Sauraha, Royal Chitwan National Park : Jungle Juice.

Sauraha Travel Blog

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Bus from Pokhara to Sauraha, Chitwan (abstract)

Time to move onwards and southwards to the even warmer climes of the Royal Chitwan National Park today. Time for a spot of nature watching. Heading out of the mountainous central-northerly reaches of Nepal to the slightly hotter, jungle lowlands. Having decided to be a little lazy on organising this and feeling I may as well, for once, put some business through the hotel I’m staying at, I let Bibi of the Peace Ganga Guesthoue who’s been so hospitable to me and looked after all my possessions during my two week treks buy in a trip for me. I will be on one of the usual 3 days, 2 nights packages to the Chitwan Park (read 1 day travel there, 1 day actually in the park doing stuff, and 1 day travelling back to Kathmandu) that nearly all tourists end up signing on to.

The Eden Jungle Resort, Sauraha.
You shouldn’t pay more than about $50 - 60. Don’t go cheaper than this is as it probably means you won’t actually enter into the confines of the protected park area although they may tell you that you will be.

Early in the morning Bibi gets me to jump on the back of his motorbike, backpack ‘n’ all for a ride to the Pokhara bus station. Believe it or not, this is my first ever time on a motorbike in an open road situation! Quite exhilarating it is too although I fearfully flinch away every time a mammoth sized pothole approaches in the road… which is often. The bus ride south to the Sauraha, the rural village that sits besides the Park is a real Old Skool 4 to 5 hour bone-shaker. I have the company of a nice kayak-keen Swedish girl to distract me from the fact my kidneys are being pushed through my lungs at every turn in the road.

Laaaarge bee nests collect ominously under the eaves of houses in Sauraha. A bit perturbing. One of these bad boys was RIGHT outside the window by my bed!!
Upon arrival, Sunni, in his embroidered khaki ‘Eden Jungle Resort’ shirt is there to collect me and jeep me over to my base for the next couple of days.

…and initially my heart sinks a little. I had no great expectations of this ‘package’ at all, but this place is totally abandoned! I am the only guest to be staying here it seems. I am shown to my room, passing two of the biggest, meanest looking swarming bees nests I’ve ever seen in my life! They are just hung there, built into the roof spaces of the hotel. Joy of joys, there’s another one sat right next to the window of my bedroom. “Yelp!”. The staff here seem friendly enough. Lozic, the young on-site seeming-manager. Govinda the general jobs man and finally Laxman, busy with minor landscaping chores when I arrive, but actually Eden Jungles most experienced jungle trekking guide and soon to be friend.

Bee colony (detail)

It’s getting on in the afternoon a little already so there’s a gentle start to proceedings today. Laxman takes me on a short walking tour of the surrounding fields and Sauraha village. The area is predominantly populated by the traditional Nepali farming tribe peoples of the Tharu community. Livestock roam the tracks and fields. Long strips of bamboo are in the process of being cut and stripped for materials and construction. Mothers sit with children outside of their homes preparing food stuffs. Their houses traditionally a construct of very, very hard baked mud. ‘House’ shaped stacks of hay sit besides the little homesteads, food for the precious livestock in the leaner winter months ahead. The yellow flowers of rape-seed sway a little in the late evening breeze.

Agricultural life in the Tharu community villages around Sauraha.

Walking through the village we settle, partly at Laxman’s suggestion, and then my encouragement in a small, mud-walled little local eatery where a couple of his friends are having a bite to eat. A lady as old as Time cooks up a little plate of chicken bits and green chillies with onion, served with a small snow-drift of curious little white flakes that I’m told are flat-beaten rice grains. I’m feeling unusually sociable and gregarious tonight and encourage constant conversation no matter how falteringly and hampered by the language barrier it is from Laxman’s two ‘brothers’ as he calls them. I also enthuse that we should all start partaking of some of the national Nepali firewater, Rakshi, a fairly standard kind of rice-wine that makes your eyeballs swap sides of your face, your hair stand on end and your stomach whimper pitifully at every sip.

Dog sleeps
Still I’ve gone near a month without trying it so I’m gonna give it a good go tonight!

An hour later. Smiles several inches wider and our steps a little giveaway jauntier, Laxman and I emerge back into what remains of the daylight and stroll a kilometre or so back towards the Eden Jungle Resort and onwards to the land abutting the edge of the river that runs through the park just in time to witness sundown. Very nice it is too. We soon head back again. It’s to be a long activity filled day tomorrow… but maybe time just to stop at one more tiny little roadside snack shack that Laxman fondly frequents. Lovely people here. A great cook as well selling little tin plates of fried buff (buffalo) with the now familiar fried combination of nuts, onions, chillies and beaten rice.

More rakshi is liberally ordered. Not usually a great fan of these type of drinks (see Ouzo [Greece] and Raki [Jordan] also) it’s been going down well… despite the internal convulsions that attend each swig. Everyone’s getting on like a house on fire. New pals are being made. I am also dizzyingly excited at the prospect of my fellow guests tonight, for “oh yes” there is an explanation for why I’m the only guest in town at the Eden Jungle so far today… late tonight a busload of approximately 75 young, Nepali anthropology and sociology students from Kathmandu are due to arrive!!!… and the grounds are being prepared with a large fire to greet them with a song ‘n’ dance party late into the night. “Woo-hoo! I’ll drink to that one boys!!!” …

… but unfortunately that’s the problem.

Sunset over the river (name forgotten at the minute)
I’ve been knocking back the rakshi without any regard to when my metabolism would have to pay the cheque for the evenings indulgencies. 75 girls… 75 girls… 75 giiirls… I’m getting a little giggly, and a little hazy… 75 giiirrrrlsh… 75 grrrrrrrlssh… Laxman and I stagger back to the Resort… 75? 75?? … I sit down. I think? A full dinner is served to me by Govinda. I think? 75? 75 g? …g?… g? 75 gorillas?… GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS… there will be dancing girlsh… laughing girrrrlsh… spinning, reeling and laughing giiiiirlsssh… 75... I think I’m spinning and reeling a little myself… “when do they get here Laxman? Theesh girlsh?” … “More rakssssshi?” … “nah - I think, , , I’ll pass… I‘ll pass…” out.

Which is precisely what happens. Memory loss commenced at approximately 19.30. Blackout. And not a single

pms70 says:
Well I must admit it is a volunteer job and I don't think David and Eric actually know I'm doing it...LOL
Posted on: Mar 25, 2009
Stevie_Wes says:
Well when you mentioned that imminent employment beckoned I never thought you'd be elevated to the board of TB powerhouse administrators!!!... could ya give me a Featured Article luv, it's been a while ;D LOL
Posted on: Mar 25, 2009
pms70 says:
Hahaha, didn't I tell you I now have a parttime job as a blog editor on TB?
Posted on: Mar 25, 2009
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Bus from Pokhara to Sauraha, Chitw…
Bus from Pokhara to Sauraha, Chit…
The Eden Jungle Resort, Sauraha.
The Eden Jungle Resort, Sauraha.
Laaaarge bee nests collect ominous…
Laaaarge bee nests collect ominou…
Bee colony (detail)
Bee colony (detail)
Agricultural life in the Tharu com…
Agricultural life in the Tharu co…
Dog sleeps
Dog sleeps
Sunset over the river (name forgot…
Sunset over the river (name forgo…
photo by: sandra_s021