Five Funny Things That Happened Whilst Travelling

By Evie Hadley (Age 9)

BIG Fishing!

One funny thing that happened whilst travelling was when, in Sri Lanka, out of the bus window, we saw some Asian people sitting on bamboo (very thin) poles fishing in the sea wihout even holding on! Mummy explained that to us that they were stilt-fishing and that these people were very practiced at balancing and fishing at the same time. Clever and funny.

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No stilt fishing captured on camera, but a lovely beach shot where you sometimes see the fishermen

Monster Ahoy!

Well, the story starts when we are swimming in the sea at Komodo National Park, Indonesia. Diving down to look at coral, playing with Christmas tree worms and chasing fish. Then suddenly Mummy came up screaming that she had seen a hideous monster with a human sized head, shiny, colourful skin, two slit-like eyes and no nose. A couple of days later we were watching a marine wildlife program and we found that Mummy had seen an octopus. Poor Mummy!

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Mummy, blissfully unaware that she’s about to experience utter terror

Faking An Elephant!

This story starts when we were sitting in Chitwan on the verandah outside our large, cosy room.

We were chatting (about Tettie’s broken leg) when we all heard a strange, trumpeting sound and look around. Assuming it was an elephant (probably the one who lived in our resort) and carried on chatting. Then the noise came again and (once again) looked round to see a western man walking along blowing his nose. He sounded so much like an elephant!

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The resident elephant at Travellers Jungle Camp

Just Keep Plodding

We were trekking in the mountains of Nepal walking, walking, walking, “GET OUT OF THE WAY OF THE YAKS!” Jingle, jingle, jingle, yaks coming through! The yaks were clomping along on the thin mountain ledges where they probably wouldn’t fall off due to their stale, gripping hooves (although they were being whipped quite hard on the bum!)

The yaks were followed by donkeys (also being whipped on the bum). Did you know that yaks get low altitude sickness?!

Yak (or maybe a Nak)

Yaks Ahoy!

Crocodile v’s Elephant

Yes, Mummy let us swim in the elephant and crocodile infested river in Chitwan National Park, Nepal. (We had to wear life jackets though). There were two types of crocodile. Most were gharials, which only eat fish; others were marshmuggers which eat people and fish but are scared of elephants. We had a game called silent gliders where we glided silently along in the water (pretending not to be able to see each other). FUN!

The Crocodile Game

A game of silent gliders during our first trip to Chitwan

The Most Useful Thing We’ve Taken Travelling Around Asia: Waterproof Cast Cover

By Scarlett Hadley (Age 9)

We didn’t exactly take a waterproof cast cover, but…

Well the story really started when we began to climb for the second time in the Anapurna region. After 3 days of trekking it happened.

I broke my leg. Luckily, a helicopter came, soaring into the air with all five members of our family inside, and at last came to rest in Kathmandu, on Vayoda Hospital’s helicopter landing place. When we left Vayodah (me and Mummy in ambulance, Daddy and my sisters in a taxi) my leg had been set into a big full length cast.

Scarlett Onboard the Helicopter

Scarlett being a big, brave girl in the helicopter

The waterproof cast cover was delivered several weeks later in Chitwan National Park, where elephants are the great kings.

After one and a half weeks in Chitwan the cast cover because useful. My sisters were off to wash the elephants, my Nepali friend had to go to a funeral and so me and Mummy had to stay at our hotel, Travellers Jungle Camp. We went to the bathroom ad for the first time put on my waterproof cast cover. Woops, splash, the showers got out of hand! Water – war!

Me and Mummy had a waterfight until my sisters came home and we all played cards. It began when I threw a bucket of water at Mummy, big mistake! She threw one back at me. The bathroom got soaked as water went flying back and forth, having quite an adventure. Splashing back at Mummy all I could see was thousands and thousands of tiny droplets of water soaring to and fro around me. A lot of fun was involved in the weird and wonderful water fight. At last, after 2 and a half hours, both dripping, we left the flooded bathroom to drain, just as my sisters and Daddy came home.

Our Room Name (Rhyming SLang?)

Our room in Chitwan where we stayed a total of 41 nights while Scarlett recovered

Sublime Swimming

On the first day in Thailand we swam in the Hotel Malaysia’s big, deep swimming pool. Me and my sisters played mermaids and used the rubber rings as boats, sailing around and often falling off…

The swimming pool was 3-4 metres deep and very fun. The cold refreshing water had a well tiled floor, which was painted a light shade of turquoise, as were all four walls. My cast cover floated, allowing me to plow easily through the water.

Waterproof Cast Cover in Action

Scarlett in action with the waterproof cast cover

Sandy Samui

After I had my cast changed there was a different tale to tell…

This was swimming from Mummy to Daddy in the wild raging waves of Ko Samui. The water was deep and green but yet my waterpoof cast cover floated above the surface, bobbing gently with the waves. We had a very good time in Ko Samui. I could not get in the sea without help. I could not do this because I only had 3 legs (when I was on all fours).

Scarlett Literally Island Hopping

Broken leg on the beach, Ko Samui

Bad Bubble Maker:  Waterproof Cast Cover is Good.

When we went to do a bubble makers course [an introductory scuba diving course] it was a disaster!

The air tanks were too heavy and the wet suits were too big. I only had one flipper, but the cast cover didn’t sink. It floated along like a good little cast cover and we managed to swim the huge distance (Mummy pulling me half the way). My waterproof cast cover saved me that one big day.

Ready to go diving

Nothing stops Scarlett joining in, not even a broken leg!

Hua Hin

In Hua Hin, I had my cast taken off but my leg was so sensitive it couldn’t touch the water…

Hua Hin was an extremely nice place with an open, public swimming pool right next to our hotel. As my leg couldn’t touch the water I put on my waterproof cast cover. Then we all swam. We played for a very long time until I could take off the cast cover and slowly swim without it. YES! I didn’t have a broken leg!

Scarlett enjoying the freedom of no cast on her leg!

The early days of freedom!

Nepal Through the Eyes of a Child

Today’s our last day in Nepal.  So for home school, we set the children a series of questions about Nepal to find out what they really think of it, what they’ve learned and what they’ll remember.  Here’s what they had to say, in their own words, with spelling and grammar mistakes uncorrected:-

1. Describe a journey in Nepal including 5 things that are different to England.

Evie:  If you want to make a bus journey in Nepal you have to be prepared for a wild, bumpy journey during which you will probabley feel sick.  Flashing by you catch glimses of mangy old dogs which doesn’t help your already horrible sick-feeling.  Next to all the dogs you find yourself rattling along a cliff ledge with a terrifying drop below you and a towering cliff above you.  When you finally reach your destination you find chat-pot stalls flashing by instead of the terrifying scenes that have already been described to you.

Scarlett:  When making a taxi journey in Nepal you might see a Chat-pot stall which you would not see in England.  A chat-pot stall is a tipe of street food.  It is a lot of dried noodles mixed with pulses and spices.  You also might see a half finished building held up by bamboo poles which stretch between one floor and the roof, criss-crossing.  Another thing you would see is mangy old dogs with bold patches all over them and grey skin.  They make me feel horrid!  You would deffinately see little, golden Buddhas sitting in the frames of a wound up window.  When the sun is up they will shine and twinkle in its reddish rays.  Finnaly, you might see the same Bamboo swings.  These are four bamboo poles stuck in the ground.  Two of them are criss-crossing on the right.  One bamboo pole with ropes hanging off it is resting on the criss-crossing on the ropes there is a plank of wood.

Jemima:

Trekking in the Nepal Everest Region

Everest looming up and fountain mist.  Sherpas carrying things on their heads and things with Everest in their names.  Little children saying, “Namaste”.  These are some of the things you might see along the way.

2.  Finish this sentence:  In Nepal, I have learned…

Scarlett:  In Nepal I have learned that honking your horn means “I’m coming past you!”  I have also learned that in Chitwan it is legal to ride Elephants in the street.  The last thing I’ve learned is that there is a lot of guest houses with the word ‘Everest’ in them.

Jemima:

  • Fractions
  • Desemals
  • Long Devision
  • I hate Kathmandu!

[Mum – perhaps we need to work on spellings next]

Evie:

  • Fractions
  • Decimals
  • Websites
  • Writing improvements
  • Stories
  • Art
  • The tallest mountain in the world is in Nepal

3. Finish this sentence:  In Nepal, I have enjoyed…

Scarlett:  In Nepal I have enjoyed having elephants.  I have also enjoyed having both Mummy and Daddy with me.  Lastly, I have enjoyed playing.

Evie:

  • Elephant bath time
  • Mountain views
  • Bright flowers

Jemima:

  • Chitwan
  • Mountain views
  • Elephants

4. Finish this sentence:  In Nepal, I have endured…

Jemima:  In Nepal, I have endured going up Gokyo Ri and getting half an altitude headache; bus journeys and feeling sick on them; trying to manage with only half a suger lump in my tea when I like a full one; living in Kathmandu when there is no where to play.

Evie:  In Nepal, I have endured bus journeys because they are bumpy and seem to take forever; climbing to Gokyo in the wind and the snow; watching Tettie break her leg.

Scarlett:  In Nepal, I have endured going up Gokyo Ri.  It was so hard.  And what did I come up for?  An altitude headache!  I have also endured having a broken leg.  But I’m over that now.  The last thing I want to talk about that I’ve endured is a terrible taxi journey.

5. Describe a Nepali person you have met.  Include what they look like, their personality and your opinion of them.

Evie:  This person’s name is Phurba Sherpa.  He is a half-famous porter-guide who travelled with us and helped us carry our bags and find our way.  He had black hair, brown skin and was very kind.  We travelled with another porter called Hari who doesn’t speak English.  Phurba kept shouting, “Hari, O Hari!” over and over again.  Our whole family liked Phurba and he bought us lots of sweets!

Jemima: Phurba Sherpa!

He is a porter-guide and Daddy is half way through making a website about him.  He is small and happy with black hair and brown eyes.  If he goes with a porter called Hari he is always shouting, “O Hari, O Hari!” over and over again.  He is kind and kept buying us sweets!  I like him.

Scarlett:  I’m going to describe my friend.  I met him in Chitwan National Park.  His name was Bharat Kattel.  Every elephant bathtime he would play the tiger moving game with me.  Like all Nepalese people he had brown skin and a long nose.  He was friendly and said I was clever at the tiger moving game.  He gave me a 400 discount for a copy of the tiger moving game.  He makes a lot of jokes.  I love him and miss him when he’s away.

6. Make 3 recommendations for an English person who is planning to visit Nepal.

Jemima:

  • Go to Chitwan and do an elephant safari because it is brilliant.
  • Stay in Kathmandu the least time you can with children.
  • Visit the monkey temple but don’t touch the monkeys because they might have deseases but do go because it is one of the few exciting places in Kathmandu

Scarlett:

  • I recommend not to stay in Kathmandu long because it is REALY noisy
  • Go on a jeep safari if you ever go to Chitwan.  This is because you get ever so far into the jungle.
  • Lastly go trekking because of the view.

Evie:

  • Go to Chitwan and do Elephant Bath Time because it is totally brilliant
  • Don’t stay in Kathmandu because the air is polluted
  • Go to Pokhara because the lake is fun and not polluted in the middle so you can swim in it

7. Finish this sentence:  The thing I will most remember about Nepal is…

Scarlett:  The thing I will remember most about Nepal is the elephants.  They were like huge boulders rumbling along the road with the mahoots balancing on top.

Evie:  The thing I will remember most about Nepal is the elephants because they had different faces.  They towered above people, motorbikes and horse and carts.  They are hairy and tickle your legs when you sit on them!

Jemima:  The thing I will most remember about Nepal is the elephants because it was the first time I had ever seen them.  They are hit a lot by the mahoots which makes me feel sorry for them.

He’s Back!

Welcome Back

Hooray, he’s back safe and… he has the parcel!

Here’s the welcome party, complete with Harry Potter outfits, a home-made banner and party food. All suggested by the girls, they really did miss their Daddy.

Thank you so much to Avril and Rob, the parcel feels like a real haul of goodies! Acquiring the parcel from customs was rather a saga, but I’ll let Ferg update you on the full story.

The main thing is that Scarlett how has her waterproof cast cover ready for Thailand’s beaches, there’s real English chocolate for Christmas Day, and we can all have a lovely cup of Redbush tea… wonderful.

Welcome Back

A Big Surprise

by Evie

Travelling is not going the way we planned, mainly because Tettie broke her leg so we had to finish our trek with a sudden and exciting helicopter ride which included amazing views, a lot of bumps and took us to Kathmandu instead of Pokhara. This news was annoying however it meant that we could go to Chitwan where it is relaxed, flat, fun, comfortable and is extremely beautiful. All of these things are very good for someone with a broken leg who doesn’t know how to use crutches.

It’s very weird with Tettie on crutches because you can’t go anywhere without a grown up (Mummy or Daddy). It changes a lot of things including running around, climbing, playing. Though it does not stop the fun of Chitwan. We can still play with her. For example she can tel us how good our handstands are. She quite liked doing that. I wonder if she could do a handstand or if her leg would be too heavy. We are working hard on our handstands and there is a squashed mushroom in the garden which Jemima keeps sitting on (that’s how it got squashed!).

Tettie can still play chess. She’ll probably get good at chess; almost as good as Daddy. We can also play Dungeons and Dragons which is an amazing role playing game which doesn’t weight much. However, I like Mice and Mystics more. You can do this game without running around.

It tastes nice here, meaning that the food here is good, the air is good, the fun is good, the trees are good, the flowers are good and the room is good.

Mummy and Daddy are feeling sad that Tettie has a broken leg but happy that we are in Chitwan National Park.

Moving On

In the Garden at Traveller's Jungle Camp

We’ve finally decided to uproot ourselves from our lovely guesthouse here in Sauraha – the Travellers’ Jungle Camp. By the time we leave on Saturday, we will have been here two and a half weeks. Not long in the grand scheme of things, perhaps, but compared to trekking it seems an age.

Up in the mountains, we moved on every day. Having to repack all our stuff ready for a 6 or 7am start each morning meant we rarely unpacked much in the evenings which, in turn, meant none of our rooms ever felt much like home. Even in Gokyo we only stayed a few nights before our itchy feet drove us on.

When we got back to Kathmandu we stayed nearly a week but our time there was enforced rather than voluntary. We had to arrange Indian visas, the weather was torrential, and the festival of Desain (kind of like a Nepalese Christmas but with more animal sacrifice) had just begun when we arrived back, meaning everything official was closed and many non-official things like shops and cafés, too, as people went back to their villages to celebrate.

And even with the streets quieter than normal, Kathmandu traffic is still terrifying when you’re shepherding kids around. In fact, there really isn’t much open space in Kathmandu at the best of times, meaning the kids spent much of the time bouncing off the walls of our hotel room or cafés.

All of which added up to Kathmandu falling very firmly into the category of “not much fun”.

So when we arrived in Sauraha it was a double relief. We got to stay still and relax, but we also had space. In fact, we chose a guesthouse based solely their having a resident elephant which was, of course, awesome. But it turned out to be better in even more ways.  The gardens here are long and grassy, and divided up into enough parts that the girls can move around, exploring for ages. The food’s cheap and tasty and we can eat on our veranda rather than the restaurant, which means the girls don’t have to be on their best behaviour.

It wasn’t long before a routine began to establish itself. I generally wake up early so I’d chill out reading until one or two of the girls woke up, then we’d snuggle in a single bed and play Small World on the iPad until Janet or the third girl woke up, too. Then we’d all do sun salutes (Janet’s been teaching us all yoga to make us all into proper hippy travellers) and wander out to the veranda where we’d order a big pot of tea and some breakfast.

After breakfast, the girls would go and take the elephant some bananas then we’d do “jungle school” (mostly Janet teaching maths while I helped the girls hand-code website projects one at a time).

Around eleven, we’d all roll down to elephant bath time for some elephant washing, rising and splashing about in he river, staying there until the last elephant left at which point we’d have to evacuate in case the crocodiles came back.

Then more  “jungle school” until early afternoon before wandering up either the village’s one street or along the river and ending up at the only proper restaurant in town, KC’s, where the girls would play in the long garden while Janet and I chilled out over a beer until tea time.

Later we’d stroll back for story time and bed, ready for it to all start again.

And so day after day passed. It felt like we were in slow-mo sometimes, as almost everybody else in our guesthouse would stay for two or maybe three days. They’d arrive from the mountains by bus, do an elephant safari, elephant bath, jeep safari, watch a Tharu stick dance and take a canoe trip down the river, then shoot off again having done every activity on offer in a matter of days when we only just managed to squeeze them all into over two weeks. And we never did get round to the canoe trip. Nor the stick dance. Although having see Stomp on the Royal Variety Show a few times and heard the stick dance going on from across town, I don’t think we missed much.

If I’m honest, I’m not entirely sure why we are leaving. Sure, we’ve done everything there is to do here (canoeing and stick dance excluded) several times over but we’re very happy. And having decided not to do India any more, we have ton of time left here in Nepal.

Is it because we’re still near the start of our trip and I want travelling to include, well, more travel? Is it momentum left over from trekking? Am I subliminally trying to avoid having to sit on an elephant and be squirted with high-velocity river water again (which was fun the first few times…)?

Whatever the case, we’ll soon be back on the road, heading up into the mountains for another trek; perhaps even the huge Annapurna Circuit.

But even with the soothing routine and constant new horizons of trekking, I think we’ll miss it here. It’s felt like home.

Best Bath Ever

by Evie

Elephant bath time is a fun and exciting, scary and wet event which is on almost every day; you just need to know the way! You can ask passers by the way if you need.

This event happens in a crocodile-invaded river, however the elephants scare them away! The water is ice cold and dirty so if you get it in your mouth: spit.

Elephant Squirt

For fifty Rs. It is possible to ride on an elephant and get sprayed with water from your elephant’s trunk!

The Crocodile Game

The sound of people screaming has no impact on the lovely effect of this event! This event is extremely fun; in fact three adorable triplets have been sighted at the bath time, jumping and pushing each other over, laughing their heads off!

A Bumpy, Itchy Ride

If you want to ride an elephant, you have to be prepared for the bumpy, itchy ride where you get soaked to the skin. When the event is on, it happens at 11 o’clock and when it is you should go! The best bits are the elephant ride and just playing!

Splashing About

The few dangers with this event are getting washed away and eaten, getting trodden on by an elephant, not noticing the elephants getting out and getting yourself eaten, going too far out and getting eaten and, basically, drowning. Don’t be afraid, it’s not likely at all.

[This was Evie’s ‘Write a Newspaper Article Challenge’. It was typed up, paragraphized and spelling-corrected by Dad but otherwise all Evie’s work. Only 6 wrong spellings, too, which is brilliant.]