The next morning started with a 6am wake-up call and shortly afterwards breakfast. A bit after 7am we left for our canoe ride with a group of Czech people. Their tour guide was busy on the phone because she had two persons at the airport in Kathmandu poised to go home but of course this never happened on the day after the earthquake. The airport was closed for a while but she managed to organize them a hotel nearby.
See how happy we look at this time of the day? I am sure I never look this much relaxed in Vienna at 7:30 am.
The canoe ride turned out to be super short after all. We were first told that we would go for the jungle tour in the morning and then after a lunch break at the hotel for the canoe ride. This all changed with the addition of the Czech group and all of a sudden we already started to walk shortly after 8am. In the beginning it was really interesting, searching for animals. Our guide Madan stopped every couple of minutes, listened for a while and then moved on; I had the impression he was doing this solely for the purpose of keeping us tourists happy and on the move. Still, we saw some animals, foots prints of different animals and so on.
The grey blob on the last picture was a rhinoceros, just so you know that we “saw “one. There were actually two, mother and baby rhino.
Then it was finally lunch time because around 11am I started to have enough. Three hours of walking around in the jungle was my personal limit. We came upon a little clearing that looked as if every jungle tour stopped there for lunch. But first we saw some kind of fruit (not edible for humans), had to cross a bridge and saw some leftover antlers. The former attached parts to these had probably been eaten by a tiger said the guide (or maybe the antlers had been conveniently placed there for us tourists).
And then finally we saw the clearing and sat down for lunch which had been packed by the hotel. Hardboiled eggs, a sandwich, an apple, a banana, some cookies and a juice. By then I would have eaten anything (also a tiger), walking around in concentric circles (or so it seemed to me) really made me hungry. Finally I could relax a bit while reading my book; Sylvia used the time to lie down.
Just 30 minutes later we were on the go again, still looking for the imaginary tiger. Ok, maybe not so imaginary because there are still over a hundred tigers living in the Chitwan National Park. Still no tiger in sight which was probably better because we “saw” some foot prints and the longer we walked the more Sylvia freaked out that we were walking around here in this park just waiting to be served up as tiger snack. That was the least of my problems, tiger or no tiger, I just had enough of all this walking. We were promised a tour of three hours and ended up back at the river at 3:30pm. So after seven hours of walking including a short-cut in the wrong direction, I was bone tired and needed a little rest at the hotel.
Refreshed we met again at 5pm to see the elephant breeding station. We drove through the village and stopped at a small river which in monsoon times is way bigger. The bridge over it is removed at the beginning of the monsoon season and installed again after it.
The elephants were less interesting than the bridge, but maybe I am just saturated with all the elephant programs. They were always behind fences and I was not convinced that they looked happy. Sylvia even less, you should have heard her berating the guide.
After a quiet dinner with our German neighbors we went to bed early and got some sleep. Walking in circles made us bone-weary.