Friday, 19 September 2014

Eco-Farming in Chitwan National Park: Part 2

Click here to read Part 1 of this post if you haven't already.

Every day we woke up at 6am, often greeted by an eerily beautiful sunrise.
After a quick morning snack we were straight to work on the farm. Often we would weed a patch with our bare hands, getting blisters as we yanked stray plants, roots and saplings until the ground was clear. Then we'd use a hoe to soften the earth and prepare it for planting.

We'd then put seeds in the softened earth. We planted a few different types but usually it was ghee.
Later that afternoon, worktime was over, and we hung around in the communal area, some of us chopping courgettes for that evening's dinner.
Caught this pretty rainbow as another afternoon storm approached.
We often played cards in the evening, particularly the Nepali game of Dhumbal. I won't go into the rules on here, but it was pretty tricky to get good at, and Angela and I only won a few times.
The next morning, back outside for some weeding.
Filling up urns with water.
Some more general views of the farm.

One evening, a bunch of us went for a walk into the national park.
Inquisitive children followed us on their bikes.
For some reason, today the village looked like a war zone.

Passing through another village.
Apparently, this barrier was put up to prevent rhinos from coming out of the park and into the villages. However, it didn't prevent tigers from escaping, and according to Bishnu, a local man was recently killed by one while walking alone at night. We never saw any rhinos or tigers during our stay, but we did see some jackals lurking around the edge of our farm at night-time. They usually scurried off the moment we beamed our flashlights on them though.

We hung out on the banks of this river for a while, though the sun was too strong for us to stay very long.
Heading further down the riverbank.

We came across lots of rhino footprints. Apparently they passed through this area in the early morning, crossing the river to find food.
Some of the footprints were incredibly deep, demonstrating the sheer size and weight of the animals.
Heading back to the riverbank in time for sunset.

We watched these fishermen cross the river.
The current appeared to be very strong, and it almost seemed like the river might carry the boys away into oblivion. Thankfully, they seemed to know what they were doing, and made it across okay.
A beautiful sunset view.
Feeding some cattle on the walk home.

Back on the farm, eating dal bhat for dinner again.
Trying to entertain ourselves during a power-cut. These were a frequent problem, and meant no internet, no light, and no fans, leaving us even more bored and sweaty than usual!
Sometimes we'd take Sahtee for a walk in the evenings. She would bark at the jackals that lurked around the perimeter of the farm, scaring them off into the darkness. Thankfully, we never came across any tigers!
Back at work the next morning, with Sahtee helping us hoe the earth.
Another walk to the village.
Sometimes when the weather was clear you could just make out the Himalayas in the distance.
Another evening game of dhumbal.

The next day was a saturday, which meant no work. Instead we relaxed in the relative coolness of our hut. Sahtee couldn't stand the heat outside either, so she came in with us.
Peeling some courgettes to help Sita prepare dinner.

The next morning, it was time to leave. We said our thanks and goodbyes to Bishnu and Sita, and took a local bus back to Bharatpur.
One of the other volunteers, Haley, came with us to Bharatpur, as well as to Kathmandu.

We would return to Kathmandu that day, making a daytrip to the nearby city of Patan, which we'll take a look at in the next post.


  1. Wow, sounds like you've get to see a lot of new places! Nepal doesn't seem the place most backpackers go to so it's really interesting to read about your experiences there! Have a great time! Many regards from Seoul ;)

    1. Thanks Calucalu! Hope you're still enjoying your time in Korea.

  2. It's funny how close you get with other people with whom you volunteer/pass endless blackout hours. We did see some Rhinos, as well as some wild Elephants, Barking deer and a few other things... but never any tigers either... Though, did Bishnu ever dress up like a Tiger and try to scare the volunteers? That seemed to be a favourite of his while we were there.

    1. Thanks for your comment! You're so lucky you got to see some wild elephants and rhinos! No, Bishnu didn't dress up while we were there, though we did get to dance with him at the temple, which was fun. :)