The last stop before going back to Kanata. Good. Bad. Weird.
This country is on my Top 3 list for countries everyone should visit. The beauty of Nepal not only exists in its towering mountains, rare jungles, and culture, but it extends to the people and their outlook on life.
The average income in Nepal is $472, among the lowest in the world, according to averagesalarysurvey.com. This creates the perception that its people are poor and therefore unhappy. Wrongo. As most people who have traveled figure out pretty quickly, the state of finance in third-world countries never indicates unhappiness. Quality of life can definitely be related to income but not happiness.
The Nepalese people who live in the Himalayas are resourceful, adaptive, and just downright tough as balls. These people carry 50kg on their backs straight up a mountain in flip-flops. Jebus H. Not only are the people in Nepal beautiful but the animals and environment are equally as gorgeous.
I had the opportunity to head into the Royal Chitwan National Park, one of the only places in the world where there are wild Indian Rhino’s.
We spent an hour paddling up the river that divides the National Park from the Chitwan village. Then continued walking another 10hrs through the jungle chasing rhinos, tigers, elephants, and freshwater crocs. When we started out in the morning we were met by a guide whose only weapon against the wilds of the jungle was an aged bamboo stick. Despite the safety brief we had about what to do if we ran into a rhino, elephant, or any other sharp toothed animal, we left Chitwan with confidence at 6am for the jungle.
There’s nothing like heading into an unfamiliar habitat with a stranger and a strong bamboo stick. My senses were heightened, and the deeper we went into the jungle the more the hair on the back of my neck stood on end.
Within 4hrs of trekking we ran into a rhino hanging out in the elephant grass. We circled around to get a better view and take some pictures, but in the way of our circle was a grey rock. And as it turned out, it was an extremely large male rhino, and it wasn’t too stoked on us being there. We started scanning the horizon for trees to climb and got ready to zigzag out of the jungle as fast as we could.
Right as we turned around to leave the rhino behind us, an earth shattering noise came flying out of the grass and sent all of us crashing through the jungle. We stopped after our guide started doubling over with laughter. Turns out that when you’re nervous in the jungle, an innocent warthog sounds like a prehistoric rhino freight train looking to shish kabob your ass.
Fortunately, the rest of the day wasn’t as eventful. We came across 75 different species of birds, along with elephants, crocs, Bhalu the bear, and tiger claw marks etched in trees along our path in the jungle.
The second part of my time in Nepal was spent on a 20 day jaunt in the Himalayas…