Kathmandu to Chitwan
29.10.2013 - 31.10.2013 25 °C
Travelling by any means in Nepal is an adventure. Our few days watching traffic in Kathmandu, travelling by kamikaze taxi, and dodging,cycles,rickshaws,motorcycles,cars, trucks and buses while on foot,had given us some serious misgivings about choosing to travel by motorcycles. Still, too late now.
Having met up with our guides, Peter and Lorraine of British Bike Tours, and our fellow travellers, we collected our Royal Enfields (motto: built like guns) and ventured like lambs to the slaughter onto the battlefield of Kathmandu roads. There is only one rule of the road and that is ,there are no rules of the road. It is a free for all where 'Might is right' I can share with you, that motorcycles are way down the pecking order.
Heading for Chitwan National Park, somehow, we all managed to get out of Kathmandu in one piece and eventually turned onto a beautiful, peaceful winding mountain road, heading south through jungle to Hetauda. There we turned west to reach our destination of Tharu Village on the outskirts of the National Park.
Unfortunately, because of a delay in collecting the bikes and a puncture to one of the bikes en route, we rode the last hour in the darkness. An interesting adventure. Nepalese drivers see headlights on vehicles as an optional extra, only to be used when absolutely necessary and definately as a last resort, when it's so dark there is no other way of seeing. If you happen to put your lights on before its pitch black it is seen as aggression and you are flashed at repeatedly......But, what an experience !!
Chitwan National Park contains some 400 + wild Rhino, elephants, sloth bears ,crocodiles, to name a few. During our stay here we did an elephant safari through the jungle, a guided walk through the jungle and an early morning canoe ride down one of it's rivers. Gopal, was our guide throughout and with his encyclopedic knowledge we were able to see animals close up, in their own environment. On our walk we came incredibly close to a Rhino. Literally feet away from us, it's as close as anyone could get to wild Rhino without serious injury. Where else in the world would get that opportunity? On the canoe ride we floated right over a crocodile,no more than two feet below the boat. Perfectly visible ,basking in the clear warm water of the river.
The working elephants stole the show though. Especially a three month old baby, intent on climbing a gate, even though she had been told off and knew she shouldn't be doing it.