I spent last weekend at the Tiger Ranch at the Bandipur reserve.
Bandipur is stunning. The Tiger Ranch isn't. The cottage - a bunch of coconut leaves woven around a wood frame - had a filthy toilet, and was plagued with ants. The biting kind. There were seven beds, one crawling with ants, two with bed bugs and two which were damp. The five of us ended up sleeping on the remaining double bed, packed like sardines. I understand that this is the whole 'living in the wild' thing, but not when you're paying Rs. 850 per head per night. We ended up paying Rs. 4250 for everything, which is way, way too expensive. Given the time constraints, we couldn't even go on a safari.
That miserable excuse for a cottage was just a minor irritant though, and the simple pleasure of hanging out with old friends more than made up for it.
I was also able to take lots of photographs. We also managed to go for a walk on Sunday morning, followed by a pleasant game of badminton.
On our way back, we stopped at Gopalaswamy betta for a couple of hours which made up for everything else. It was absolutely stunning and I recommend it highly to anyone traveling to Bandipur.
wow, this post brought up these incredibly vivid memories of my stay in a forest bunkhouse in corbett national park 9 years ago. I acquired a tick there which made me incredibly ill, and I rode the bus back to Delhi with a 101 degree fever, checked into a tourist hostel in Pahargang after a fever-addled altercation with an autorickshaw driver about how much extra he tried to charge for delivering my backpack, and then I promptly puked up in the hostel's bathroom and spent the rest of my time in India on the hostel's roof eating imitation pad thai and antibiotics while reading stephen king novels, and so I never made it to the Taj Mahal.
At corbett I did see a wild boar, a herd of wild elephants, and some leftovers from a tiger meal, but not the tiger himself.
Getting to corbett involved the most frightening train trip of my life: a sleeper car that was simply detached from the rest of the train at the correct station, disgorging me, alone, into an empty village in the middle of the night.
thanks for the post, it was fun to remember that trip, frightening and feverish as it was.
Damn... yaar miss old times...
Thanks for the pics Sid and for the good read. My brother was way too lazy to put up pics of his own. Typical..
But seriously, this blog is a good read.
@amy - whoa, that's a pretty tough trip.
@Ridhi - thanks, luv. I hope you're writing somewhere - if you are please send me the link. I've tried persuading you're worthless troll of a brother to blog, but you know him, he internet challenged. I wonder what he'd manage if he got around to it - look at that testimony he's written for you on Orkut.
He does look decent in that last snap though, what?
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