Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River

Thursday 29th of March 2018 and they brought tea for me at 4 o'clock. We will not leave until 7 thirty today so I had plenty time to relax before I went for breakfast at 7 o'clock. I spotted a White-bellied Drongo sitting on top of a tree and I took the chance to record the beautiful White-bellied Drongo song with my ZOOM H5 Recorder.

White-bellied drongo, Dicrurus caerulescens
White-bellied Drongo singing “Good morning” for me

Listen to the White-bellied Drongo

I got the recording and we were ready to leave Tiger Tops Karnali Lodge. Today we will use a closed jeep to avoid the dust, it is terrible here. Even a small bike makes a dust cloud and sitting in the open jeep is terrible, so a closed jeep it is. I was surprised, two extra staff members to join us.
- Are they joining us?
- They will paddle, my Guide told me.

So, we're ready to get on our way to Chisapani, but first a picture. Then we can leave Tiger Tops Karnali Lodge. We will drive for about one hour to Chisapani where we will launch the raft. Then we will be on our way down the Karnali River for 5 to 6 hours. The driver will pick us up and we will have about 2 hour drive back to Tiger Tops Karnali Lodge

Tiger Tops Karnali Lodge
The Ghurkha attack team

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River
Today we have 2 extra paddlers with us in the back

We came out on the main dust road taking us to the paved road, the main highway. The longest highway in Nepal, well, I call it a very poor road. We passed a school and all the students were lining up outside the gate and a guard was searching all the students. I asked if they were looking for weapons. But it was exam day and they just checked the pockets for notes and other means to cheat on the exam.

This is not allowed to do in Sweden and the cheating is rampant. Anyway, when we were up on the paved road we were soon ending up in a check-point. Leaving the National park and they check all the vehicles for blood, dents etc. or any other signs of having hit any animals. And of course, on the lookout for poachers.

The Nepalese Government wants to double the tiger population by 2020 or 2022, but then they will need to double the habitat as well. A tiger male need 70 km2 as his own territory, any other male come in to the territory and they fight. But they seems to take their wild life seriously.

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River
Traffic sign for military check-point

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River
On the highway

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River
40km/h, it will take ages to get to Chitwan on Saturday

Mahendra Highway

(Nepali: महेन्द्र राजमार्ग), also called East-West Highway (Nepali: पुर्ब पश्चिम राजमार्ग) runs across the Terai geographical region of Nepal, from Mechinagar in the east to Bhim Datta in the west, cutting across Mahendra Highwaythe entire width of the country. It is the longest highway in Nepal and was constructed by CPWD/PWD Nepali and Indian engineers.

Overview
The highway is mostly a single lane in each direction. It is a major infrastructure element because east-west travel was previously limited to the Hulaki Highway built during the Rana regime, expensive and limited air travel, or Nepalese trains and buses. The highway crosses the Terai from east to west for over 1,000 kilometres.

The major destinations along and around the highway are Mechinagar, Bhadrapur, Itahari, Janakpur, Bharatpur, Butwal, Siddharthanagar, Nepalganj, and Bhim Dutta. Other towns on the Mahendra Highway are Birtamod, Damak, Inaruwa, Lahan, Narayangadh, Bardibas, and Chisapani

South of the highway are five official border crossing points between Nepal and India.

Infrastructure in Nepal remains neglected despite the very few “highways” that exist. The busiest highways, including Prithivi Highway, all suffer from heavy traffic.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Mahendra Highway
Sign at Karnali Bridge in Chisapani



We are soon coming to a bridge and the road was blocked with some branches and a few heaps of sands. Closed due to some repair work and we have to leave the road and cross the dry river on the river. And the sand was like powder and we had to close all the windows due to dust.

A thick layer of sand, well, it is not sand, it is powder. When the car drive through the dust it looks like dry water. There was also a truck, a broke down truck standing on the dust path across flood bed. For sure, traveling along the roads in this part of the world is like a huge billboard for TATA. Only TATA trucks and many many of them standing still having broken down.

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River
Bridge is closed

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River
It is very dusty

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River
It is very dusty

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River
A broke down TATA truck

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River
Reaching the other side of the dry river

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River
Another check point

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River
Another check point

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River
Monkeys on the road

Karnali Bridge
Reaching the Karnali Bridge over Karnali River

Karnali Bridge
Reaching the Karnali Bridge over Karnali River

Ghaghara

Ghaghara, also called Karnali (Hindi: घाघरा; Ghāghrā [ˈɡʱɑːɡrɑː]; Nepali: कर्णाली; Karṇālī [kʌrˈnɑːliː]; Chinese: 加格拉河; Jiāgélāhé [t͡ɕi̯ákɤ̌láxɤ̌]) is a perennial trans-boundary river originating on the Tibetan Plateau near Lake Mansarovar. It cuts through the Himalayas in Nepal and joins the Sharda River at Brahmaghat in India. Together they form the Ghaghara River, a major left bank tributary of the Ganges. With a length of 507 kilometres it is the longest river in Nepal. The total length of Ghaghara River up to its confluence with the Ganges at Revelganj in Bihar is 1,080 kilometres. It is the largest tributary of the Ganges by volume and the second longest tributary of the Ganges by length after Yamuna.

Lower Ghaghara is also known as Sarayu River and finds mention in Ramayana. Ayodhya is situated on its right bank.

Course It rises in the southern slopes of the Himalayas in Tibet, in the glaciers of Mapchachungo, at an elevation of about 3,962 metres above sea level. The river flows south through one of the most remote and least explored areas of Nepal as the Karnali River. The 202-kilometre Seti River drains the western part of the catchment and joins the Karnali River in Doti District north of Dundras hill. Another tributary, the 264-kilometre (164 mi) long Bheri, rises in the western part of Dhaulagiri Himalaya and drains the eastern part of the catchment, meeting the Karnali near Kuineghat in Surkhet.

Cutting southward across the Siwalik Hills, it splits into two branches, the Geruwa on the left and Kauriala on the right near Chisapani to rejoin south of the Indian border and form the proper Ghaghara. Other tributaries originating in Nepal are the West Rapti, the Kali (or Mahakali) and the little Gandak. It flows southeast through Uttar Pradesh and Bihar states to join the Ganges downstream of the town of Chhapra, after a course of 1,080 kilometres. Sarayu River is stated to be synonymous with the modern Ghaghara River or as a tributary of it.

Karnali River exposes the oldest part of the Sivalik Hills of Nepal. The remnant magnetization of siltstones and sandstones in this group suggests a depositional age of between 16 million and 5.2 million years.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

We reach the Karnali Bridge over Karnali River, crossing the bridge and we reach the small town Chisapani. We make a stop so my Guide can buy cigarettes before we continue and we have to cross a big construction site next to the river to reach the beach where we will launch the raft.

Lucky that we had our extra staff with us, they were pumping like there was no tomorrow and the raft was ready in a jiff. Actually, I was surprised on how quick it went to inflate the raft. We left the beach, but the Guide had forgotten his binoculars and back pack so we had to come ashore again a little bit downstream to pick up his stuff.

Lucky the driver discovered the stuff before we were too far down the river, now it was no problems. So, we were soon on our way down the Karnali River and it was a gorgeous morning

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River
We make a stop to buy stuff

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River
Crossing a construction site

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River
Crossing a construction site

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River
The Guide have to get out and clear the way from cows

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River
Down at the river

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River
Preparing the raft

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River
Preparing the raft

Karnali Bridge
We are downstream from the Karnali Bridge

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River
We are ready to leave for our adventure

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River
We are waterborne on our way down the Karnali River

What a lovely idea to go drafting!!! I knew that the Tiger Tops had different activities, walking in the village Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.st and looking at this and that. Yeah, real sleeping pills! But the manager told me that they had drafting, and I don't know why, maybe he was presenting the drafting in a more attractive way. So I decided to go drafting, and THANK YOU for suggesting the drafting.

Fantastic! We were slowly drifting down the river watching the landscape passing by. We passed a jackal that was drinking water on one of the beach and then we spotted a group of the very beautiful Bar-headed Goose, but too far away for any good pictures. The river is full of the very beautiful Ruddy Shelduck, known as the Brahminy duck in this part of the world.

But darn, the Ruddy shelduck is a scared bird and they took off when we showed up in the horizon. I had not expected any “white water” but we were soon running in to some “white water” but it was not very much of a rapid.

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River
Floating down the Karnali River leaving Chisapani behind

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River
Bar-headed Gooses on the beach

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River
A little bit of rapids

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River
A little bit of rapids

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River
Jackal down at the river drinking water

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River
Jackal having a look at us before disappearing

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River
The last thing we see of the Jackal

Bar-headed Goose, खोया हाँस, Anser indicus

Bar-headed Goose, खोया हाँस, Anser indicus
Bar-headed Goose

Bar-headed Goose, खोया हाँस, Anser indicus
Bar-headed Goose

Bar-headed Goose, खोया हाँस, Anser indicus
Bar-headed Goose

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River
The last we see of Chisapani

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River
Bar-headed Gooses on the beach

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River
Passing more rapids, and yes, this promise to be an exciting tour

Great Cormorant, Phalacrocorax carbo, जलेवा, Great Black Cormorant

Great Cormorant, Phalacrocorax carbo, जलेवा, Great Black Cormorant
Great Cormorant - जलेवा

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River
Little Cormorant

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River
Cooking a goat

Little Egret, सानो सेतोबकुल्ला, Egretta garzetta, นกยางเปีย

Ruddy shelduck, Brahminy duck, चखेवा, Tadorna ferruginea

Ruddy shelduck, Brahminy duck, चखेवा, Tadorna ferruginea
Ruddy shelduck/ Brahminy duck

We were floating down the Karnali River when suddenly a huge Peacock came flying over the river. What a beautiful sight that was! Of course, I was way too late trying to get pictures as I was just watching this bird not even trying to reach for my camera.

Karnali River is a holy river and we passed some cremations. We could hear drums when they brought the dead body to the cremation area. My Guide told me that they had to walk around the wood with the dead body three times before they but the body on the wood.

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River
Peacock landing on the beach

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River
Peacock landing on the beach

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River
Bringing wood
And we can hear the drums as they are bringing the dead body

Ruddy shelduck, Brahminy duck, Tadorna ferruginea
Ruddy shelduck/ Brahminy duck

Ruddy shelduck, Brahminy duck, Tadorna ferruginea
Ruddy shelduck/ Brahminy duck

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River
Collecting stones

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River
Collecting stones

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River
Elephant tracks from elephant coming to drink water at the river

Grey Heron, Ardea cinerea, फुस्रो बकुल्ला, นกกระสานวล

A Grey Heron took off from one of the trees where we had planned for our lunch. I tried to get a few pictures, never give up. The Grey Heron landed on the other side of the river and I could watch him while we had our lunch.

This was actually the day I had planned to have only fruit salad for lunch and dinner. The food at Diet in NepalTiger Tops Karnali Lodge is excellent and I don't want to eat myself out of the Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.sttrousers. But as we will have picnic today I asked them to put fruit and healthy black bread only in my picnic box.

I got suspicious already when I lifted the box, it was very heavy. I opened the box, no bread and bananas, well, there were bread and bananas, but there was so much more that I have
Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.st
Before
Yet another Smiley on www.aladdin.st
After
not been asking for. Seems like people have a hard time taking my diet seriously. And just a look at me and it should not be hard to see that I'm dead serious. I enjoyed the lunch until we found tiger tracks in the sand. There might be a tiger looking at us right now. I remember Corbett, we were 4 meters from a tiger and we could not see the tiger in the grass. Only one ear sticking up and a tail showing up every 5 minutes.

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River
We stop for picnic lunch

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River
Tiger tracks in the sand

We could follow the tiger tracks down to the water so the tiger had been down here to drink water. I was in a little bit of a hurry to leave after discovering the tiger tracks.

I learned a little about the river as we were floating with the water flow. The river is named Karnali and it is one of the rivers feeding Ganges. And yes, Karnali River is also a holy river. And we passed a few places where they were cremating people. I heard the drums and I asked the Guide what it was. They are drumming while carrying the dead body to the wood pile.

They walk around the pile of wood three times carrying the dead body before they put the body on the wood. Then yes, as you can imagine, they put fire to the wood and everything goes up in flames. The soul skips several steps of “suffering” as the ashes is spread in the holy river and they have a “fast lane” to Nirvana.

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River
Passing a Little Egret

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River
White water and more adventure ahead

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River
Passing another cremation site

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River
Passing another cremation site

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River
Passing another cremation site

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River
A little further down the river and they unload a dead body

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River
Walk around the wood three times

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River
Walk around the wood three times

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River
Walk around the wood three times

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River
Getting a good scrub

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River
Leaving the cremation site behind us

Small Pratincole, Little Pratincole, Small Indian Pratincole, पानीगौथली, Glareola lactea

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River

We can see from many of the pictures that it is low water in the river. During the monsoon the river is brimmed. We had to check if it was possible to do the drafting. The other river is almost dry so it would not be possible for drafting. But luckily enough there was enough water for drafting today. Otherwise I would have missed this gorgeous experience.

Anyway, they take this opportunity to take stones from the river bed. And they need a lot of stones for constructions and roads etc. And the load the trailers connected to tractors by hand. And you can hear the sound of stones getting thrown at stones everywhere along the river.

We arrived to one area where they were building walls along the river to prevent flooding. Jeez! What a waste of human recourses. Two excavators digging up stones from the river, putting it like a wall and people loaded the trailers by hand from the wall.

Listen to the sound of the river

There were also small canoes transporting stones from the other side of the river where they were loaded by hand. I told my Guide: Imagine of the excavators loaded the trailers directly, then they would load the trailer in a jiff and the wall would soon be ready. Now they load the trailers by hand, the tractor goes to empty the trailer and now they move them by hand to the wall they are building. What a waste of time! If they want the wall to be ready that is.

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River
Unloading stones

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River
And this is where all the stones end up

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River
Unloading stones

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River
Bringing more stones

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River
Bringing more stones

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River
Our driver waiting for us

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River

We passed the construction site and we could soon see our driver and the jeep from Tiger Tops Karnali Lodge on the beach. We were soon on our way back to the Tiger Tops Karnali Lodge. And I can hear you! Isn't there any stupid video from the river adventure? Yes, there are, 11 minutes of pure excitements, just click PLAY below and sit back and enjoy.


We left the Karnali River behind and we drove back towards Chisapani and Karnali Bridge, will take us about an hour to get there and from there it is about 1 hour to the hotel. We made a stop so I could get some cash from an ATM so I could pay back my Guide. I had borrowed money from him to buy Mango Juice.

We're on the highway so it is not so very bumpy, but these Land Rovers are for sure not very comfortable to ride in. But we made it to Chisapani and we crossed the Karnali Bridge.

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River
Flag of Nepal

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River
On the way to Chisapani

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River
Approaching Chisapani and the Karnali Bridge

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River
Karnali Bridge

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River

First military check-point was just after the bridge. I don't remember how many we passed on our way back to the hotel. But it was at least three of them. Long queues with trucks and buses, but we could just pass the line, seems like they don't want to disturb the foreigners coming here. So we just swished by leaving the buses and trucks behind us.

Took us about an hour from the Karnali Bridge to get back “home” again. Dinner and I was off to bed, they will knock on my door at 4 o'clock in the morning with a pot of tea so I need to sleep.

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River
How many times have you seen Deer warning signs and deer at the same time?

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River

Rafting and bird watching on Karnali River

So, tomorrow is my last day here at the beautiful Tiger Tops Karnali Lodge. Will we see any tigers? So far no tigers or leopards, so tomorrow will be my last chance. You just need to click HERE to find out what we found in the forest.



       
                  
OK, it has come to my knowledge that we have senior citizens visiting my web page. How hard can it be? So it's not very easy for them to see the blue coloured links to the next page.
Jiffy (also jiff)

noun [in SING.] informal a moment: we'll be back in a jiffy.

ORIGIN late 18th cent.: of unknown origin.

So as you understand, in a jiff pretty much depends on your internet.
So I put a “Next” button here and I hope that there isn't any problem to understand how to use that one. So just CLICK the “Next” button on your left hand side and you will be on the next page in a jiff!

Marunong ka mag-tagalog? Walang problema! Magpunta sa kabilang pahina pindutin ang “NEXT” button sa itaas

Faites vous parlez le français? Pas de problème! Pour arriver à la page suivante faites s'il vous plaît un déclic le bouton “Next” ci-dessus!

Haga usted dice el español? No hay problema! Ver la siguiente página sólo hacer clic el botón “Next” encima!

Farla parla l'italiano? Non problemi! Per vedere la prossima pagina lo scatto per favore giusto Il bottone “Next” sopra

Sprechen sie Deutsch! Kein problem! Wenn Sie die folgende Seite sehen wollen gerade klicken der Knopf “Next” oben!

คุณพูดภาษาไทยได้ไหม ไม่มีปัญหา ถ้าคุณต้องการไปหน้าถัดไป ให้กดปุ่ม “Next” ข้างบนนี้

Вы говорите по-русски? Просто нажмите синюю кнопку "Next" с левой стороны и Вы моментально переместитесь на следующую страницу!

E ni Svenskar och inte förstår Engelska så ska ni skämmas. J och Björn, med det menar jag inte att alla mina stavfel ska ältas varje gång vi träffas.

Flag of Skåne / Skånska flaggan Well, the flag of Skåne, just a BONUS flag.



                                       

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