So Ambassa is finally under our feet and we meet our hotel car driver, skipping some touts who try to make us reconsider our booking. A safari jeep without roof takes us to the hotel among green crops and along the river, passing small villages and crossing carts driven by buffalos and cows. The fresh air and the nature start to slowly calm down our senses. Bardia is really a nice place.
Although the day has been very long, we gather some strength to celebrate New Year’s Eve. With us as guests there are also a family from New Zealand and Tristan, a French man who is living between France and Nepal and is an avid enthusiast of wildlife and nature. At the rhythm of both traditional and pop Nepali music—including a hilarious old man dressed in a mountain suit—we finish the year dancing next to the fire and drinking rice beer, hoping to start it in a better way than it ended.
And the year starts raining…, not advisable for us to go to a safari since it will be muddy and the chances to find animals are lower, so we decide to stay and relax. The second day still rains a bit but later in the evening there is some sun. Too much Daal Bhat for food has switched ON our appetite for some samosas—fried dumplings filled with potato and vegetables—and we decide to stroll around to the village that is close by. The hotel staff kindly points us to the wrong direction—by mistake—and the stroll to the village quickly becomes known as the “Samosa quest”. After 30 minutes of wrongly going to the left, we are finally pointed to the right and add another 30 minutes until we finally find the “close by” village. The samosas are quite hard to find and people in every food place we see ask us to keep going pointing—characteristically of local people—to somewhere in the sky. We are used to this kind of “sky pointing” and we finally find them, at last, at the end of the village. Quest complete!