At approx there was a disruption in the electricity so that our AC was off for 1 hour. We were beginning to wonder how warm our room would be before the AC resumed. Neither one of us went back to sleep as we had to be ready before . Tea would be served in the garden at and we needed to be in the jeep by to ride to the elephant staging area. At the staging area there were approx 30 + elephants, ready to give tourist rides. The elephant backs up to a platform that is approx 8 ft off the ground. The guests walk to the top of the platform, step onto the back of the elephant and then into the platform which is on the elephants back. Each guest sits in the position of straddling a corner post of the platform. As soon as everyone is seated, “Off you go!” Wow! What a rocking and rolling effect!!
Cal & I have been on a camel in
. A camel ride has the same tempo as the song, “We Three Kings of Orient". But this was completely different. India
|Getting on the Elephant|
|Away We Go|
|Single Horned Rhinoceros|
|Tipping the Driver - via the Elephant|
|Driver and Elephant|
In the National Park, we saw 3 one-horned Rhino, at least 6 spotted deer (the males kept fighting – the crash of their horns was interesting), a spring bok, a python snake, plus birds.
The snake slithered under cover, however two elephants tore all the grass and foliage away from the area. Finally the Python had to move on, as the elephants had him trapped. He quickly slithered to a tree where there was loose leaf cover he could get under and completely hide. The snake was approx 6 ft long! The elephants did not seem to be afraid of the snake – Interesting.
The elephant ride lasted approximately 1 ½ hrs in the forest. We were ready to dismount at the end of that time period. It is a constant rock and rolling! We arrived back at the hotel where we were met with bad news – the road which we are going to use to get to Lumbini has a diversion. Approx a year ago a truck hit the bridge, but the bridge has still not been repaired, instead a diversion has been made fording the river. However over the past several days this area has been receiving lots of rain, and the diversion has been washed out. They are currently working on repair or making an additional diversion. We do not know if or when we are leaving
We had seen that the elephants are bathed each day. Well now we have time to walk to the river and watch this process. What an experience! The elephants are bathed twice a day and on real hot days they are taken to the river a third time so they can cool off. Tourist can pay to ride bare back on the elephant into the river. The elephant will draw a trunk full of water and then spray it on his back, passengers and all. Some of the elephants completely submerge in the water except for the tip of their trunk. Some elephant handlers (mahouts) actually scrub the elephant back with a brush. It was fun watching the bathing process. I am sure glad we had time to watch it.
|Preparing for a Bath|
|Nepal Construction - Woman Carrying Bricks|
|Nepal Construction - Woman Carrying Concrete|
|Nepal Construction - Laying Bricks|
At about the Rotarians showed up and we left for Lumbini. About half way we came to the river. What an experience! Trucks, buses loaded with people, cars and motorcycles, were lined up waiting for their turn to cross the river. We were on this makeshift road that was muddy due to the recent rains. We finally made it to the river – they are trying to develop a bed of rocks to drive on, but vehicles were going ever which way to ‘ford’ the river. We saw a car and van that were stuck in the river. It was definitely an experience! We do not know what will happen during monsoon season.
|Fording the River|
|Waiting to cross the River|
|Elevated Hay Stacks|
We finally arrive at Lumbini, drop our luggage at a hotel as we want to see the birth place of Lord Buddha before dark. There is a large 3 km sq park area where Buddha’s birthplace is located and where many Buddha temples have been built by different countries. To a Buddhist, this area is like a Christian going to
Even at night it was