Chitwan Day Two

Chitwan Day Two

The resort wakes everyone up at 5:45am to go on a nature walk before breakfast. While I’m not keen on being woken up, the walk is invigorating. Storks are flying overhead and at one point, we see a large hornbill up in a tree.

After breakfast, Earle and the rest of the gang leave the resort to visit other schools. I’m to stay another day and fly back to Kathmandu. After they leave, I get talked into going on another elephant safari. This time, I have no butt soreness and the ride seems smoother. We were also in luck and find two rhinos in the jungle. Part of it is because I saw a wallow in the opposite direction and pointed it out to the mahout, asking if it’s a sign a rhino is nearby. After seeing the wallow for himself, he heads the elephant in the direction I pointed out. We first see a female who trots off away from us. Within minutes, we come across a male who isn’t keen on us invading his territory and brazenly trots to within a few feet of us. The mahout’s calls to the other elephant groups in the jungle cause the rhino to run off.

After we get back and have lunch, I decide to take a short nap. Between the heavy duty massage the other day and the butt workout of the elephant ride yesterday, I ache all over and need the extra sleep. I only doze, however, because I don’t want to miss the elephant bathing at 2:30. It’s so hot that I want to get in the river not so much to bathe the elephants, but to cool off.

The first elephant I try to climb up on while in the river is fairly easy. I’m even able to hold on to her ears and stay on while she tries to dunk me three times. I see Peter, from Boston, come down to the beach, so I get out and grab my camera, asking him to take pictures of me on the elephant. This time, the elephant is larger and doesn’t get as low in the water as the first one. I probably looked like a beached whale trying to get up on her…and pretty pitiful, because some guy took pity and came into the water to help push me up on the elephant. I was no sooner on when the elephant decided to dunk under the water sideways and off I fell. All that climbing up on the elephant wore me out, so I called it good and got out of the river.

At 4:30pm, the resort director arranges for a boat to paddle me up river to the village. The village children are eager to have their picture taken and I have to remind them again and again not to grab my camera. A grandmother that looked over 100, but was probably only in her 40s, begs me for money while husking wheat, only to be berated by her (apparent) son. The boat ride back to the resort is beautiful since it’s now dusk and the sunset is the most beautiful I’ve seen. I’ve never seen the sun so orange before! The rainbow colors of the sunset reflect on the water and it reminds me of a water color painting.

After dinner and a slideshow about the park, I go to bed early (again.)

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