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From Sarangkot we headed to the Chitwan National Park, which is located between Pokhara and Kathmandu. The park is most noted for its protection of the One Horned Rhinoceros, the Royal Bengal Tiger and the Gharial Crocodile.
We spent one night in a nice hotel (like a lodge) in the park. The people were very hospitable and this hotel hosted many touring groups. We happened to be there when a huge tour group from Germany arrived.
The countryside was beautiful and inside this park was a small village. The local people seemed to be farmers and many of them raised animals for a living. Maneesh and I took a little motorbike tour of the town and had dinner at a local Nepali restaurant. Up until now we had been eating continental dishes and cuisines we were familiar with and hadn't really had a chance to try local Nepali cuisine. It wasn't that different from Indian food, however the flavours and seasoning was definitely something new.
The main attraction for us in this park was an elephant back safari. The safari lasted about two hours (although it seemed longer than that) and it took us through the jungle. Chitwan National park is actually a jungle where a lot of wild life lives including; deer, peacocks, rhinos, crocodiles, and tigers. However the park is quite large and sometimes its required to drive 30 or 40 km into the park to catch a glimpse of a tiger. We were also visiting the park at an off season time. Typically most animals are more visible in the Spring. The fields and jungle usually have low cut grass or foliage which makes it more difficult for animals to camouflage themselves. The can't hide as easy.
On our elephant safari we definitely saw some peacocks, deer, and a rhinoceros. Needless to say we saw elephants too as we were riding on the back of one. It was definitely a neat experience and time well spent.
After our adventure in Chitwan National park we returned to Kathmandu. We left Chitwan Park early in the morning on the same day we were scheduled to fly back to Delhi. We were anticipating a few hours to spare once we reached Kathmandu and our plan was to visit a couple sights explore worthy in the city before boarding our early afternoon flight back to Delhi. We were badly mistaken, that our slower than the average slow vehicle cab driver, could event get us to the airport on time. We ended up missing our originally scheduled flight, in spite of our pleading, insisting and begging the airline official at the booth to somehow let us through, upon our arrival at the airport. The flight was still on the ground, however we were told we wouldn't make it through security clearance on time and all the official wrap up of our flight and been conducted. They couldn't take our bags and they wouldn't let us pass through.
As a result Maneesh and I spent one more night in Kathmandu. We ended up spending the evening in a Kashmiri store with the very friendly couple who owned the place, buying woollen and Pashmina souvenirs for our family back home and some gifts for ourselves. We did spend the next morning visiting the very old three temples we were desirous of viewing the day before. It was a beautiful morning and we wrapped up our trip very nicely.
We did make our flight back to Delhi and were home later in the evening on the same day.