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Chitwan Day 2 - Friday morning

Written on: Sunday June 24th, 2007

A journal entry from: Elective

Friday was due to be a busy day apparently! We had to get up at 6am for breakfast, then headed out at 7 for another jungle walk. I was a bit put out, as the guide had told us that we couldn't wear bright clothes, as it would attract the animals. Well, in a stroke of genius, all I had brought were bright clothes, or white clothes. Good move, Kim. So I had to wear my brown trousers yet again, which I was annoyed about until leeches were thrown into the equation, and then I was decidely less annoyed!!

To get the the jungle, we took a dug-out canoe, which was possibly the most uncomfortable transport I have ever used. It was a long, wooden canoe, with small seats that you folded down to sit in. The worst thing about the canoe ride, was the instability - it wobbled all over the place, making me jump several times as I imagined it capsizing! The views from the river were pretty amazing though, which was a bonus, but I was still on edge the whole journey! We saw plenty of animals along the way - Ghardial crocodiles, egrets, kingfishers, monkeys, and some gorgeous bird that I don't know the name of, but which has the most amazing colouring. It looks deceptively dull when it's wings are folded in, but once in flight you are treated to flashes of royal blue, outlined with jet black. Lovely!   

When the canoe finally reached our destination (much to my relief!) we pulled up to the bank, and began to get off one by one. Sophie and I were right at the back, and when it came to our turn, the guy in front was making the canoe wobble so much that it came so near to turning over. I was having visions of plunging to my doom in the murky depths (oh, the drama - it was only about 2ft deep, haha!).

Before we entered the jungle, the guide felt compelled to tell us a load of horror stories from past walks - people getting attacked by vicious sloth bears, or rhinos. Not my idea of fun. I was pretty excited at the prospect of seeing some animals up close in the wild, but not quite as thrilled at the thought of being tossed around like a rag doll by an angry rhino!

So, it was with a bit of trepidation that we set off into the jungle. The jungle itself was a vast canopy of green, leafy trees, with the occasional sunbeam piercing through to light our way. The floor was teeming with fallen leaves, scattered fruit and brightly coloured insects -  pillarbox red, electric blue, bright yellow etc.

Making our way through the jungle was actually quite a task! Ducking to avoid low-hanging branches, scrambling over fallen trees, cringing at the tickle of yet another fine cobweb attaching itself to my face - we could have really used a machete or something to carve our way through!

We were flagging quite a bit with the heat, so we made occasional stops in jungle huts along the way. The irony was that we were stopping to rest, but we had to climb stairs to get into the huts! It was always good to have a break though, and we were drinking plenty of water. I was expecting to be desperate for the toilet after consuming about 2 litres of water along the way, but as Sophie hypothesized, we'd probably sweated most of it back out - lovely!!

We got back to meet the canoe at around 10:30, after a good 3 hours of walking. The boat could not come close enough to the shore, so we all stripped off our shoes and waded out to meet him. The feeling of the warm mud squelching between my toes was actually quite pleasant, until I plunged almost knee deep into one particularly soggy patch! Argh!

The canoe ride back was just as eventful as the morning journey! The boat got stuck on the bottom, so the guy on the back rocked it loose - I was once again having visions of falling in. Great stuff.

We made it back to the hotel after a quick walk past the local shops, during which I had much inner debate about making a purchase. After all, I don't really need a hand-carved wooden elephant, do I.....? ;)

 

xxx

 

From Mum on Jun 24th, 2007

But did you end up with one then???? Love Mum xxx

From Kim on Jun 25th, 2007

Oooh I couldn't say! Haha!