Although I was really digging Kathmandu, I left the comfort and company of the Hotel Courtyard for a 2 days to visit Chitwan one of Nepal’s national parks. It was an action packed time in the sweltering heat but worth the trip to encounter rhinos, elephants and see more of Nepal. The drive from Kathmandu to Chitwan took about 6 hours and went through some stunning scenery of terraced farms, curving rivers and rolling hills.
There was also a bit of traffic and at points where we were parked and I could see the Nepali women walking carrying firewood sherpa style.
I stayed at the Sapana Lodge, a 15 minute walk outside of the town of Sauraha and Chitwan National Park. It’s restaurant overlooks a river and is a nice place to watch the sunrise and set. My room was charming with a ceiling fan to keep me cool, although when the power went out frequently making my room into a sauna.
On day 1 I went on an safari where I saw two rhino, a peacock, deer and of course lots of other elephants.
Later in the afternoon I went on a Jeep safari through Chitwan. We saw lots of rhino up close and far away.
The next day, after breakfast I ran into this scene of a peacock trying to get the attention of this hen. For over and hour he showed his plume of feathers and followed the hen around, but to no avail. She was more interested in the breadcrumbs on the ground.
I borrowed one of the bikes from the Sapana Lodge and rode around the local road, through farms to Sauraha and did some shopping.
On the way back I ran into a parade of the safari elephants heading to the river for their morning bath.
After my bike ride I got to cool off by giving Chompa one of the Sapana Lodge’s resident elephants a bath in the river by the restaurant. It was amazing get so close to an elephant and I found out she was 35 years old, just a year older than me.
In the late afternoon I took a canoe ride on the river to visit the elephant breeding center. It was a lovely ride filled with the sounds of the surrounding jungle birds and insects and lots of flowers and greenery marvel at.
The elephant breeding center is home to several elephants and their babies. Some will be released into the wild and some will go into government service to help patrol the national parks.
The next day I caught the tourist bus back to Kathmandu, but I was able to squeeze in one more bike ride and ran into this character and his driver on their way to the river for a wash.