Saturday, December 17, 2005

Tiger Hunting from Rob

Wow its been 2 weeks since I last blogged. I never meant to go this long but it we haven't had a lot of chances to blog and when we have I just was not in the mood ok? Glenn has the ability to blog anytime, any place, but he also talks alot. Since Glenn last blogged we went to Bandhavgarh National Park to see a tiger. Unfortunately, we did not see one, although we should be happy, as the sign heading out of the park says, because one may have seen us. Whatever. If that's the case, then the tiger should give us some baksheesh(money/tip) then. We went on two safaris, one in the morning and one before sunset. The one in the morning was at 6 am and was freezing cold. We basically drove around the park in an open jeep for 4 hours. At one point we came around a corner and 6 or 7 jeeps were stopped in the middle of the road. Apparently a tiger had crossed the road only a few minutes before. We stayed for awhile and heard the tiger roar a few times and heard the alarm call of some deer. At that point we had the option of riding an elephant for 600 Rs/person to get a close look at the tiger. That seemed obscenely expensive at the time and people who did do it told us all they saw was the tiger lying down but nevertheless, I wished I had done it after all.
After the morning safari we had a few hours to kill so we ate breakfast and walked around the village called Tala for a while. One part of Tala is all hotels and tourist places but the rest of the villagers are farmers so it was interesting to walk around and see how they live.
I found the afternoon safari much more fun. First off it wasnt freezing cold. However the closest we came to a tiger was seeing some prints and we may or may not have heard one growl a couple times. To me it felt a lot like fishing. Instead of watching for jumpers we were staring into the jungle trying to spot any signs of a tiger. Occaisonally we would turn the jeep off and just listen. Everyone was so quiet I could hear the blood in my ears. At times it was very intense, but much like fishing, sometimes it all amounts to nothing. We were skunked. Well not totally I guess. We saw countless deer, mostly spotted, one barking and a few sambal deer. We also saw some wild boar and some birds. Yay.
I wished we could've stayed another day and tried again, but we needed to press on. We want to be in the south where it is actually warm before Xmas. We also knew we would be spending a few days in Varanasi (where we are now) and that we didn't really know how to get to the south other than by flying. Glenn is trying to find flights online right now, but I suspect that we will have to take a 9 to 12 hour train ride (Indian time, multiply by 1.5) back to Delhi, then take a flight to either Chennai, Bangalore or Cocchin hopefully.
For now we will hang out here, and make plans for the next stage of our trip. Maybe we will check out some burning ghats tonight. Tomorrow we will take a boat down the river and hopefully not bump into too many bodies...


Anonymous Spindi said...

Hi Rob,

We received the parcel! Thanks so much. The kids are thrilled. I just read in the news that there has been a lot of flooding in Chennai. Would this be a concern for you going there at this time? Hope you can find a place to have Christmas! And warm up!


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