We left our simple little guest house and took a boat across the river to go for a walk in the jungle and look for some Rhinos. The guide taking us into the jungle pointed out some Rhino tracks right outside our guesthouse near where we were drinking last night!!! eek..thats too close for comfort I think! We walked in the jungle for a cople of hours and right at the last moment found a huge male rhino taking a snooze under a tree… we were given strict instructions on how to run away from him if he wakes up and then went in for a close looksie… WOW… it was so cool to be so close to a wild Rhino!
While in the National Park we also visited a crocodile farm – while trying to eradicate mosquitoes from the area years ago they managed to kill a lot of the wildlife, so this farm was breeding the native crocodiles for release into the wild. We also saw a beautiful tiger who unfortunately has to live in captivity because once a tiger has had a taste of humans they stop hunting… so this poor girl was locked in a cage because when she was a cub her mother killed several people from the village nearby.
After the jungle walk we were picked up in a really cool jeep (that was around during the 2nd world war) and took a drive to our next hotel. We got lost and drove through lots of little villages where we were pointed and stared at by the elders and the kids ran out to say hello… it was very cool. The extended jeep drive was worth it, my goodness, the accommodation was so flash… I can see that travelling with Intrepid is going to make me soft!
In the evening we rode elephants into the jungle to see more Rhinos. It was amazing how the rhinos were not bothered by the hordes of tourists on elephants, the acted as if we weren’t there… it was totally amazing! Here are some photos:
After an AFD (Alcohol Free Day) was thankfully back to my usual self… I tell ya, sometimes its not worth drinking booze when on holiday! I am even pondering going AF for the rest of the year… 2 reasons for doing this… to please my liver and to help me stick to my budget! The $ is going a lot faster than I expected it would… I think Nepal is rather pricy and I am really hoping things are a lot cheaper in India.
On the 2nd day in Chitwan we took a boat down the river to an Elephant breeding camp. The river trip was relaxing and we even saw crocodiles basking in the sun. The Elephant camp was a disgrace… basically all the female elephants were tied up, the babys could roam (because they will never go too far from their mums) and when the time is right a male elephant will come and ‘service’ the females. I really don’t rate how the Elephants are treated here, it’s quite a contrast to Laos where the elephants are loved and respected and in turn do as they’re told without the need to be hit or beaten.
We had some free time, I tried to catch up on emails/blog but the internet was painfully slow (took me 15mins just to see my inbox) so went and sat by the river instead… thinking id get some time alone but instead was harassed by a girl who wanted money. There are a lot of sob stories, some of them are no doubt true – but a lot of them are bull, tourists are seen as an easy way to make money so parents send their kids out to beg. Its so hard to say no to a child with big boogely eyes who claims they are starving. But the thing is, you can’t say yes to them all.
In the evening we went for a bike ride into the village, the bike ride wasn’t long enough for me… but it was nice just cruising along the small village streets and saying hello to the people.
Here is a photo of our group (minus Raj the leader, he was somewhere else):
From left: Local Guide, Barrie, Maxine, Me, Max and Mac