My 500 Nepalese Rupee pass was valid for two days so I decided to go back to a different area with my pal B to search for Rhinos! I was not leaving until I saw at least a few Rhinos.
The Elephant safari takes place in the same place so there were a few elephants loaded with tourists. One can either go through the jungle by jeep, elephant, or foot. Since, I had spent plenty of time with elephants I decided to go on foot. The thought really did not cross my mind that I would be amongst wild jungle animals with no protection. It is not like a zoo where they are sitting behind glass or in a cage. I left my safety and protection up to my higher power and to my tour guide and friend, B. One may ask what kinds of protection does a tour guide bring on a jungle walk? A gun, a machete, a knife?
My guide, B, has a wooden stick with an end that is probably just as sharp as a butter knife ha! We trail off behind the elephants and I see five to six deer. Being curious, I walk deeper into the trees to see if I can get a closer look. B comes behind that reminds me to tread slowly and quietly because the animals are dangerous and can attack.
Within a few minutes, we approach a rhino bathing. The tourists are being obnoxious taking pictures and the elephant men are focused on my safety. I quietly step closer to the rhino hiding behind a tree and B grabs my shoulder tightly and pulls me back.
The rhino is still in the same position, but everyone is less focused on the rhino and more focused on me. They tell me to stay far back because it is male rhino and they are very aggressive and will attack. I stepped behind the elephant to make everyone happy. About a minute later the rhino quickly gets up out of the water and that is when I begin to get scared. I just stand still and hide behind the elephant. B grabs my hand and we slowly walk the opposite direction away from the rhino. If this rhino did lets say “attack” then I think the stick would not really do any good and I would be in trouble. It kind of makes sense why people are on elephants and in jeeps rather than on foot! A close call with Mr. Rhino- close call.
The second rhino we see is female and she is just happily sitting in the water. I say “happily,” but jungle rhinos are dangerous and not the most friendly species. There are not any tourists so we are able to tip toe around hiding behind the trees. I am content seeing two rhinos, but why not one more?
We decide to take an off route track away from the elephant safari and into another wild jungle. We cross over rivers, grass, and jump quickly through the elephant tracks. B is guiding the way carrying his stick and tip toeing climbing through the trees and leaves. It begins to rain and B says I should be careful for leeches. The idea of leeches scared me way more than the rhinos or “tigers.” Where are these tigers anyways?
The rain continues on and it feels quite refreshing and it is nice being just with nature and being in silence with B. We approach the big river to cross over and we both just look at one another. B says, “Come on lets cross.” The water was only about knee length high and the current was low so I was up for it. A few minutes later a canoe come and gives us a ride back. This happens again on our way back except the water is a lot deeper. B says he will lift me over the water on his back. I start laughing as he walks through the river to the other side puts down his socks and shoes and comes back. His legs are so tiny and he probably weighs less than me. It begins to rain harder and I am looking around like this is the last resort. I am about to jump on his back and a canoe comes around the corner-saved by the boat!
I decided to take charge and lead us around. I was carrying the stick pointing it outwards in front of me ready just in case something came our way. We kept on with our walk seeing different birds and a few more deer, but no more rhinos. B taps me on the back and says, “I’m hungry.” I tell him, “Not yet, let’s keep going.” I am such a drill Sergent-anyone who hikes or treks with me I feel bad for them ha!
B and I bike back to the lodge quickly as it is raining. The rain feels so good, especially after trekking. It never rained in India so it was so nice to feel it drench my clothes, feel the drops falling down on my face-so refreshing!