Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Chitwan Safari, Darjeeling

From Kathmandu we took off to Chitwan National Park area (we were actually just outside of it as very few tours and activities actually take place in the park) where we had a very exciting and somehow relaxing time. We booked a 3 day/2 night deal from Kathmandu that included everything but we liked the place so much that we ended up staying an extra day. Beautiful riverside resort with the restaurant right on the water, sunset views, no noise, etc. Excellent. We went to the Elephant Breeding Centre, where they have a bunch of babies including one that was less than 3 weeks old! Did you know that elephants like to eat cookies!?!?
We also went on an elephant safari through the park area. We saw a pair of one-horned rhinos and some other wildlife. Cool. The best part was the elephant bathing that came after. I'll let the girls elaborate on this ultra-strange but very amusing activity. They had so much fun that it was a major factor in our staying an extra day. The girls were actually swimming in the river with a crocodile lazing on the shore around the corner only 100m away! We also went to see a minority village nearby and a culture dance that had a crazy peacock dance too.
As Chitwan is totally tropical it was much warmer. This is a good thing but also means disturbingly large spiders and leeches running around trying to eat us. Literally.
Mom managed to toast her camera so hopefully it'll work again but as of yet, no luck.
From Chitwan we took off to the Nepal border, stayed the night and crossed the following morning (yesterday). We are now in Darjeeling. Nice place. It's up at 7000ft so it is cold and we are surrounded by clouds so it is damp too. It's a really nice British hill station so layed back by Indian standards and lots of British architecture around. India seems much more commercialized than Nepal or something. There are definately more ads and signs and TV's with english channels. Seems weird rather than familiar after so long without....
We have just come from the Zoo and Himalayan Mountaineering Museum. The zoo is really small and specializes in breeding and protecting himalayan animals like snow leopards, Siberian tigers, Tibetan wolves and red pandas. The museum was cool. Lots of info on the various expeditions to Everest and surrounding mountains. It is also the location of the "remains" of Tenzing Norgay (the sherpa that summitted Everest first with Sir Edmund Hillary). Apparently the world's 3rd tallest mountain is within site here but it is so cloudy that we haven't seen it yet. Don't know how long we'll be in Darjeeling before heading into Sikkim but it'll probably be a few days.


At 3:35 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ouch! I heard about the leeches running through your blood underneath your skin. Sounds all a bit too disturbing. Oh well, atleast they're cleansing your body. Might not be pretty, but it's productive. You know that movie where the guy has cancer, and the only way he can get rid of the cancer is by going into a lake full of leeches? So according to that movie...the leech affect really does work! Hope you had fun on your "Chitwan Safari, Darjeeling". The India trip should be tons of fun. Can't wait to see what happens there!


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