This week was spent as per normal. Played games on Friday afternoon at the government school and managed to come 4th in the teachers game of musical chairs (no mean feat with some of the male teachers treating it as importantly as the World Cup).
On Sunday morning I packed my gear, got up at 5:45am and jumped on a bus to go to the Royal Chitwan National Park, the first national park in Nepal, famous for its rhino population on the increase after years of hunting by Nepal’s ruling class.
We stopped at Fishling on the way down to jump on a raft and spend three pleasant hours drifting down the river over the occasional class 2/3 rapid.
We finished in a small hut further down the highway, where we could get changed and enjoy a sweet Nepali tea.
After that we travelled down to Chitwan on the top of a bus (an amazing and really worthwhile illegal experience especially when it was 35 degrees, the bus had no air conditioning and several people had brought their chickens on the journey).
Arriving at Royal Chitwan National Park in the afternoon it promptly started to rain, but we headed off to the cultural exhibition, which was a group of Tharu (a type of people in Nepal) dancers who demonstrated their style. For those of you at the dance studio – I got up and danced with them during the last dance.
The next day we got up early to go for an elephant safari – through the jungle on the back of an elephant. A rewarding experience, even if we didn’t get to see one of the elusive rhinos.
Just before lunch, we got to go bathing/swimming with the elephant which included sitting on it’s back whilst it played and cleaned itself.
After lunch we took a canoe (although really just a hollowed out log) down the river and then went for a walk through the jungle.
After dinner, we saw a slide show and I sat with the Nepalese tour guides to watch Australia beat Japan 3-1 (GO AUSTRALIA). And after finding out that Melbourne have been going well in the AFL, I realised that all in all it was a fairly good birthday (and one that I’ll never forget).
This morning, we went to the elephant breeding centre to see some baby elephants who were so cute at only 30 days old.
After that, we got on a bus and travelled the 5-6 hours back to Kathmandu, arriving at around 3:30pm. Hmmm….soo tired.