India can sometimes bring the fundamentals of life into sharp relief and watching whilst a family cremates grandma on an open bonfire of banyan wood alonside the River Ganges inevitably raised uncomfortable issues of our own mortality. So, it was with some relief that the clean, fresh Himalayan air of Nepal washed away granny's remaining smoke and ash from what's left of my hair as we entered Chitwan Wildlife Reserve.
We had 3 nights and a rather nice time at Chitwan with the obligatory elephant safaris, jungle walks and Nepalese stick dancing. So, we just thought it'd be nice to post up a few photos from the park.
We saw these two rhinos from the back of an elephant, but later in the day we came face to face with one as we walked through the jungle. On foot and less than 100 yards away is actually pretty scarey and the expression in it's eyes was reminiscent of an ex-girlfriend..
Beauty is a 3 month old rhino who was unfortunately orphaned after her mother was poached. It's only a few minutes for an egg, how long for a whole rhino? She's looked after by a local vet and totally adorable, I fell in love. Her skin is just so unbelievably thick (it feels like it's made of glass fibre or something) that it's amazing she can move around inside it.
There were quite a few of these crocs basking in the sun, but Adrian reckons they were so still because they were actually stuffed and put in place for the tourists.
So there you go! Only a short entry after the last epic Weblog, but we made it to Kathmandu and the end of the first leg of our journey. We're going to spend a few days looking around the area before organising freight of the bikes and ourselves to Bangkok. If the weather is good, we might even be able to get a view of Mt. Everest. Should also catch up with an old school friend, Rupert Smith, next week as he'll be in town.
Just a quick post to say Happy Xmas and a Happy New Year from the tropical island paradise of Koh Chang in the Gulf of Thailand.
Things just don't get better than this and I feel I am the luckiest man alive to be a able to be here. There are 7 other overland motorcylists here (Cliff & Jenny Batley, Ralph & Caroline, Peter & Carol and Kate), so we'll be having a 'small' celebration before hitting the surf. It's just a shame that the accomodation on the island is so full that we're getting booted out of our beach huts on Xmas day. Hammock on the beach anybody? And maybe then we'll find time to investigate the rather loud rattle that's emanating from the right hand cylinder head....
Anyway, I'd like to say a massive thankyou to everybody who has taken the time read the WebLog and to follow our exploits. It is so heartening and encouraging to read everybody's comments and receive emails from around the world.
And trust me, in the next update you'll see just how unexpected events can turn things inside out. "If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans".
All the best for 2003 and Happy Xmas!
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