You see, we had arrived at the restaurant to watch the sunset over the river and eat a *quick* bite before going to the Tharu Cultural Program, around 5:00. By the time we had to leave for the show at 6:45, we were still waiting for our food (something we would affectionately start referring to as a Nepali Minute). So we had no choice but to leave and come back to eat after the show. Irritated when we returned an hour later only to find out that our food STILL was not ready, we just about threw in the towel and went to bed with rumbling tummies. Fortunate for us, we had already ordered a round of beer and had to wait it out. Our food finally came and was a disappointment at that – almost every meal in Nepal took over an hour to arrive and almost every time was justified by its deliciousness, with the exception of this one. Little did we know, the universe had planned it all out for us. After dinner, the little guy announced that he had to go pee, so the Mister nonchalantly took him down to the sandy beach to take care of business. As he lowered the pee’ers knickers, he sensed movement at close range. As he looked beyond the tower in front of him and focused his eyes in the dark, he realized that the movement belonged to a wild rhino, not 10 feet away from them. Carefully, he pulled the Little Explorers pants over his booty, made sure that no sudden movements or loud shrieks gave them away, and backed away slowly.
And so began the Great Rhino Hunt. The beast grazed for a few more minutes before making his way next door (to where we were staying) and meandering DIRECTLY in front of our door to his second supper pasture. And so we followed him. Well, not quite followed – we went around the lodge to where we thought he’d be found. Sure enough, there he was being watched by a handful of onlookers, grazing away. Before long he was done with his second supper and headed back in the direction of the restaurant. And this time, we really followed him. As he walked back, he mistepped his way up a pathway that was blocked by a bamboo fence and we watched as he ploughed his way through it like it was made of foam. So naturally, we too embarked up the newly bulldozed path and through the bamboo fence to see where he’d be headed next. As we passed the restaurant, both holding a child, a man remarked, “are you really following the rhino… with kids?”. To our defense, we were a healthy distance behind him at this point. So far in fact that we ended up losing his path and heading back home, through the new pathway he made for us. At which time, the biggest Little Explorer ripped her brand new down Patagonia jacket (bought with a Friends and Family discount) on the rhino-broken-fence. And it’s at least two sizes too big for her, so now she has a wound by which to remember the death-defying adventure.