I managed to sleep until 4:30 this morning! This internet was still not up, so I processed some photos and then, miraculously, the internet came on at 6:00 AM. Now I’m sure that they shut it off overnight.
We were out at the front of the hotel at 6:30 ready for the safari tour company to pick us up. There were a lot of safari vehicles there: 6-seaters, which we were taking, and big ones too, probably for 20 or so. We were to be with 4 other people, the driver and a guide. We were the first ones to be picked up, so we had our choice of seats, and then drove to 2 other hotels to pick up the others. There was a single guy (don’t know where he was from), a single British woman who now lives in Sydney, Australia and an American couple (Hilary supporters) from Houston, Texas, who are now on sabbatical living in Shanghai, China for 6 months.
We drove into Ranthambore National Park, which is split up into 8 zones; our tour was in Zone 2. It was very interesting….lots of huge banyan trees, we could see the Ranthambhore Fort built way up high on a cliff, the road was bumpy as hell, but we saw lots of animals: Chital (Spotted) Deer, Sambar Deer, Indian gazelles, antelopes, wild boar, Langur monkeys, lots of peahens and peacocks, other birds including Red Headed Parakeets, which were too far away to get a good shot, Pond Herons, Egrets….but no tigers or leopards! Regardless, it was a good time and a great experience. Both the driver and the guide were quite good – they made sure that we all had time to get photographs. Dass and I were the only ones with serious cameras. The single guy was using a small point and shoot and the others were using cell phones.
We arrived back at the hotel about 10:45 and immediately went into the dining room for breakfast. By the time we were finished with that, there was hot water for showers. It seems that they turn the hot water on for 3 1-hour periods throughout the day. It was good to get showered and shaved. The only problem was that we both started feeling off and spent some time in the bathroom. After a dose of Imodium and an Oregano Oil capsule (I’ve been taking one each night, but forgot last night), my stomach settled down. Dass popped some pills as well, so he got over his problem as well.
We were both ready for our second safari of the day, when the safari driver showed up at 2:15. Our first stop was at a gas station and then we got on this tertiary road/wagon trail, which was mostly dirt and rocks. We were taken through a rural farm area that was a new low for us as far as people’s living conditions. Again, GOBSMACKED!!!
We finally arrived at the gate to Zone 8 of Ranthambore National Park, where the guide joined us. We were with 4 other Indian people and, of course, the driver and guide were Indian. It reminded me of when I traveled in Quebec with distributor people or my staff – even though they could all speak English, they spoke only French. These people spoke only Indian. The guide said a couple of things to us, but that was it. One time, we stopped at a watering hole, where 2 Sambar Deer were drinking. The damn driver stopped where he could probably see, but there was a tree right in from of us. The guide was sitting between Dass and I and I had to ask him twice if the driver would move to somewhere that we could get a shot. He finally did. This pair was definitely not as good as this mornings and their tip reflected it….NONE!!
The road was much rougher this afternoon than in the morning. We really got bounced around! How much did you get bounced around, you ask? I got bounced around so much that my FitBit said that I walked 25,146 steps today and I probably didn’t do more than 500!
We arrived back at the hotel at 6:00 PM. The internet was up, so I’ve taken the opportunity to catch right up to date on the blog.