Saturday, February 22, 2014

traveloguing part 3: chitwan

Last round of photos from our mega-trip over Christmas.

While staying in Nepal, we took a side trip to Chitwan National Park. We stayed in a cozy, rustic lodge. It was the perfect contrast to busy, loud, dusty Kathmandu. Greeted with a warm fire in the commons area, hot lemonade, and damp hand towels for washing up, we felt - perhaps a little too much - like Colonial English enjoying an afternoon tea. We had to embrace the feeling, really, because the place and people were so accommodating. Hand delivered hot water bottles at the foot of the bed each night. Unlimited hot chocolate. Local dancers as evening entertainment. Unlimited hot chocolate. Staff making up Eden's bottle multiple times a day. Oh, and the unlimited hot chocolate.

Highlights of Chitwan:

1. Elephant safari. We rambled through the jungle, and spotted peacocks, wild boar, many birds, and a rhinoceros. Our elephant took down trees with its trunk. Xena tried to leap from the elephants back only about 10 times. And Isis enjoyed a nice bottle about halfway through the ride. It was a bit bumpy but she managed well.

2. Building sand castles in the dirt walkways. Modest sand castles. This kept Genghis occupied for
much of the down time.

3. Walking through a local village. I was amazed at how clean and tidy the village was, especially coming out of the Kathmandu shock. Humble, but well-cared for home. It was a real reminder of the daily conveniences I take for granted, and the silly problems I worry too much about.

4. Swimming. The pool was unheated, but Abe's brother braved frigid water to the delight of Xena and Genghis. I made it in just past my ankles.

5. Ox cart and canoe ride. Riding on the ox cart through meadows while hearing the distant sounds of cow bells clinking and sheep braying was almost a parody of idyllic. But it was real! Next time I need to imagine a happy place, this will be it.

(note: 3 sleeping children. also idyllic.)

 And a few other random shots.

Xena cannot be contained!

Except with screens.

Too many airports.

Genghis meets the hammock.

Fire in the lodge.

Dining accommodations.

Play fort on the lodge grounds.

Grandma and Xena.