Feb 2. – Feb. 10

We get up early the next morning and do as quickly as possible what we have to do in the touristic center. This means basically we get chai, change money, get more chai (and breakfast) and a bus out of here and it takes until early afternoon. In the suburbs of Kathmandu we meet a friend and Bijays family member from Kathmandu who invites us full of love to stay for the night. It is too late to go to Hetaura, Bijays home, anyway so we happily accept. Food is more than amazing and I eat until I cannot move anymore – Aloo Ghobi, Dhal, spinach, chutney, rise, couscous – neverending. We spend the evening very cosy in a room of maybe 12 square meter, between 10 to 12 people most of them children staring at me and the pictures of my journey which I show to the family. I sleep like at home on the floor sharing the small room feeling happy like hardly ever before on this journey.


While at daytime the temperature is quite pleasant its freaking cold at night and in the morning. After getting up I soon climb the roof top with my camera and a cup of chai in my hand desperatley waiting for the first rays of the sun. After an amazing breakfast and a very warm Good Bye we hurry to get to Hetaura. 40km away drawn on the map in a straight line we have to pass two mountains of 1800 and 1900m as well as getting a bump hole of 150km length behind us. Including (noticing their condition fortunately only) one exploding tire it takes us about 4.5 hours jumping at insane speed between wall abyss and curves. A little before we arrive flashes of lightning illuminate the night. When we arrive in Hetaura its late at night. I am very happy to meet Bijays family for the first time and we soon go to sleep.


In Hetaura we visit a farm of another part of the family up in the foothills. An amazing place but the damp prevents good pictures. Most of the time its hard to see the the opposite mountain even though its sunny.


A few days later I go back to Kathmandu to get my visa for india. When I find out it takes a week I decide to see Chitwan National park – famous for its rhinos – in the meantime. Still I will be happy to get a visa at all as they where not really happy of the canceled leaving stamp from the last time when my car was seized and the Pakistan visas. I am happy though because now the old passport is full and I can get a new one. Border officials are mostly freaking out about the many stamps of axis of evil states.


On the way from Kathmandu to Chitwan (6 hours bus ride) I luckily managed to get a seat in the drivers kabin right next to the driver. Riding through Narayani river valley offers incredible views and I wish to have fishing gear, snorkeling gear, a kayak and a motorbike with me. However I decide I have to come back here to do this all.


Arriving at Chitwan I had talked so much with the busdriver to ask him to get my passport in a week in Kathmandu and bring it for me. He knows a hotel for me too (surprise!) and as the rooms are nice, clean and inexpensive I check in. In Kathmandu I had fallen in love with a 12 string guitar and first time I have a chance now to try it in a quiet surrounding. I fall in love even more when sitting in the garden for more than an hour playing with all the guesthouse stuff surrounding me.


Late afternoon I decide to explore the area. I take the camera with the 35mm lense leaving the other equipement at the guesthouse. 20 minutes later I see my first ever rhino – in the jungle on the other side of a small river maybe 500m away from the village. I enjoy the view but am hopeless to take pictures with the attached lense. Prassan, a young guy from the guesthouse had invited me to join him on the river for sunsetwith the guitar. I quickly walk back to the guesthouse getting the photo equipement instead of the guitar. Coming back to the river the rhino has moved closer to the bank and now I see it’s a cow accomponied by a calf. I sweared on myself many times already for taking the huge ‘n’ heavy 600mm lense but again I am just too happy to be able to have this amazing tool with me. I can nearly make portraits of the rhinos in the sunset.