our human scent. As we made our way back to our hotel we took a final elephant stroll through the river to the back drop of a very hazy red sunset. What a day!
Upon our return to Kathmandu we had a couple of days left before it making our way to our final destination, Thailand. We spent some time seeing a few of the sights in Kathmandu, Durbar Square and the famous temple of Swayambhunath, known to most people as Monkey Temple. Durbar square is once where kings and queens were crowned. The square, a collection of ancient traditional nepalese buildings is at the heart of Kathmandu. Here we spent hours wondering around, taking pictures and just sitting and taking it all in. We went to the house of the Kumari Devi, a real living child goddess. She wasn't
there though, on her lunch break we assume.
The following day we visited monkey temple which is a very unique jumbled fusion of both the Buddist and Hindu religions. Known as monkey temple for the many hundreds of macaque monkeys that live here we were sure to hold onto our bits and pieces. Things go missing all to quickly. We climbed the 900 odd steps up to the temple and once at the top we enjoyed a couple of hours of wondering, looking and laughing at the monkeys.
That evening the manager of our hotel took us out for a traditional nepalese meal, as a thank you for our custom. We had stayed with them a few times during our month stay in Nepal and we had booked our trek through them as well. The meal was great, we were even treated to dancers performing tradtional nepalese dances. There was even a yeti making the rounds. Was a great way to end our stay in Nepal. The trek just blew us away, it was out of this world. And to end Nepal with a visit to Chitwan National Park and a couple of days in Kathmandu was just
amazing. There is so much more here that we wanted to see though, this is a country that we would definatley want to re-visit sometime in the future. A month just isn't long enough.
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