As we were entering the gates of the hotel that evening Amanda noticed a sign that said "6:30am elephant ride"!!!!
So after a few phone calls and a few "we're only in Nepal once"'s we were lined up to go for a ride the next morning!
We were told to be up at zero-dark-thirty to get some breakfast and make sure we got to the place on time.
I slept in my clothes that night for two reasons...
1. My pajama's were not going to be warm enough.
2. I figured not having to change clothes in the morning would allow me to sleep a few more minutes.
Yep I slept in my clothes... Don't judge, it was COLD! Besides I definitely wasn't sweating!
So early in the morning the three of us got up, brushed our teeth. Using our flashlights we came down the three flights of stairs in the dark... And it was DARK. We tried to remember where the "restaurant" was. We fumbled around in the dark and then realized if there weren't lights on, it probably wasn't open... So we stumbled back to the steps in front of the hotel and waited.
Things we learned while we waited:
-Nepal is definitely not on "U.S. time". We waited for about an hour in the dark before any other lights started to come on.
-Elephants are very quiet. Several passed by on the street while we waited... It was alarming how close they were before we knew they were there.
-Dawn is one of the coldest times of day!
After being tossed like a salad and having bumped my head a few times we arrived!
We were told the morning was the best time to sight rhino's, tigers and crocodiles! OH MY! ;) I was excited as a child on Christmas morning. We asked Pastor Luke if he was excited too.. He politely laughed and shrugged his shoulders.
Before long Pastor Luke made a few phone calls and we loaded into the taxi to go to the bus 'station'. I was a little worried that we were late but have learned when Nepalis aren't worried we shouldn't be either. We were driving down a narrow dirt road between two rice fields when we stopped.
Then the bus coming our way stopped too. Pastor Luke said, "Here is your bus!" Really? In the middle of the rice fields? So we got out of the car and loaded onto the bus. Off we were and headed back to Kathmandu! ;)
I can't imagine this being how you get in and out of your village!
We made it back to Kathmandu safely and headed back to the apartment to bathe with our cold bucket of water. (We did eventually realize we could boil some water and have warm water to dump on our heads... That helped us not be quite so miserably cold!).
(more Nepal to come soon.)