So we had pre-booked with Mosaic a 2-nighter to Chitwan National Park following our trek . Chitwan National Park is the first National Park in Nepal. It covers nearly 1000 sq km and is known for its population of black rhinos and its couple hundred remaining tigers. Although we did not still feel nowhere near 100%, we decided to go and got into our arranged car for a 5 hour drive. We arrived in Chitwan around mid-day and opted out of the community walk that afternoon and just rested. The next morning we were up fairly early for our elephant ride in the forest in hopes to see some rhinos (and a Bengal tiger if we were very lucky). Unfortunately, the day started out very foggy and we got the feeling we’d be very lucky to see anything. We did find a few deer, some peacocks, and a king fisher. What a let down after Africa! The elephant ride itself was only semi-enjoyable. You could see the elephant had been poked behind the ears from its healing scars and we felt badly for it. Sylvie told the elephant guide to not hit it and he got the point 🙂 Above: Our elephant ride waiting for us to get on After lunch, we were scheduled for a canoe ride and then a forest walk. The dugout canoes were carved from gigantic trees and we enjoyed the tranquility of floating down river suspiciously eyeing the large crocodiles on each side of the river (some day, one of those canoes will tip over and spill out a nice tourist smorgasbord).
Our guide had us exit the river earlier than everyone else for our forest walk as he was determined that we see rhinos (which we wanted to see also, but it would have been preferable from atop the elephant). We walked for hours and saw nothing except, again, some deer….our bad luck was continuing…by then, we were exhausted (as we were still very weak) and cranky – most people who go to Chitwan do see rhinos we were told, and we had seen none despite the elephant ride and the hiking all over the forest! We had enough, we wanted out of Nepal now!!! We caught the sun going down as we were going back to our “hotel” and were happy the day was over and we were to leave the next morning to go back to Kathmandu and fly out of Nepal the following day. But Nepal had one more jab for us: the ride back to Kathmandu should have taken 5 hours but there was some road construction and we got stuck for hours not moving. We made it back to Kathmandu in 9 hours instead! We ate oranges, peanuts, chips, pop-corn in the car that we bought off from the side vendors that took advantage of the jam and went up and down the cars to sell their stuff. We entertained ourselves by taking pictures of colorful trucks going the opposite way. Finally we made it back to Kathmandu in the evening and re-packed right away after a tasty dinner at a touristy pizzeria called Fire and Ice.Above and below: Nepalese love to decorate and hand paint their trucks. Above: Broken down truck adding to the jam the other way
Below: Back in KathmanduBelow: This time we were smart and wore a mask in the streets of Kathmandu so to not breathe the polluted air.The next morning’s taxi ride, airport check in, and flight to Delhi were smooth as chocolate – we could only guess Nepal had no more tricks up its sleeve. Sad to say, we couldn’t have been happier to leave a country! We felt that we had bad karma for these 2 long weeks and were looking forward to better times in Thailand. We will keep a good memory though of the Nepalese people who were very kind to us during our 2 week ordeal.