|Up early and a quick scoff of breakfast before our taxi was there to pick us up to the bus station for our trip to Chitwan. There were a few guys going around selling still warm pastries, dam we had bought some yesterday for the trip.
The bus was slightly less 'delux' than the one from Kathmandu but comfortable and certainly good enough. Some sights along the way were a truck loaded with bricks on its side off a slight drop and live goats traveling on top of buses. There were also a few buses loaded with people on top (this is illegal due to some bad accidents but they still do it. We were told that if they are coming to a police checkpoint they stop and pile inside to pass).
When we arrived at the bus stop we were met by someone from Sapana Village Lodge and had a short ride in a jeep to the Lodge. We were met by the manager and a welcome drink and then lunch before discussing the programme for our stay. The Lodge had a really nice, comfortable setting and the rooms were really nice.
It wasn't long before Caleb had found the resident new baby elephant Samrat, who was 18 days old and this is where he spent all his free time during our stay. Mother and baby were brought out for a soccer and feeding session. He really hasn't worked out his legs yet.
Our first activity was a walk across to visit a local Tharu Village. They are farming people and it was quite fascinating to see how they use everything from animals and plants, nothing wasted. They still make their houses in the traditional way with elephant grass and dung and clay. Cooking implements were a mixture of old and new with grinding stones and wood chopping blocks to modern looking wok pans. A couple of the men were sewing the fishing nets that we had seen the ladies using in the river. It was great fun watching some boys playing with spinning tops in a competition similar to marbles. It certainly looked like it took some skill.
The evening was spent with drinks around the open fire and dinner. Magic place to be.