First things first. News not necessarily related to the trip, but important none the less. On our return from the jungle, Dan recieved an email - obviously when he logged ito a computer, it wasn't just waiting in the street for him, or sung to him by a lark. He has been accepted on a postgraduate course at St Andrews next year which is awesome news. He is crying floods of tears, and its actually quite embarrassing. The one downside to this is the lack of celebratory locations - it would seem beer is not high on the agenda here; for the locals at least. So whilst he is mapping out his life and achiieving what he wants, I remain directionless and lonely! Three cheers for Dan - Hip Hip, Hooray etc etc.
Dan - "Rob is the cry baby"
As much as I would like to talk about Dan some more, there are definitely more important matters to discuss (like which gay hair band thing rob is goig to wear next - Dan). So whilst Dan wanders Indian streets blubbing like a schoolgirl, I shall continue: The Safari.
We left three mornings ago, awoken by Imran, and loaded our gear into his 'jeep' - it was just a shell of a car, but ran like a dream! He took us for an obligatory Chai, and then set out on the 54km drive into the jungle to our camp. As we drove there, the difference in atmosphere between the hustle and bustle of Delhi, and the peace of Ramnagar and the park was extraordinary. Apart from the music of nature, the only other noise of note were the inevitable cries of 'Are we nearly there yet?' from me. From the very start we saw animals - deer and monkeys most commonly, and so many birds it felt like we were in an Alfred Hitchcock movie.
In the camp we were put in our lug hut, which we shared with two Belgian guests and an Australian called Bob, and set out almost immediately on our first tiger hunt. More animals were seen, and a great many wild elephants. Over the next two days we had three more jeep safaris, but still no tigers. The most exciting event was when we were charged by a female elephant protecting her babies - this did not help the fact that Dan and I still had stomach problems, and I spent the rest of the drive concerned there may be some severe stains in my pants!
I am not going to pretend I wasn't upset, and like a petulant child sulked for an afternoon, (Dan - I tried to calm Rob down with some child minding techniques but this didn't seem to help). We booked an elephant safari for the last morning, to at least give us something to tell you all about. As the elephants ventured into the jungle at 06:00, we made our way into the undergrowth, and through the forest: nature's off roaders.
In the distance a peacock gives an alarm call and the elephant riders charge them to the river bank.
The deer scatter. 'Tiger, Tiger, Tiger'
We watch silently as a female tiger crosses the stream, and walks just 50 metres away from us. We were the only people to spot one the whole three days, and are minor celebrities when we return to camp, everybody wanting to see the video footage, which will hopefully be coming soon.
So now we are back in Ramnagar, Dan fed up of me blathering on, itching to go and have some sort of celebration drink.