Our first night under the tent was disturbed as what we hope and believe was a chipmunk, spent time scratching and eating his way across our roof.
I was up before our butler delivered English breakfast tea at 05:45. Following greeting kitted out in our very trendy Woolen smocks, we were served porridge with added brandy and honey to provide sustenance and warmth for our journey ahead. The sun was just arising at 06:15 as we headed excitedly out.
The park is divided into 14 sectors and each sector is assigned with a maximum of 10 vehicles a sector. We were heading to sector 4, which we wrongly assumed was nearby, however after about 45 minutes of travelling through rural countryside seeing real India wake up, we had a tyre burst. Fortunately our driver did have a jack and a bald spare, so within 15 minutes we were on our way again. As we stopped at the entrance gate 4, perhaps that was rather bigged up as it was a hole in the security fence. An extremely grumpy salesman was pitching his extensive range of hats, masks and playing cards. He could of attended the India college of customer service excellence. However after realising we were not to be buying, his grumpy face turned angry. Time to go.
We entered the park and climbed up to the very top of cliff scrapment, it reminded me of the Rift Valley in Tanzania....what a name droper. We came across a herds of red and fallow deer on our journey, as well as some magnificent full grown stags. We saw numerous birds of brilliant colours and antelope with their twin fawns in tow.
Unfortunately there were no Tigers sighting or footprints despite our guide and driver best efforts even sneaking into area 7, which is apparently forbidden.
Sadly leaving the park we driven back through these poor rural villages witnessing what is normalised activity. Despite of the apparent lack of wealth of income and homes sometimes no more than wooden shacks the sight of satellite disks erected above, was demonstration of the absolute opposites that India evidences in abundance.
This was further confirmed when on arrival back to our camp of excellence. We were greeted by a cooling drink, cold towels and lunch menu fit for a Maharja. I had kegeree for lunch.
I should say we are staying at the Sujan Sher Barg, part of the Relias and Chateux Group, an exclusive 5 star resort, which the tent has all luxuries including air conditioning, hot and cold shower, toilet and a Maharja size bed.
Just getting ready for the afternoon safari after Alison has been in the pool and I have been trying to catch up on the blog.
Keeping our fingers crossed for Tigers tonight.