Sunday, November 15, 2009

Corbett National Park

So at Tiger Camp, we had all our meals included and the restaurant was an open-air thatched roof building. The whole place was beautiful and very relaxing. We're all glad we decided to go there for a few days to get over jetlag and vacation a bit.

While at Corbett, Rod & Colin took an elephant ride. Michelle & I had punjabi suits made - quite an experience with a lot getting lost in translation, but we figured things out. We all took a jeep safari our 2nd morning. We were up at 6AM and got into the Bijran portion of Corbett around 6:30. Our guide had been working there for over 18 years so he was very helpful in explaining what we were seeing and what to listen for in finding the tigers.

About an hour into the safari, we stopped to watch some monkeys & deer playing. Then we headed up the road a bit and saw some samba deer. (The Samba is one of the main food sources for the tigers.) We stopped for a short bit while our guide relieved himself (quite common for all men to do anywhere they feel like throughout India) and he came running back to the jeep and said he'd heard a warning scream from one of the animals. Our driver put the jeep in reverse and zipped back up the trail where we just were.

Another jeep was heading down the hill above us as their guide had heard the same warning. We back tracked up the road a bit and stopped and just listen for anything. After a few minutes, the guide from the other jeep pointed up the hill about 50 yards up the road and said the tiger would be coming down the hill. Sure enough, a big male tiger appeared and mosied across the road. It was very exciting to get to actually see a tiger as that was the whole point of the safari. Our guide said that in his 18 years, he averages a tiger siting about once a week. We were quite privileged to get to be one of few who saw a tiger. It was a highlight of the morning.

We headed back to Tiger Camp for breakfast, then went into Ramnagar (small town about 3 kms from Camp) and did some shopping. Michelle & I bought some material and had some punjabi suits made (explaining that we needed a tailor and needed the clothes the next day was a "lost in translation" experience). While the tailor was measuring Michelle & I, Rod & Colin saw some local kids playing cricket and went over to watch. The boys invited Colin to play with them. He was VERY excited as he claims that he loves cricket (even though he'd never played before).

All of this happened before noon! We napped the rest of the afternoon and worked on that jetlag.

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