Chasing Rhinos in the Dark
My Nepal adventures next took me to Chitwan National Park.
Rivers, mountains in background, jungle, wild animals, beautiful birds, wonderful people….. It was really fun. I had a tour booked that included the ~6 hour bus ride from Kathmandu, hotel, food, cultural show, elephant safari (which I planned on not doing), canoe ride and jungle trek. The bus ride was on the side of a mountain most of the way, which was treacherous, but also made for really pretty scenery the whole way!
Our tour guide was Madan – he was so nice, he knew everything about birds and the other animals in the area, and he helped take care of my leg❤️. Madan took me to the town Doctor (in Sauraha), and the doctor fixed me up. It took agonizing pain by his hand, where I almost passed out, and poor Madan was fanning me because I started sweating, and my blood pressure dropped…. sheesh! But that doctor was sooo nice. And he was neatly dressed, spoke perfect english, witty, etc. He gave me medicine, fixed me up, met with me the next morning to dress my wound for me again, and with antibiotics, bandages, antibiotic cream, and seeing him twice, it only cost $24. I was so relieved because I don’t have travel insurance. If you are ever in Sauraha, Nepal, and you need a trustworthy doctor, I know who you can go to😊.
I stayed at the Hermitage Hotel, and it was really nice, right on the river.
The first night I saw a cultural show… couldn’t get many pictures, but it was fun to see. Also fun to see/hear the local audience react to different things. THERE WAS AN AWESOME PEACOCK GUY! Best costume I’ve ever seen. My pics were all blurry😢
I told myself I would never do an elephant ride because I think it hurts the elephants, but I went ahead with it in Chitwan because it was part of the itinerary and what I paid for… Must’ve been karma because halfway through the ride, the elephant got PISSED and was trying to throw us off. Before that, it was great – saw rhinos in the wild😳
For the trip, I was in a group with three sweet, fun girls who were in Nepal volunteering, two at a hospital and one at an orphanage😍. After the elephant craze, we had a canoe ride and a jungle trek.
Then, that night (or maybe it was the night before?), our guides found birds for us in the trees😂
And then……….. Madan, one other girl, and I took a walk down the beach…. around 10pm….. and waited…… hunting for rhinos…….. I thought Madan was just kind of making it up, “Oh, I think I hear a rhino.” “The rhino may be crossing the river, I think I hear him in the water.” -he said. I thought, “Sure, sure…” then, after maybe an hour of sitting in the dark on the beach alternating between talking and being quiet – Madan whispered, “Shhh! I think I hear him!” and he pointed to the top of the little sand dune, about 15 feet away. AND THERE HE WAS. A huge rhino, glistening in the full moon light (he was wet because he had just crossed the river). I froze… THEN tried to take a picture (didn’t turn out), and the rhino looked in our direction, made some loud breathing noises, walked a few feet forward, went # 2, and then walked down the dune on the other side, into the village. I’m kind of glad the photos didn’t work because I’m keeping the memory instead – something I’ll never forget. Coolest thing!!!!!!!
Next up: Best Trek Ever 💙 Nepal