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  • Day7

    Look for the bare necessities

    May 27, 2017 in India ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

    The simple bare necessities forget about your worries and your time...

    So since writing the last update we ended up having the worst day waiting all day for the train. The train was in the end 5 hours then 7 hours then 9 hours. ..eventually arriving 12 hours late close to midnight! We spent all day in the train station which was so hot without any food. There was little for sale (typical as when you want something it isn't there and when you don't there is hassle to buy! ) We were kept distracted by the odd person taking selfies of us and various comers to the bench where we sat (all day!) An Indian family of around 12 people came to talk to us, the younger girls who looked 15 but were apparently 20 were fascinated by us and used us to practice English with asking us what our favourite places and dishes were. The girl was studying to be a bank manager. I mentioned I liked her scarf and she insisted on giving it to me as a gift. I couldn't accept but she insisted so I accepted so now I have a nice momento of the day at the station! Indian people are so friendly. They also offered for us to eat with them. The Indians bring whole meals with them for journeys and all sit around sharing on the floor.

    We were so pleased to see the train but not so pleased that this time we were in sleeper class a lower class with no air con. This would be fine in the daytime for a short journey of 4 hours like ours, but now it was midnight at the train was full. There were people everywhere on the floor so it was hard to get even onto the train with our bags. We then found our "seats" in the dark and had to eject sleeping people from them. We then shared the top bunk for 4 hours. glad to arrive in the station we then found no tuktuks or anyone around at 4am! So we had no choice but to walk to the hotel 1km away. Luckily we had a torch as it was a rural place with no light. We passed a pack of Barking wild dogs and several wild boars on the way, it was pretty hairy!

    So pleased to have checked into our luxury stop even if it was 12 hours late. A 5* palace hotel costing 50 pounds a night Inc breakfast. It was beautiful with a huge soft bed proper rain shower and a pool. A welcome sight after journey from hell!

    The reason we came here was to visit ranthambore national park. One place where there are 60 bengal tigers a very endangered species. We were taking 2 safaris one evening one early morning. We set off on our first following a swim and a pool tennis match with a frsibie and some Indian guys taken very seriously by them! (We won 11-10)

    Our first safari was great. An exciting and bumpy off road ride through the park for 3 hours at sunset. This is where kipling got the inspiration for the jungle book. We were so lucky to spot a sloth bear (baloo the bear!) antelope, deers, loads of birds, hawks, owls, wild boar, and finally as we were leaving we saw a tiger in the trees. She was with her grown cub but a little far to get good photos.

    We took another safari this morning at sunrise, another early start. This time a different zone with more lakes. We saw a baby crocodile and lots of water birds kingfishers and herons. We then had the most wonderful sighting of a male tiger who walked in front of the jeep and then had a deer carcass that he killed 2 days prior and was eating the deer right next to us about 10 meters away. Wow. We sat and watched him for an hour eating his kill. It was incredible (apart from the dead animal smell!)

    Now sat chilling by the pool for a well needed rest. Won't last long outside though it is 10.30am and over 40 degrees even in the shade.

    Off to jaipur this evening on another train. A short 2 hours this time but let's see how late this one is. I don't have much hope for it being on time...
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