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Kim’s Travel Diary

Saturday, 06 Oct 2007

Location: Ranthambhore, India

MapOff from camp yet again after school on Friday for the drive to Ranthambhore. This is part of the National India Park and houses some of the few tigers that there are left in India. This time it is only a 3 hour drive and although the roads are still terrible the journey is not to ghastly. The hotel has been booked by Idex - not the one we asked for and although it appears ok on the inside, a quick look around finds us changing rooms to those in the terace block - at least they had somewere to sit inside and outside and they had a bath!!. We soon discovered that it was better to shower, so clean and sweet smelling we arrived at the restaurant for dinner. As the only dinners, the room was not filled by our presence and dinner was a very quick affair. The trip tomorrow starts at 6.30, so to bed.
Up at silly io'clock to met the jeep that is taking us to the park. It was freezing cold and thank goodness I had bought a fleece. The park is only about 20 minutes from the hotel but you could fel bones starting to ice up even before we got there. The Park is run by the government and in a attempt to try and keep the tigers safe, it is divided up into 5 area's - only when we arived, section 3 was closed. We drew section 2 - tigers had only ben seen in section 4 but you never know. So started three hours of driving around in an open top, open sided jeep trying to see a tiger - the nearest thing we saw was a footprint in the dust and a monkey!!!! but the bruise that I gained on my hip was a very gooooood map of england. Poor Arne nearly froze to death in his short sleeved shirt but then was comfortable as the sun rose and the rest of us tried to remove layers as quick as possible. AS we left the park, we did manage to se a crocodile basking on the dam wall and a peacock - not much of a tally for three hours. Back to the hotel for breakfast - I have now realsied what it reminds me of - the sort of place that people go to when they are having affairs, slightly seedy and rundown - the fact that it was painted pink did not help. Heike, Lilian and I all went and loke around the shops, well thats what you do and yet again tried to find an internet cafe that either worked or was open - no chance, so back to the hotel and a quiet afternoon and evening reading and doing nothing - you get very good at doing that in India. The highlight of the day was we managed to get three beers that were cold - first drink since leaving Africa!
As today is Sunday, we have to leave for camp but haved decide to visit the old fort of Ranthambhore before going. It is now a place of pilgrimage from couples that wish to get married and was full of people. This fort has been standing for thousands of years and never been defeated in battle but now is home to the monkeys whom roam around freely with little or no fear of humans. The climb to the top went on and on but the view was amazing and looked across the park and into the far distance. India is trying to do its best for wildlife but needs a little helping hand with only 40 tigers in this area, it was not suprising that we did not see one. The journey back to camp seems very long and dusty but at least I have managed to have 6 showers in 2 days, so I feel clean.
Camp is once again bathed in moonlight, so washing will have to wait until tomorrow and whilst we have ben gone, the room oooon our house has been lifted and new rafters put in place - dust and grot covers everything but whats new here. A new week awaits