Flashback: September and October 2008

“Mom, do you have any pictures from Nepal?”, asked Justin.

Well … let’s see … only about 2,000 of them.

“No, no, not on the computer, like some that I can take with me to school to show the class”, he said.

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At the Chitwan National Park

They’re studying India and Nepal in World History, and he suddenly remembered that I had travelled there.  So he told his teacher, who then asked him to bring in some photos for the class. We settled on giving her my Nepal blog address instead, so that they can look through it in class.

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One-horned rhinoceros, Chitwan National Park

My original blog while I was in Nepal is at:  NamasteFromNepal.blogspot.com.  I’ve since imported the posts to this blog to keep it in one place.  Looking through my original blog, I am suddenly swamped with memories of the experiences I had while there.

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Santi Kali, Chitwan National Park

It’s hard to choose which ones were my favourites.  I was drawn to the nature and wild life, specially out in the Chitwan National Park.  It was a complete jungle out there, and seemed so remote.

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Waiting to start the elephant safari, with the nine-month old calf trailing behind.

And of course, the mountains … you can’t miss them not seeing them.

Mountains and mountains ...
Sagarmatha … Mt. Everest in the middle
Mountains and mountains ...
Mt. Everest as seen from the plane window
Nagarkot mountain view
Nagarkot mountain view

Nagarkot

I didn’t stay long enough to experience everything, and even now it feels like the trip was incomplete.  I still have plans of travelling back there one day, for some type of closure. When that is, I don’t know.  Coincidentally, this is also the anniversary of my trip to Nepal.  I seem to be travel most during the last quarter of the year.  Last year at this time, I was in Timor-Leste.

In the meantime, I look through these photos and get immersed in memories … perhaps one day I’ll put them all together with a short narrative on my experiences with that particular photo … another project to add to the list.

Have a good weekend, all.

 

 

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Chitwan – Machan Paradise View

I stayed at the Machan Paradise View (www.nepalinformation.com/mpv/), out in the middle of the forest. The place is nice, the staff courteous, and everything is taken care of for you. It was an early start in the mornings to start off the activities – the elephant safari, a visit to the Gharial (crocodile) Conservatory Program, canoeing, nature walks through the forest, bird-watching.

Programme for the day
Tiger paw ashtray
Room doors

Door lock

Chitwan – the Elephants

The elephant safari was my first excursion … an hour after I arrived at the hotel, they said I had to go on the elephant safari.  Apparently, my flight was delayed, and I had missed the safari with the other guests earlier.

Chitwan - the Elephants
Waiting to start the walk through the jungles

I actually rode on Santi Kali – ‘Beautiful Peace’.  They told me several times that she was the most gentle of the elephants, and very experienced.  hmmm … It did seem that they used her a lot for most things.  The other female had just had a calf – nine months ago – and sounded like she had just started on the safaris again, with the calf trailing along behind her.

The newest elephant in the herd, 9 months old. He will start training at 8-9 years old.  The hotel’s new toy – everybody played with him.  One push from him and they would all tumble down to the ground, laughing.

We trekked through the jungles to the rivers for the elephant baths.  We were invited into the water with them, to splash along.  I changed my mind at the last minute …

Off to collect grass

Settling down for the nightChitwan - the Elephants

Chitwan National Park: Bengali Tiger

Kathmandu was empty during the three-day Dasain holiday. They were all out and about Nepal. So was I, at the Chitwan National Park, enjoying the jungle and the wildlife.

Chitwan National Park
Chitwan National Park

Highlights were rhino sightings at any time, elephant safari, a really cute 9-month old elephant calf, and a Bengal tiger. No, not while out in the jungle – that would have been very lucky of us. 
In a clearing at the Gharial Conservation Program was a wooden enclosure.  There were narrow stairs on one side leading to the top.
Inside the enclosure, the Bengali tiger paced back and forth.  For a moment I wondered if he could jump up to reach the top – there were no nets or barbed wires around, it was just open.  Was the enclosure walls high enough that he couldn’t reach it with one big leap?
Back down on the ground, I positioned myself against the widest gaps between the wooden boards to take pictures.
Chitwan National Park
At one time, I went to the front, wanting to get a shot of the tiger facing me.  He quickly gave me a quick hiss – so I got up and went to the side again.  And then he turned his head to look at me, and I managed to get a couple of shots.
Chitwan National Park
I felt sorry that he had to be inside an enclosure.  He belonged out in the wild jungles ….