skip to main content

Wandering the World

Stories and tips from around the world.

Nepal Day 12

Chitwan Day 2

Breakfast today was served at 07:00 so I decided I’d get up at 06:45. For breakfast I had a couple of slices of “almost” toast and then had a cereal bar when I went back to the room.

The tours for the day started at 08:00 when we were driven to a place to board a dugout canoe. We took this along the river passing many mugger crocodiles as we went. Due to it being early morning there was also a kind of haze hovering above some of the water. The canoe itself seems to get very close to the riverbed in places, but I was pretty sure it was the light being refracted to make it look shallower. It’s also steered at the back by a guy with a big stick, something that kept dripping on me as he changed sides.

Eventually we got off the canoe and started a nature walk. This lasted for about an hour and we saw many termite mounds, a spotted deer, and a wild boar. Whilst hiking through the forest I did hear the sound of other wild boar once but didn’t get to see those. We also saw what the locals call “tree killer vine”, named such due to the way it takes the moisture away from the tree and kills it.

Once we’d finished this we walked to an elephant breeding centre where we first had to read the signs in an information centre. This told us things such as how at a very young age the elephants are taken away from their mother and have their food and water restricted. This form of torture effectively breaks them so they can then teach them to be beasts of burden. The torture of these animals doesn’t stop there though, it then described how they’re burnt and washed to desensitise the skin and how they can sustain injuries during training.

After reading this we were then shown the elephants in captivity with the older ones chained up by the foot, no longer able to roam like their instincts tell them to. I saw one calf also chained up, trying to get to one of the other elephants but it couldn’t and looked distressed. Female elephants such as these are herd animals, they’re not used to a solitary life.

I got closer to the young elephants and whilst watching them one of them used its trunk to pull on my leg to bring me closer and tried to pull me into the enclosure. It then started to pull on my shoe laces as well – you could tell that despite this harsh treatment, some were still quite playful, and I know that they’re protecting these elephants, but it doesn’t make it right.

We were then taken to the elephant bathing area and this was just as bad. You could see the spiked tool they used to control the elephants and the pink scar tissue across the top of the neck where it gets used. Those that were in the water weren’t getting it any easier though – pulled around by the tusk or trunk. For those wanting to pay to be washed by an elephant the handlers would then scrunch the elephant’s ear and pull them to the side to make the elephant roll to the side when their time was up.

I decided I couldn’t watch them do this and instead spent most of my time there photographing the birds and dragonflies that were about. After about 15 minutes of this we were taken back to the jeep and driven back to the hotel ready for lunch at 12:00. I was glad I’d chosen the jeep safari option instead of the elephant back safari.

Today’s lunch was rice, chicken, vegetables, and fries – so pretty much the same as yesterday’s but with a tomato soup starter instead. We only had 30 minutes for lunch before we had to be ready outside for the start of the jeep safari.

The jeep safari started in the hotels one and this took us to where we’d seen the dugout canoes the night before. After hanging around in the midday sun for about 10 minutes we then put on life jackets and boarded the boat bound for the other side. Once over there it was a short walk to where some jeeps were parked up. I also noticed the occasional elephant footprint – apparently these would be from wild ones.

The jeep ride went a long time without us seeing anything, even at the watering hole it seemed like we weren’t going to see anything either. Then we saw a rhino on the other side, some deer, and a couple of crocodiles. This was almost everything we saw until just before we got to the conservation centre when we got a lot closer to a rhino, but it was still very well hidden by the bushes. It was a shame we weren’t able to get out and move around – but obviously this was for safety.

At the conservation centre I didn’t go in, though from the description it sounded like they were doing good work to conserve crocodiles and turtles. Instead I photographed a signature spider located just outside the centre. We were then the first group to leave and from there until we left the park at 17:00 we didn’t really see anything except for a monitor lizard up a tree. It was getting cooler too due to the setting sun.

For tonight’s meal it was finally something slightly different, dal baht, though what it compromises of is mostly the same as the previous lunches and dinners. From there we then went to the Tharu Culture Program which lasted an hour and consisted of various dance performances based on local traditions. I thought some of them looked like a type of fighting kata that may have been used originally to teach warriors.

When the show was over we were driven back to the hotel one last time, but this time I knew that the music we’d hear late into the night and start again early morning was likely from these culture shows.

Tags: chitwan nepal travel trips

Recent Trips

> “In Italy, for 30 years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly lo…

For my first trip of 2022, I was heading to the Bailiwick of Guernsey for a 36 mile ultra marathon around the island. As with any other trip to a new place, of course I'd try to get in as much tourism…

This country split into two by conflict is one which my trip would also be divided into two due to the pandemic. For my first part of the trip I would be there sightseeing as 2021 approaches it's end,…

Twelve years ago, before the age of the smart phone, I visited Berlin at the start of my adventure spanning three European countries. I was younger then, and less experienced at travelling, and with a…

I have to mostly agree with Sir Terry - there are so many bikes in Amsterdam with lanes specifically for them. As long as you're alert it's not a problem. It's so different in some ways from other Eur…

More Trips…

Recent Races

Threshold Race to the Tower
Having done Race to the King and Race to the Stones, when Race to the Tower started it was one I wanted to try as well to complete the set (although ...Castle has started and finished since then too) …

RunThrough Chase the Sun Leicestershire 10K

Guernsey Day 2
This was a race I'd been waiting a long time to do, and it was one of the highlights of a really nice weekend away seeing friends. Sure there was rain, but there was sun as well. There was just the 's…

MK Rocket 5K
Today was a (mostly) downhill run in Milton Keynes - the Rocket 5K. I wasn't really sure what to expect going into it after how the last two years have gone, but felt it would be a good indicator of w…

Leicester's Big 10K

More Running…

© David G. Paul