Day 5: Moving to the country.
Sounds of Kathmandu street hawkers awoke the sleeping city. Ah, another busy day. I opened the window curtains, the sun hasn’t fully risen, faint gleams of sunlight lit up the gloomy room. It showed 4:30 on the clock, pretty early in the morning.
Today, our group will be leaving Kathmandu, heading to Chitwan national park. It had been half way since the beginning of the trip, yet everyday had been a fascinating experience.
The bus left at 6:30 in the early morning. Everyone was dead tired, we all slept on the bus. The ride to Chitwan National Park was approximately 4 hours, so we decided to take a break half way through to enjoy breakfast and breeze in some natural fresh air.
Accompanied by delicious Chinese fried chicken purchased yesterday night, time flied and we arrived to the Chitwan National Park Maruni Sanctory Lodge at noon. We enjoyed the buffet lunch offered by the hotel, subsequently along with our guide we went on a jungle sightseeing walk.
Endless fields of green appeared before us, despite the fact that it’s almost winter, the trees were still green and lush. Sunlight streamed through the gaps between the leaves, illuminating the forest path. Along the way, we were introduced to different species of trees and plants.
The air was dry and smoky along with a scent of wood. This is because villagers burn dry grass in order for fresh new grass to grow for animals to eat.
We were also educated about how most animals are colour blind, and are only sensitive to red and white colours, hence red and white would not be suitable colours for a jungle visit. (However I wore red pants and I survived.) Additionally, animals are sensitive towards sounds and vibrations, so bringing a stick or any type of tool that can be used to make sounds would benefit your safety.
In a distance, I could faintly see few elephants. Along the way, we noticed many unnatural destructions made in the jungle. Soon we found out from villagers a male asiatic elephant was on its “testosterone trip”. Every six months, a male elephant would experience high levels of testosterone, leading to a strong desire to mate, to the point where they would be willing to destroy the environment to find a female to mate with.
Elephants were restricted in electric gates, however they are still allowed five hours of freedom around the jungle each day. They are dependent on food given by humans and therefore want to be permanently looked after. Moreover, they only accept food from their own caretaker as they don’t trust other people, hence, in comparison to other animals, elephants are very loyal and easy to be trained.
Fun fact: there are 48000 muscles in the elephant trunk alone. Asiatic elephant have 1 finger in the trunk, while African elephants have two fingers. If their finger gets destroyed, they slowly die as they are not able to eat food nor drink water.
On the bus, we watched the sun slowly set in the smoke filled sky. Before dinner, we were able to watch a Nepalese cultural dance performance offered by the hotel, and finished our day with an appetising and enjoyable buffet dinner.