Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Final Week in Nepal – Soaking Up the Sights and Sounds

WRITTEN BY: Sarah Robertshaw

On Saturdays and Sundays we are all free to spend our time as we choose. I spend it sight seeing and spending time with my host family. On the first weekend I was here, I went on a tour of the Kathmandu temples. The tour was guided and took us to Syambhunath temple which is also known as the monkey temple because there are monkey's literally everywhere you look! Syambhunath was absolutely stunning, the temples are so big and you can see the whole of Kathmandu from the top. Then they took us to Kathmandu Dubar Square and Patan Dubar Square, where you can really see the devastation of the earthquakes.

Finally we went to the Pashupatinath temple and crematorium which is a Hindu temple. I think it was one of the most amazing, not by sight but by representations. There are hundreds, maybe thousands of little temples here which are so beautiful. They burn all the bodies on display right above a river, where they push off the ashes after the burning ceremony and blessing rituals have taken place, it's truly amazing to watch. 

The following weekend I went to Chitwan, I travelled via bus so I had to leave on the Friday. When I arrived, the hotel tour guide took us on a sunset tour of the river. We walked up the river and watched the sunset, seen so many crocodiles and an elephant passing through the river to return home. The next day we went for an exhilarating canoe ride. You get to see all the river animals but you have to be very careful not to capsize, as there are around 15 people in the canoe and crocodiles in the water!! After the canoe ride we were deep in the jungle so we went on a guided jungle walk. We seen a few animals and finished off at the elephant birthing centre where I seen a 13 day old elephant.

Following this I went on what they call a jeep safari where you sit in the tray of the jeep and they drive you around the jungle to see the national park and all the animals within it. They stopped halfway to show us the crocodile breeding centre where they have more crocodiles than I've ever seen! That night I went to watch the Tharu cultural show where they do all the traditional dances, it was very different to anything I've ever seen before but it was so good!

The next day I rode an elephant through the river and into the jungle. I saw so many wild animals like rhinos, peacocks, deer and many more. This weekend I spent with my host family and we went shopping, had a massage and went out to dinner. I also got to meet more of the family and they're all so beautiful! It was so nice spending more time with the family as you find out many more things about Nepal that you would never have known otherwise. For example, my host brother told me that the reason they post pictures of the gods on the walls in the city is to prevent people from urinating on them!

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