Travel Blog-Day 20
This is a blog about my 36-day trip through Nepal, India, and a little bit of China. I’ll make one post roughly every week until it’s all finished.
Day 20: Chitwan
I wake up early and changed lodges. I find one that is very nice for a lower price than where I am. I’m the only person here. I lay on the bed and there is a spider on the wall next to my face the size of my palm. I get up; get a bucket, ubiquitous in Nepali hotels, and a newspaper. With the newspaper, I push the spider into the bucket and cover it with the newspaper. I take him outside and let him go. It immediately starts to downpour like mad. Even though the spider wasn’t itsy bitsy, I figured she drowned. I felt bad. I tried to not hurt her, but it probably didn’t work. Though sleeping in a room with a spider nearly the size of a tarantula was not an option.
I left the room, went and had a glass of chai. I’m across from where the elephants should be. It’s now 10:00am and the elephants are supposed to be bathing, but no one is there. . I see that the river is actually at the bottom of a small cliff. I walk down to the water and see eight elephants and a bunch of people to my right. They were behind a big new hotel/restaurant. I go and take some photos. For 100rs, about $1.40, you can ride and bathe the elephants. I decide it’s a good idea. The man in charge of my elephant has alcohol on his breath, which makes me wonder. I had a blast. My elephant kept spraying me with water. A few times, while I was on him, he’d roll over onto his side. I was thrown into the river; got up and washed his ears, which he seemed to like. Being on an elephant is an interesting thing. Their heads, from up top and behind, are much bigger than one would think. It was great! For just pure pleasure, this was the most fun I had the whole trip. By the way, when giving the mahout the 100rs, you actually give it to the elephant who then give the money to the mahout. They know the difference between money and food. Chitwan, which I did not like and was going to leave the next day; I decide is not that bad. I choose to stick to my original plan and stay for another day. I am coming back tomorrow to ride and bathe the elephants again.
I had lunch and bought a DVD at a shop for $2.00. It’s called “Himalaya” and is directed by Eric Valli and was nominated for an Academy Award for best Foreign Film in 2000. It’s about a Tibetan village in Dolpo, Nepal that has an annual caravan to sell salt and get provisions for the village. I highly recommend it.
Crocodile on the bank of the Rapti River in Chitwan National Park.