"Mom! Cayenne just puked everywhere!"
And indeed, it was: All over the duvet, pillow, sheets, blanket, through to the mattress. I went to the bathroom and there she was sitting on the toilet, looking wan and defeated, not knowing from where the next violent bout would erupt.
Acacia went back to our room and snuggled into my still-warm bed, cozy and asleep in minutes, while Cayenne dragged herself into the bathtub. As I washed the vomit out of her hair and watched the water run down her back and over her protruding hip bones, I silently hoped this would be short-lived. My body could use a long run of something like this, but not hers.
Fresh and clean, she climbed into Acacia's original bed while I helped Nick empty the room of every soiled item, including the mattress itself. Now short a bed, I joined Cayenne in hers. If this was contagious, I was already going to get it.
We were in Chitwan at a lovely lodge when the scourge hit. The food on the trek was nothing we had to worry about but post-trek and pre-Chitwan, we'd been gorging in Kathmandu for a few days. We'll never know what Cayenne ate or where she picked it up, but her timing was impeccable; the next morning we had a date with an elephant - without a toilet.
Our homey rooms, Pre-Puke Fest.
No port-a-potty on this bus, but it was a great way to find animals in the bush...
... and when we spotted this big fellow, I was quite happy to be up on the elephant's strong back.
Check out the hi-tech gas pedal-brake-steering system.
Misty sunrise from atop an elephant. Can't beat that! I can still smell the composting jungle floor.
I thought she was saying good-bye, but she was signing...
... that she wanted some bananas.
Here you go, pretty girl!
(The foreigners in the background were on an elephant walking near us, and we were the only two groups to see a rhino that morning.)
Cayenne was feeling well, so we headed to the river where the elephants like to bathe...
... but she never got to enjoy this spectacle because she was holed up in the outhouse, pondering those life decisions many travelers have mulled before her:
Can I save them, or should I toss these underwear into the pit?
Rhino was here.
Baby elephant and her Mama:
(Oh Sista... I know how you feel...)
And check this out. We ran into Mama and baby rhinos while walking as well.
It felt safer on the elephant.
Our guide scored us a ride back to the lodge.
I rode shotgun.
One o'clock in the morning again and this time it was me waking me up. I bolted out of bed and just made the bathroom in time, where I spent the rest of the night...
Good times, my friends!
Acacia took this photo because she was amazed that goat didn't fall off the bus as it lurched its way into Kathmandu. And that's where we're heading for the 4th and final post for Nepal. But I promise it won't take a month this time. My job has gotten so busy I don't even know where that month went.
See you in Shangri-La.
PS: The scourge was fast and furious; both Cayenne and I were good as new very quickly, which was good, because we had come serious shopping to do in Kathmandu.