Jan 10 - We got a very early start today to give us the whole day to get across the border into Nepal. Luckily the trip and border crossing went smoothly and we made it to our hotel by early evening. This was our nicest hotel yet, so we all enjoyed the hot showers and comfy beds. For the second night in a row, we ended the evening playing games at the hotel restaurant. Our group is a really good mix of people and we get along really well. It's amazing how well we've all gotten to know each other in such a short time.
Jan 11 - We got to sleep in a bit today before visiting Buddha's birthplace, which I particularly appreciated because of all I learned about Buddhism during my time in Thailand. After the visit, we drove to Chitwan National Park. The road was very hilly, windy, and foggy, but our driver navigated it expertly. We stopped for chai in a hilltop village along the way at one of the most beautiful spots we've seen yet. Our hotel in Chitwan is a combination lodge/development project, and despite the lack of hot water and heaters in the rooms, it's a nice spot in the buffer zone around the park. After a nice dinner, we had a fun night chatting and drinking beer around a campfire with another GAP trip which is also staying here.
We all are very happy to finally be in Nepal after the crowds, constant noise, pollution and general sensory overload of India. Despite the pollution cough I picked up, I very much enjoyed my time in India and would recommend it to anyone. That said, after a week in India, the fresh air and peace and quiet of Nepal is a very welcome change.
More to come later!