The next stop on the Nepal adventure was at Chit wan National Park. Well just outside as it happens as the hotels inside were more than we were willing to part with but I hear amazing. No we stayed in another fantastic hotel…………. But Danielle was SIIIIICK by this stage so a day or so was tied up in the room as became the trend on the trip unfortunately.
It was not a wasted stop off though, we joined a group canoeing trip into the park and saw huge crocodiles basking in the sun which was daunting given that the canoe was only an inch or two above the waterline as well as a heap of new plants and birds perfect for a naturalist nerd like myself. The climate was fairly hot still and I could get around in a singlet until we got quite high into mountains later in the adventure. On the tour in the park I also learnt of the edible ferns that covered the forest understory and the magic mushrooms that often grow in elephant dung over there. I didn't ask about this but the guide was eagerly forth coming with the information, it must have been the beard as I was constantly getting approached to buy hash as well. Don't worry kids, all in all I was pretty well behaved…
Then it was my turn to get sick.. Not gastro but self-inflicted, I had the bright idea to take one of my last doxycycline tablets from Africa on an empty stomach then had breakfast and up it all came. I was fine an hour later but by that stage I had missed the departure of a safari atop the hotels elephants, pity sounded and looked alright from the pictures.
The last few highlights from this stop were the activities offered with the local villages, I think Danielle went off and cooked up a traditional meal and henna tattooing which she raved about. Meanwhile I went fishing in the local creek which, for a shallow stream of only a foot, held an abundance of aquatic life. As we raked across the stones with handheld twine nets, it was interesting to examine what would come up and shuffled into the villager's pockets. Eels, catfish, shrimp and shellfish with a variety of guppy type fish popped up. It was awesome and one of my favourite experiences of the trip but typically done by women from the laughs I was getting at my attempts from my female guide. So I was happy at that and went and washed up. It wasn't till coming to the restaurant several hours later that I realised the icing on the cake, they actually cook up everything caught for you and I kid you not, it was the best dish I ate on the trip!