Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Off to see the tigers

Now where was I - it's getting to be a long time ago now and we've been to Ipswich this week already.

 Oh yes I know, we were off to see the tigers.  First though we had to go back to Delhi.  It was a long journey and we got to the Taj Palace very late.  Just in time to sort out cases for the next bit of the journey and go to bed.  When we arrived we found that we had been given a lovely room.  On the table there were two chocolate brownies, one each for the staff and Ann with their names written on them.  You can see my consternation that there were no brownies labelled "Jock" and "Lily" A swizz I say, but they did share and that was nice - I even kept a bit on my fur for a midnight feast.

 Next morning should have been a lie in day and then off to the airport back home, but instead we said goodbye to all the others and had another ridiculously early start, because we were going back to see the tigers on the train. (No, we were going on the train to see the tigers.)  It was a crazy early start so you can't expect me to get my English right, I'm confused just by the memory of it.

So there we were in another car at 6.15 next morning heading for the station and the train back to Mawai Sadhopur and Ranthambhore.  As we waited for the train, we watched the world of Delhi Nizamuddin Station swirl around us.  Can you believe that people actually live on the station, and on shacks by the track and even in tents between the tracks? These two boys were gathering plastic bottles to re-cycle and make some money. (Very very little I'm sorry to say, but enough to live on, though they should have been at school.)  Alan and Ann were rather sad to see that.  We have a much easier life don't we, and we should be glad that we do.

Soon enough our train drew in and on we clambered. Alan had had great difficulty getting a train ticket, and the nice folks at Ranthambhore arranged one for us.  It was a strange journey as we found ourselves in a sleeper car. Alan folded up the bed to form a bench and we sat fairly comfortably.  I sat by the grimy window and managed to get a view out.  After one of the stops we got talking to a very nice young man who, it turned out, was on his way to Mumbai (Bombay) for a job interview.  He couldn't afford to fly, so he was going to spend 22 hours on the train instead.  We hope he got the job That is a long time, and fortunately for us it was only a little over 4 and a half hours and we are picked up and taken to our new hotel.  A man in a red shirt took our case and carried it to the car by balancing it on his head. He looked as if he didn't weigh much more than the case. 

My, what an interesting sign there was at the hotel.  I wondered if we'd see tigers inside, but instead there were tents for people and bears to sleep in.  This is the front of our tent, and the pretty flower was growing just outside.  We met all  the staff at the hotel and Mr Ramsingh took us under his wing and looked after us all the time we were there.
When we'd had our lunch and had time to relax we went off to see the fort at Ranthambhore.  We had to go back through the gates of the reserve and up a long and very bumpsty track at the end of which lies the fort.  
Our nice guide took us up the very steep walk to the fort which is ginormous with lots of gates and walls and parapets and statues and pools and palaces and everything like that. You can see the buildings and walls high up above us in this picture.  When we were on our way up we looked from the walls across the lake and saw a tiger very far away.  I could see it but Alan had to get his twonoculars out to see it. Can you spot it?  It's behind the island walking through the grass. Still can't see it?  Neither could the staff!

Excitement over on we walked.  The place was built over many years, but many in the 13th and 14th centuries, and lots of people got killed fighting over it then and afterwards.

At the end is a Ganesha Temple that people come to visit from far and near.  To get there they often have to walk miles through the park past the leopards and tigers and crocodiles, and of course all the way back too - very scary. Can you see the langurs?   They were very cheeky indeed trying to get food from the stalls nearby.  These two stole some rose garlands and proceeded to eat them!  
When we were walking back we spotted some lovely parakeets.  They are called plum-headed parakeets. The male has a lovely plum coloured head while the female's is grey. Aren't they pretty with their blue tails?

We set off to walk back and Ann was chatting to the guide as we wandered along, when suddenly Alan said "Look out! There's a snake!"  Ann looked down and saw it and hopped smartly to her right.  Then Alan and the guide watched it as it slithered away.  
"Oh," said the guide, "that's a cobra. It's most unusual seeing them out during the day." Gulp, I thought. Alan didn't get it's photo he was so interested in watching it slide away.  That's enough excitement for several days, so we were very glad when we'd had dinner and it was time for bed.

More tiger stories the next time.




  1. Jock,

    Your comment about seeing the tigers on the train made beary good sense to me, I know exactly what you were saying. Why does Mr. Alan always interrupt you?

    Again, I can't wait to see pictures of the tigers (on the train). Giggle.

    Hi Mr. Alan,

    So, you thought it would be easy-peasy working FOR Jock - I sure hope not.

    Jock, you don't pay him overtime do you? For that matter - you don't pay him at all, I hope.

    Heaps of Hugs ♥

  2. It's always handy to keep a little smackerel of something about one's person for a late night snack or two, although we think you might have had trouble hiding the entire brownie...

    Knowing how much the staff can pack, we're surprised the poor man with the suitcase wasn't squished flat!

    We could see the tiger too, stupid staff!

    Jack and The Clan


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