My butt hurts...
Trip Start Feb 06, 2005
42Trip End Jul 2005
We had learnt our lesson, and paid the extra 50 rupees (that's only one Aussie dollar... but it's heaps around here and you can lose perspective) for the tourist bus. The extra cash basically means no stopping except for food, only one passenger per seat and seats that are big enough for decadent western arses. It was lucky that we appreciated it because this was last time our butts were comfortable for a while.
Sauraha is the dustbowl town built for tourists on the banks of the Rapti river, which skirts the north of Chitwan, a sub-tropical jungle full of leopards, tigers, rhinos, peacocks, elephants, deer, boar and on and on and on
The first day we started off early with a canoe ride down the crocodile-lined river, followed by a very hot walk back through the jungle. The likelihood of our seeing anything was remote, but our guides made a good show of it anyway: "oh, you just missed a ... (crocodile, rhino, sloths, mongoose, etc)", or "there's a tiger in the grass about 10 metres away". The latter was possible, but the chances of our checking their story through the 2 metre high elephant grass was remote. It's here that you really have to ask the question... why do so many people pay so much money to get up close and personal with dangerous wild animals?
Our afternoon consisted of a bum-bouncing ride in an old Russian jeep through the jungle. We managed to see deer, monkeys, rhinos and hundreds of amazing birds... from the rear, as they ran away from the bloody noisy monster we were in. The stop-off at the crocodile breeding centre was good though. I especially liked the way there was such strong fencing betwen us and the crocs.
The butt-jolting didn't end the next day as we went for an elephant ride
THe afternoon wasn't any kinder to our rear-ends. We rode bikes to the nearby elephant breeding centre, just in time to see the elephants coming back from work. We played with the baby elephants (definitely the highlight) before heading back to enjoy beers by the river for the last time.