Nepal – the birth place of Budda & the charm of Chitwan…







After a long and bumpy bus ride ( on the Indian side) we arrive in Nepal! Our first stop was the birth place of Budda- Lumbini.

We arrived in the evening and I immediately notice there are a lot of Mosquitos! And it’s cold too!I’m too tired to put my net up and end up with a nice big bite on my leg! ( the first of many I’m sure, although I do feel like I could open up a road side store as I have that many ‘anti mosquito products!)
After breakfast’ we visit the temple were Budda was born. It was very foggy and this added a little extra mystic to this place. Children walk with us along the path to the temple, they were chanting and it sounded so lovely.
There were thousands of coloured prayer flags strewn across the trees and monks sitting chanting outside with the smell of incense burning.
Inside what we thought was the temple, was the actual little temple, you cannot take photographs. This temple is so old I don’t think anyone actually knows how old it is. There are British archeologists at work and by the sound and looks of it they have a mighty job to do. The temple is crumbling. They have constructed walk ways across so you can look and they have made a bridge so people can touch the famous wall were Budda was placed next to after his birth. I waited my turn and touched the wall and made a wish. I kept my hand on the wall for about 10 seconds and it was only on the way out that I noticed I had gold paint on the middle of my palm.
Yikes, I didn’t mean to take it off the wall! I tell Dushyant and he says ” no no, don’t worry, this is very good luck!” fingers crossed then!

After this short stay in Lumbini we leave for Chitwan! Everyone is looking forward to this as we have 2 whole days there.
On route we stop for lunch ( great noodles) and we start to see the change in scenery. Mountains, and lush green forests and flowers.

Chitwan is a national park and a total change to the busy cities we have been in. Our rooms agave lots of pictures painted onto the walls and around the doors- it feels like I’m on safari.

Our resort is in Sapanna Villiage. The owner of the hotel wanted to meet with us to let us know about activities we can do at Chitwan. He told us about how he came to run the place…he met a Dutch couple who got to know him and asked him ‘ what is your dream?’ he told them his dream was to open a hotel which would also offer jobs and benefits to the local community so both Tourism and locals of the area benefit. His dream came true s the Dutch people supplied the funds to start ‘Sapanna’ which in Nepalese means ‘Dreams.’

We explored this Villiage beyond the hotel, we helped locals tend to their crops and picked mustard seeds, we learned about the fence around the village that keeps the wildlife away from the crops( and the people!) and we met many of the locals, especially the wonderful happy children!
They were so keen to see the photographs we took and pose and make us and each other laugh! We spent so long there we didnt do much else that day, it was so hard to drag ourselves away and in the end Inga and I had to start running followed by about 10 children chasing us. After this afternoon my face ached from smiling and laughing, a great real experience with the Nepalese children…

Chitwan was a welcome relaxing stop for me, saying that we still got up at the crack of dawn for an ‘Elephant Safari’
There were 4 of us on our elephant as we meandered off into the jungle ( yes…jungle Zoe…I’ve already been…and I was fine ha ha)
We didn’t see a great deal, some deer and Antelope and lots of poo…evidence that other larger beasts do live here… But we had our doubts.

On our return Tom & Megan from Canada saw a leopard whilst up on their Elephant and their luck continued… Later that day they went out with a guide on a trek (most of us were too tired) and into the jungle. They came across a Rhino drinking from the river and some startled deer made their guide shout them to ‘get down!’ there was a tiger 200 meters from them!!! All the guide had was a big stick! Yes a big stick to take on a Tiger!!! Well if it was me, I don’t think I could have kept so quiet! Meg said she felt like she stopped breathing she was so nervous. They heard the Tiger growl….and eventually it trotted off…
Later on when they were reliving it all with us, I could see how elated Tom was …his eyes wide open…what an experience for them!

We spent our 2 evenings in Chitwan gathered around the campfire, drinking beer, chatting about all sorts and just chilling out….oh also…I ate yak cheese… Not recommended…but I’m getting much braver with all the food!