Thursday, 22 July 2010

My 100th Hotel Visit – A Landmark

After a major mis calculation, my 100th hotel visit actually was in the Chitwan National Park at the rustic Island Jungle Resort. I thought it was here at the Yak and Yeti in Kathmandu, but I forgot about one property outside of Pokhara on Begnas Lake.
The rustic (best word I can come up for it) resort is only one of three camps within the National Park. The other two, Tiger Tops and Temple Tiger have both been closed for the last 9 months, as the Government wants no camps within the park. No idea why this rustic place still operates. Politics.
The trip across to the Island was by a small leaking rowing boat, in total there were 8 people, a lot of supplies and a bike. How we made it down and across this fast moving river is beyond me, but we did. A miracle.
A large elephant thrashing some grass on the ground greeted us. Not sure if it was happy with us arriving or not. But it was a sight.

The warm and big smiling manager welcomed us to his property, and forced us to eat before anything else was done. After a pretty piss poor lunch, we were shown to our basic or rustic riverfront cottage. The facilities included a fan. That’s it. This was ok, but electricity was only available from 5.30pm to 9.30pm.
We tried to get out of the elephant safari, but he looked so dejected, that we agreed to a quick one hour just to get the feel of it, citing we were very tired. His smile appeared again.

I have to say it was an experience. It’s so different to see a jungle from such a height. This also had its problems, the branches were now at head height, and after looking at the ground to try and spot wildlife I got twatted in the face by a branch. All wildlife spotting went out the window and we were more worried about getting our legs crushed by tree trunks or low level branches to the head. We had a few near misses.
We didn’t spot anything, except a few birds, a centipede and a million ants that fell onto us and the little fuckas bit us like mad.
Our 40 year old elephant was called Laxmi Kali. I felt akin to her being the same age, but she was an ugly beast and had major problems with her rear end. She farted continuously and elephants do big poos.

After the exhausting ride, we managed to get to the bar and started drinking. After 3 Everest beers we were pretty happy and had to endure another crap meal. The chef looked proud of his creations, but I should have told him it was crap, instead of telling him it was very good. He smiled a lot. I just couldn’t tell him. It would have crushed him.
After a shower I crashed before lights out, and woke up at 3am, never to return to sleep. This is becoming a pattern now, but the heat in the room was awful. My bed was pretty drenched in the morning. Maybe I should have slept in the shower.
I have to say I was never so fucking happy to get out of there, but looking back it was an adventure, and a worthy experience for my 100th hotel visit. It will never be matched. I hope.

So the Yak n Yeti is 101, and tonight, I am going out for a Chinese meal with our ground operators here in Kathmandu. If it’s anything like being force fed beer and food on day one then it will be a fun night.
Hotel 102 will be in Bhutan somewhere. 

No comments: