Wednesday 09 November 2005

We were up, packed, and eating breakfast by 07:00. We exchanged email addresses with ‘Mr Singh’ our host/the owner and we asked if he would pass ours onto Joe and Anne if they wanted it. We left the resort at 07:30 and had the same driver that had brought us to Bandhavgarh.

We drove 250km on some very bad roads and reached our hotel Tuli Tiger Resort at Kanha not long after 13:00. Another car arrived at the same time as us – a nice comfy looking land rover but the woman who got out, blimey what a face she pulled! And we were next to the family as we checked in and she asked if they “served Indian or Chinese food”! Couldn’t believe it! They said Indian of course (obviously!) and she replied with “can’t have Indian or Chinese food, must have nothing spicy” – how rude! She was so abrupt! Turns out they are staying in the room across from us.

After a quick freshen up we went for lunch; it was a buffet, and very nice. The moaning family were there too with such grumpy faces, probably tired from a long bumpy journey!

We left for our safari at 14:30. We have a driver and a Naturist (Dr Shiva Sharanagat) from the hotel. We had to drive though a small village to reach the entrance to the park, and then we were joined by a guide. We drove through an area where a tigress and her young cubs had been seen earlier this morning by elephant. We didn’t see any tigers but we saw a cub’s footprint and the Naturist and the guide both heard a sambar alarm call so we listened and waited but nothing.

We saw an Indian roller also known as a blue jay and a changeable hawk eagle. There were lots of spotted deer and a few sambar, and also some egrets. There was a birds nest close to the ground, really small. And we saw a large Indian bison on the way out of the park (also known as a gaur, it’s a bit like a buffalo/bull). I took some photos of the sunset too.

Just after we left the park, there were a few jeeps together on the road looking into the forest; apparently one vehicle had seen a leopard. They thought it had planned to cross the road but on their arrival interrupted it and it retreated back into the forest. We waited to see if it would come back and try to cross the road again. After a while, and no sign of it, we continued on back to the hotel where they had face cloths waiting to clean off the dust – excellent, but they needed to be hot like you get on the plane!

After a shower we went for dinner which was a buffet. My knees were suffering with the cold so I borrowed a blanket since the restaurant is outside. We were asked by our Naturist (Shiva) – who is looking after us during our stay – if we wanted our beds pushing together and a heater – yes, lovely!

Back in the hotel room we organised our laundry and housekeeping came to collect it. Not much later there was another knock on the door, some hot water bottles for us! The room opposite were given some too; wonder if everyone here has them! Seems to get colder here the further south we go… Well, its time for bed now (its 21:30 but we have to be up by 04:30 at the latest since we leave for our safari at 05:00)! I hope we see tigers tomorrow!