After an amazing climb to the base camp and a much quicker climb down we made are way back to Kathmandu!
We had 8 days to explore everything Nepal had to offer and we definitely wanted to make the most of it.
Arriving back in Kathmandu felt really strange, the last 12 days I had been surrounded by beautiful views, roaring waterfalls, yaks – It has felt as if I was in a different world, there wasn’t any wifi access, coffee shops or anything of convenience and to tell the truth it felt amazing! It was so refreshing to not have access to my emails or Facebook account and when it was thrusted upon me again I didn’t really know what to do – there were a lot of emails, text, posts etc to get my way through!
While we are in Kathmandu the Teej festival was taking place, this festival is observed by women for wellness of their husband. The women of Nepal wear red and gold saris – it might seem backwards in this country but it was one of the most beautiful and joyful things I have ever seen, it was an honour to be apart of it.
We spent the day walking around the temples and palaces; and at one point in the day ‘the living goddess’ appear for a few seconds. There is a lot history and stories behind the godness, to us it seemed strange especially when we were stood below a balcony waiting for a young girl to show her face for a fleeting moment! No pictures or video were allowed and if you are caught taking a picture the police will be involved. Several of us waited there for her to appear, as she did I was surrounded by a sea of gasps, people taken back by her appearance! Obviously her presence means a lot to their culture but us she was just a small child who was not allow to go to school or touch the floor in fear her powers would disappear.. the more saddening thought is the moment she hits puberty and get her period it all over, her title is gone!
In the evening we sat down and had a meal to celebrate our climb to the base camp, mostly it was an early night as we were preparing to journey to Chitwan the following day, this is the area of Nepal where we were guaranteed to see some amazing wildlife! When we arrived we where not disappointed, Elephants walked freely along the roads as if they were lorries.
We decided to buy into a package deal which probably cost about £15! It included a jeep safari, riding elephants, bathing elephants, visiting an elephant birthing place, canoe ride, a jungle walk and attending a traditional dance show. The highlight of the stay in Chitwan for me was the Elephant bathing – Here I am riding bare back on a 13 foot Elephant that is shooting water at me! It was just incredibly crazy and something I will never forget!
The canoe ride was also an intense experience, i’m not sure what I was expecting but once I was sat in this carved out tree I was starting to feel slightly nervous, especially when the guide told us that we were the balance and there were alligators in the water!! However once we got going it was a beautiful and tranquil experience and a great way to see the jungle!!
Another amazing moment was riding of an Elephant through the jungle, luckily I was on an elephant which was calm and just going with the flow – however my friends were on a less-than-happy elephant and as I was marvelling at the view they were creating an escape plan if all went wrong!! Fortunately it was okay, and we all got back on solid ground without any major issues. While we were riding on the Elephants we came up close and personal with a baby rhino and its mother! In that moment I felt like my eyes were deceiving me, here in front of me were wild rhinos but part of myself just couldn’t believe it – they almost seemed robotic in its movements and actions! I don’t know what I was expecting but it was all together different and 100x better.
On our last night we went to this traditional dance show, it was really cool and interesting to see these young people become so involved in their culture! However.. the ‘Ostrich mating’ dance was announced and we were all expecting two dancer to come on stage and use some of the Ostrich’s moves to create the dance, but no. Some came out in a full Ostrich costume prancing around the stage and it was clear that the neck and head of the Ostrich was this person’s arm! I was trying are hardest to keep a straight face and not offend anyone but it was impossible to keep the tears from screaming down my face!!
We packed up for the 100th time and made our way to Pokhara! We decided to pay out a little more and get on the nicer bus with air-conditioning and leg room! Trust me.. its worth it!!
Two quick notes – While we were in Chitwan, we stayed at The River Bank Inn! Its a beautiful place, close to town, lovely staff and great facilities! Everything you could possibly need/want is there!
Also, as I am older and wiser now I appreciate that riding Elephants is cruelty and not something I would promote in future.