Michelle and Charlie's Around the World Trip 2004-2005 travel blog

elephants used for sight seeing in the national park

sight seers with the elephants

lots of deer around

tiger claw marks



wild elephant

termite hill

one of the many monkeys

rear staircase, a step on the tail

a local computer expert :)

there is always some more room on Indian vehicles

harvest technology is lagging behind a bit

Movie Clips - Playback Requirements - Problems?

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elephant ride

(MP4 - 4.97 MB)

monkeys with Shyam's music

Corbett is a tiger reserve named after the guy famous for killing about a million Indian Tigers. I guess he was feeling guilty about the slaughter or else he just didn't want anyone else to beat his killing record so he started a tiger conservation program. We went on a 4 hour jeep safari in the jungle like reserve. It started at sunrise and was a pleasant atmosphere. As for seeing animals, we were both lucky and unlucky. On the one hand we were fortunate to see a herd of elephants. According to the guide he hadn't seen any in 2 months. The elephants were fun to watch (especially the baby and also the adults tearing down trees to munch on), but we saw lots of elephants a couple of years ago in Tanzania. We were not lucky enough to see any tigers, which the guide said he sees a few times a week. We felt like we were hot on one's trail, though, because we could see big paw prints in the sandy road that must have been fairly recent since the roads get lots of jeep traffic during the day. We also heard lots of monkeys and birds and barking deer making the warning calls that a tiger was on the move. Oh well, we didn't really expect to see one, anyway.

We were the only guests at the tiny guest house we were staying at. The old guys running it were funny characters, even more so because of all the communication problems we had with them. For example, ordering dinner was an adventure. Even though they employ a very smart system that many Indian restaurants use - namely, they give you paper and a pen to write your order down so they don't have to struggle with our pronounciation - that didn't quite help here. They started to bring the food out and since we had all ordered different things I was asking what each dish was. The kid bringing the food out kind of mumbled something and we started eating, but then discovered we all we were eating the wrong thing. This was complicated by the fact that more dishes came to the table then we ordered. I tried to clear up the confusion with the old guy in the kitchen and was pointing to a dish with potatoes and some other stuff asking what it was called. He's trying to tell me it's the "jeera rice" we ordered, even though there was not a grain of rice in the dish! I'm laughing trying to find out what the stuff is, and finally fed up with me he just yells, "it's food, it's good, eat it!" So we did, it was good, and we only got charged for the 4 things we ordered.

Outside of the park we also went on an elephant ride on the banks of a nearby river. I was not sure how we were going to up on the elephant and a little concerned when I saw the "driver" climb up by grabbing its ears and walking up the trunk. However, we were not expected to get up that way and instead climbed up "stairs" created by another guy holding its tail as a step and then climbing over its butt. I felt a little guilty about this whole ride since I'm always upset when I see people with monkeys on a leash or worse, some dancing bears on the roadside, but Charlie assured me the elephant seemed happy. I felt less guilty about it when the elephant kept blowing hopefully water, but more likely elephant snot, over its right shoulder to where we were sitting. Why not the left side?

The tiger reserve doesn't seem to get many foreign tourists (although lots of Indian tourists, which is nice) so the nearby city doesn't have the usual tourist traps. That is to say, the people there generally left us alone and didn't try to rip us off when we went to buy anything. We had some great samosas, sweets and other street foods for about 20 cents and Charlie's uncle and cousin continued their souvenir buying spree with incense and tea in the great low pressure atmosphere.

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