Nepal such a change

Trip Start Aug 01, 2010
Trip End Apr 30, 2011

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Monday, October 18, 2010

We left Varanasi early hoping to make the border that evening - it just didn't happen I think this was the worst drive day we have had. It was hot and humid The condition of the roads was awful. The route was through small village after village, the roads were busy and the to cap it all we came to a full stop in a large town to allow festival reverlers complete their march. All over the Ganges Delta there were floats being dragged by tractors towards bridges to throw offerings to Mother Ganga. The floats had plaster effigies of Kali, godess of death and destruction, Apparently the festival is a kind of Rememberence Day! It involved alot of singing and dancing together with throwiing pink paint powder over everyone - including any western tourist silly enough to lean out of the bus windows. We didn't make the border and ended up camping on a petrol station car park as it was the only dry flat land we could find. The whole of the region is covered in flood water following a good moonson rain.

Things improved the next day, the roads were quiet and we got through the border with the minimum of fuss - this is our 12th country in 12 weeks.

Such a change so much cleaner, much less crowded. We were soon heading for the mountains and could see snow capped peaks.

We were supposed to be in a hostel at the park but due to it being a holiday weekend we couldn't get booked in so we stayed at an unfinished hotel putting up tents in the unfinished rooms - I had the penthouse as I camped on the roof and got great sunrise pictures in the morning. After one night we moved into a hotel overlooking the river - much more comfortable.

The first day was a ride in a dugout canoe followed by a trek through the jungle - I was quite relived not to meet a tiger, but we did see deer, crocodiles, kingfishers and monkeys.

The second day was the elephant safari - we were 4 to an elephant and had a 2 hour trek including a number of river crossings. Some of our group saw rhino but we only managed various birds including eagles, boar and deer. Good fun though.

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