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rain 20 °C

We decided to go to Chitwan with Bishwa older brother and his wife and child who befriended Teo and Hayden when we went to Pokhara... As usual mummy decided to go there with a bus to see the scenery and come back with a plane ...
Our journey was very very very long and we did not even get proper seats so I regretted my decision a tat too late ... But we were quite entertained to see goats on the bus!!!!
Once we arrived, Sargan, Laxmi and Sargan junior were there waiting for us at the Jungle Sunset Camp... We had a quick lunch and went to the museum whihc was very interesting as it explained how the Reserve was created and how it functions.... There is a buffer zone where locals can cut grass only 10 days a year now in order to preserve the wildlife. It showed the law that applies for poachers and explained the species we can find in the park. We then went to the elephant breeding center. This was kind of disappointing in the sense that all elephants but the babies were chained to a pole. We saw the only elephant twins in the world (5 years old now)... and also the cuttest baby ever... There was a man making food for the elephants, a mixture of rice, molasses and grass... Both Hayden and Teo had a go at helping make the food and fed the elephants which was nice. We had a tour of the premises and again that was very interesting as we saw where they prepared the molasses .. it was a big big fire and a massive pot where the molasses are melted and it smelts soooooo goood.... We then saw the staff in charge of making the feeds and that was their full time job... so hard and so tiring staying sat down for hours ...
After the visit we went back via the river and saw the 2 types of crocodiles there is in Chitwan, the Gharial and the Marsh Mugger. The Gharial has a long thin beak and only eats fish, the Marsh mugger has a much wider mouth and is a man eater... We also saw a river snake.... After diner we went to a dance show which aimed to share the different dances performed by the locals throughout the year and we even got to go on stage...In fact it was Hayden who really wanted to go on and dragged me on stage.... very funny... We met a badminton coach who lives in the USA and came to visit and I asked if he could come to visit the orphanage to show the children about badminton and also explain how he managed to go and live in the USA.
The next day we had an early start with a canoe trip along the river and again we were lucky as we saw a double horned rhino, a lot of kingfishers and other birds and again a lot of Gharials and Marsh Mugger... When we came back there was the elephants from the tours having a bath in the river and you could pay to get on top and be thrown in the water.. as the kids had just had a shower they decided not to do it and we left it for the next day ... Shame as we never made it the next day ....
We came back to the hotel and there was a TV crew shooting a documentary on the hotel so we managed to get interviewed, both me and Sargan senior.. I also chatted with the crew and asked if there was any possibilities to do a shoot at the Happy Home orphanage to promote the place on national TV. You would not believe it but the cameraman happened to live just round the corner from where the orphanage is so he promised to see what he could do ...
In the afternoon we did a elephant ride in the buffer zone and that was very interesting with lots of deers, monkeys, eagles and rhino. The rain started and we had forgotten our waterproof coats so we thought " well that will be fun, a true jungle experience"... Hummm we did nit bank on the rain not stopping for hours... by the time we got back to the elephant resting area we were wet throughout and all shivering .. so guess what we had a long hot shower when we got to the hotel. We had diner and tried to dry all our clothes on the railing but it rained all night. As everyone told me Chitwan is hot I had no change of trousers for the kids, one pair of shoes each .. total disaster in terms of clothing so the kids were in pijamas all day the following day!
We decided to stay one more day to see the Gharial breeding centre in the reserve itself. It was the occasion to go in the jungle and see the reserve.
So the next day we go in a jeep and drive for hours to the jungle. The TV crew decided to come with us so we had the cameraman and an actress with us. She wore high heels and you just thought ... "hum talking about appropriate clothing I think she was a little mad"... It is interesting as there is a guard post on both side of the river (demarcation line between the reserve and the buffer zone) manned by the army to deter poachers. We then need to walk for 30 minutes to the breeding centre. The breeding centre was fascinating as there were babies from 1 year old to 10 years old and the little ones were so cute... We could not hold them for obvious reasons.. Some had their beaks broken as they fight a lot (I realised that I was lucky with the level of fighting my 2 get up to!!!!). The guide we took went out of the centre and called us as there was a rhino just a few metres away ... we all followed him and the cameraman was mad trying to get so close that the rhino turned around to face us and I had a sudden fright for the kids life and I dragged them back as I was expecting the rhino to charge any minutes. We honestly saw him within 3 metres max... amazing!
We drove back for the 1.5 hours and Laxmi and Sargan junior and senior left to go and visit their relatives and we stayed in and watched daredevil (so cool my hero!)...
The next day we planned to fly back and were disappointed with the 3 hours delay which meant we only came back mid afternoon home... but it was great... Next time we will go in a lodge in the jungle and see if we can see the tiger and leopard!!!!

Posted by ealonso 23:28 Archived in Nepal Tagged chitwan gharials marsh_mugger jungle_sunset_camp

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