Tour of India and Nepal – Chitwan National Park (1/2).

entrance The Royal Chitwan National Park, one of the “must see” sights in Nepal.

I had been looking forward to it, but my expectations were surpassed.

As was the case, on arrival at many of our destinations, we find and sit down in a large garden

It was nice to be able to stretch out, after hours inside a vehicle, and made even better with a cold Beer.

 schedule The whole place, was really well organised.

They even had this board, showing who was doing what and when.

I took regular pictures of the board and referred to the timetable regularly, so as not to waste even a moment of this opportunity.

 In the late afternoon of our first day, we head out by Ox cart to visit a local village in Tharu.  oxcart1
 goats I have been to “villages” (Dubai and Wadi Rum spring to mind) where the “villagers” were actually University Educated actors.

This was authentic. A real working village, and the locals, couldn’t have been more friendly.

Our Guide briefs us, before the tour of the village begins.

The people of the village, are not naturally afflicted by Malaria, and before Malaria was removed from Nepal, the villagers were the only people who could live here.

 runt This poor bedraggled chick, caught my eye.

It was such a chirpy and upbeat thing, that I couldn’t resist taking a picture of it.

 One of the local children, collecting clay and mud from the road, to “improve” his home.  digging
 vilhut One of the clay huts, that the villagers lived in.

A simple design made from natural resources, but in no way inferior, to many council houses in the UK.

 We found wild Marijuana growing in the village (nobody seemed to mind).  mar
 museum The village has a community Centre, which houses a small museum.

While we wandered around, the villagers never came over begging, or trying to “badger” us into buying anything.

Instead, they subsidise their paltry income, by charging admission, which made everyone feel more dignified.

Here Jane poses outside.

 Many of the baskets and traditional wares, used day to day in the village.  baskets
 door I have attempted to make grass mattresses and doors in the past.

None of my attempts have ever been even close to this one.

This isn’t actually an artefact in the museum, its a “proper” door.

 We reluctantly leave the village and head home.  oxcart2
 sunset1  Before reaching our camp, we stop of at a local cafe by the river, and enjoy a drink, as the sun goes down.
My home during my stay at CNP.

This beautiful chalet, spotlessly clean, with its own veranda.

Although close to all the hotels amenities, it was positioned so that you could feel separate and independent if you wished.

 projector Our guide really did make the most, of every minute of our visit.

In the evening, after dinner (and before the ale started flowing !) we were given a talk on local plants.

The next morning, after a relaxing evening socializing, a comfortable nights sleep, and a superb breakfast, we are pickup up by Jeep, and taken to our first activity of the day, a canoe safari.

I thought these Jeeps were amazing. Its 80 years old and functions perfectly (the jungle isn’t the kindest place to motor vehicles).

I remember thinking, that the person who built this, is probably dead now, but I think he would be proud to know, that its still going.

 cansaf1  We disembark from the Jeep and set off in two large canoes (they were made locally by the tribesmen) and head down the river.
Our punter (he wasn’t into gambling or anything 🙂 kneeled on the back of the boat, and used his stick to point out wildlife.

On the right of this picture, you can see one of the “Crocks”.

 cansaf2 You can get some idea from this picture, what it was like to be in the Canoe.

The thing that kept worrying me, was what would happen, if the Canoe capsized and we ended up in the water with the Crocks.

But then I thought, that’s why its called adventure travel.

Also, everyone else in the Canoe, seemed to be thinking the same thing and sat very still, during the journey.

 As we leave the Canoe’s, we are shown this plant called “mother-in-laws tongue” !.  miltongue

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