Time for a jungle adventure...
Today we set out for a 3 day, 2 night jungle adventure in the Chitwan National Forest!
We loaded up our bags and boarded a tourist bus for the 3 hour drive ahead of us. Well, it was supposed to be a three hour drive. We hit massive traffic traveling on a congested two-lane highway winding down the mountain. Bus after bus lined the ridge for miles. We would drive about a foot and then stop and turn off the engine for ten minutes and repeat. It was horrendous.
I was thrilled when they called the white water rafting group off the bus. Our jungle package offered an optional half day of white water rafting for $20 extra, so we quickly signed up!
We ate a boxed lunch and changed into our bathing suits, ready for the water.
We started rafting in a town called Malaksu on the Trisuli River and we had three hours of beautiful scenery!
We hit class three rapids and were soaked from head to toe. It was a cooling refresher from the scorching sun above us. Although we didn't hit the rocky obstacles that we had in Arequipa, we enjoyed the docile river. We would hit rolling rapids and have to paddle hard for a while and once we were through, we got to chill in ecstacy. The lush green thicket covered the rolling hills and sparkled with every shade of green imaginable. The sky was a perfect blue with giant marshmallow puff clouds that looked as though they were drawn into a picture. I laid back on the raft and watched the clouds morph into different shapes thinking what a perfect day it was.
After a wonderful rafting trip, we got changed into dry clothes and waited for the next public bus to take us to Chitwan.
We had another two hour drive ahead of us and this time we didn't get a nice tourist bus. Because we opted for the rafting trip, we'd have to settle for public transportation, always an adventure!
We waited by the side of the road for about an hour until our bus finally rolled up. There were four of us that needed a seat and unfortunately there was only one seat available. "Do you want to ride on the roof?" asked the bus driver. I looked inside the bus, filled with people and extra bags pouring into the aisles. I contemplated waiting for the next bus but who knows when or if it would arrive. I agreed. Top of the bus it is.
We took our bags to the back of the bus and climbed up a small metal ladder. I situated myself on the roof rack, jammed nbetween two Asian guys who rafted with us, and a giant bicycle sitting in front of me.
Sitting on the metal rack was not a comfort I wanted to endure for the next two hours so I wedged one of the bags underneath my bum and I propped another behind my back. Ahh comfort. This was actually one of the best bus rides I've ever taken!
The sun was shining and wind was blowing, we could see for miles.
I had to brace myself once or twice as we swerved around corners, but it was fun. It was like a free scenic roller coaster and I enjoyed every minute of it!
About an hour and a half into our two hour drive, we started talking about how great the ride was and laughing at the congested mess of people crammed beneath us. What suckers! "I'm just glad it's not raining", I said with a chuckle. All of a sudden I felt a drop on my leg. I jinxed it! One drop turned into a downpour and we had to quickly dismount from our first class seats. Goodbye luxury, hello sardine box. We loaded inside the bus and were forced to sit on peoples lap because it was so full. There were rows with four people crammed into two seats, people were standing in the aisles and bags were everywhere. We only had to snuggle up to strangers for another 20 minutes so we still had our sense of humor and laughed about it. Had we been forced to ride that way for two hours, it would have been a different story!
When we got to Chitwan, we were met at the bus stop by an employee of the Gorkha Resort, where we had booked a room. We loaded into the back of his truck for a beautiful 20 minute drive to the resort.
It was a gorgeous drive, the sun was setting and brilliant colors saturated the rice fields all the way to the horizon.
We checked into the Gorkha Hamlet Resort and they showed us to our jungle bungalow.
A sweet small room absent of air-conditioning and television. It was just us and the mosquito's! We secured our mosquito netting and headed out to explore our resort. By now it was dark, so the exploring was minimal.
We used our flashlights to find the diner and sat down for dinner. As part of the package deal we booked, we received a set breakfast, lunch and dinner included. We were very curious if they were going to get away with serving us bread and butter or if we were actually going to enjoy our meal.
We were pleasantly surprised! They served us a deep fried vegetable cutlet, French fries and salad, all of which were very tasty!
We concluded with a dessert of deep fried bananas and retired into our jungle abode.
- SIDENOTE: The show I was working on at AMS Pictures in Dallas TX, entitled "Ma's Roadhouse", premieres on September 15th at 9pm! http://www.trutv.com/shows/mas-roadhouse/index.html
From Executive Producer Andy Streitfeld and AMS Pictures, comes Ma's Roadhouse a new reality show on TrueTV!
Rick Fairless is the owner of Strokers Dallas, a Texas motorcycle shop, tattoo parlor and biker bar. His greatest asset is his 71-year-old mother, who's also his best, but most outspoken, employee. Can Rick keep his business afloat? And can Ma keep her hands off the bartender?
I wish I could be there to watch it with all the hardworking people at AMS but at least, by then, I will be back in the states and watching intently from my TV at home You guys rock!