Never a dull moment in paradise
Trip Start Sep 01, 2010
86Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
Bardia wildlife resort (Paradise)
Thakurdwara turned out to be one of the loveliest and most hilarious places I've been to so far. Everyone lives in mud houses and likes to say hello, marijuana grows wild (everywhere) and they make their own kind of booze out of rice. I also found out that the children like to make charas and sell it to grown ups for nearly no money.
Besides the three of us there were 2 other tourists at the resort - and Englishman called Rich and a Mormon called Lauren. When the weather sorted itself out I went for a jungle walk with the Germans and the Mormon and in the safe hands of our guides Krishna (a different one) and Baba. We saw two massive pythons (big enough to devour a medium sized dog or small child) and I climbed a tree.
I kicked back for a few days eating, drinking and smoking a little. I met an Englishman called Dan who'd crossed the Himalaya's with two mules and ended up in an Indian jail for a while. There had been a campaign going on back home for his release, me and Rich ripped the piss out of him a little bit when we found out he was in league with Noel Edmonds.
The Germans and the Mormon all headed off in various directions, but I decided to stay in Thakurdwara whilst funny things kept happening. I did some gardening at Mr B's place in exchange for chicken and mashed potato and got drunk a lot on chang (rice beer).
Sometime into the stay at 'Paradise' the owner of the resort (Shankar) bought a jeep with the intention of running jeep safari's
On the weekend Rich had to take 200 Nepali children on a 2 and a half day trek into the mountains (but that's his story, not mine) leaving me to be sole jeep driver. On the first day I took a bunch of Nepali tourists on jeep safari in exchange for a free breakfast. The tourists saw next to nothing (because they were shouting and screaming so much), but I had a brilliant time putting the jeep through its paces.
On the second day I'd agreed to drive to a festival at a nearby town. We somehow crammed in a family of 10 and set of on an adventure to the funfair. The festival area was completely walled off with a few hundred Nepali's trying to get through the single tiny entrance all at once. After a bit though, the riot police turned up to teach everyone how to queue. The event was a tourism festival, though it turns out there was only one tourist there... me. This enviable status allowed me such advantages as not having to queue and being interviewed for something or other.
Baba and Shankar dismissed the women and children and took me to the Tharu village section to drink home made booze and eat snacks
On the way out of the festival complex a man with a megaphone singled me out, "sir, inside we have a man who is 70 years old, weighs just 12 kilos, is only..." I cut him off mid sentence "you have a midget?". "Yes sir. Just 12..." he began again. "How much to see the midget?" I interrupted. "15 rupees" he replied. I handed him the money "show me the midget". Inside was a tiny little man sat beside a pile of money "namaste" I said. Then left. (**breaking news** one year on and this little fella has been declared shortest man in the world!!)
On the way back we stopped off to see some black bucks (a rare kind of deer your not allowed to eat) and an 86 year old lady kept force feeding me grapes.
On the third day I was woken up early by Modhu
The next event of any real importance was Shivaratri. For the uninitiated, Shivaratri is a massive getting stoned festival. For 1 day a year getting stoned is completely tolerated in Nepal and everyone gets wasted for the day. We were invited to somesort of puja (religious ceremony) believing it to be part of the fun. It turned out to be a completely separate affair where they were marrying two trees together (a big, fat woman tree and a very young man tree). Me and Rich appeared to just be the entertainment for the children, so we escaped using a technique called lying. In the evening I ate a stupid amount of charas pakora and was still stoned for the entire of the next day.
With Shivaratri over, it was time to head into the mountains. I'd originally intended to meet Sam and Megan in Jumla, but politics had sent them elsewhere. But what the fuck, I'd go anyway. So with the most inadequate supplies imaginable and with a big bag of weed we'd collected from the nearby fields, me and Rich set off on our journey north. According to the lonely planet there's only one way to get to Jumla, by plane... By the end of our jaunt the lonely planet would be proved wrong on a sensational number of counts...