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ExploringRTW
14-04-07, 11:21
10 - 16 April

We were up at 6 and packed and ready for breakfast about 7:15. Breakfast done we hit the road about 8:30 for Ranthambhore to go on a Tiger safari.

We found the road easily and starting early it was much cooler. Soon outside of town the Indian driving experience came back with a vengeance. It was full concentration all day but we made it by early afternoon.
We found a new hotel that had only opened three months ago. The rooms were great but some of the service was a little poor at times. We booked ourselves on a safari for the next morning with an option for an afternoon Safari should we not see a tiger.
The temperature was cooking in the low 40C ! So we had a relaxing afternoon and a very poor dinner in the hotel.

06:00 in the morning the safari vehicle turned up on time and we were soon heading off to the nature Reserve. Once we got to the gate we sat there for ages and ages. It appears our tour operator bought us Indian tickets and as we were tourist he wouldn’t let us in. In the end the vehicle drove off with the tour operator still arguing with the park wardens.

We hadn’t gone far into the park when the guide heard a monkey warning. This usually meant tigers. So we waited quite a while in the truck slowly going backwards and forwards but no tigers were seen. We headed off to other known sites for the tigers and here were told this very loud grumble was a tiger sleeping but still no sightings. The guide carried on looking but we had no luck.

That afternoon I was exhausted so I laid back and Mike and Sylvia headed off for some provisions and to book the tour for the afternoon. The coach arrived and we were off. This time there was no delay in getting into the park but it did take a while picking up the other tourists!

This time we were taken to a different section of the park. The views were much nicer here and there were several lakes and large watering holes. The guide was much better than the one in the morning and stopped for different wildlife as well. We saw a good selection of animals in the park but the tigers still eluded us! So in the end we finished the day still without a tiger.

Everything but a tiger...

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That night we discussed about staying until we saw one or head off. An Argentinean couple we met said they had much better luck at a park north of Delhi with tigers so we took the decision to head there as the views were apparently much better as well.

The next morning we were up and heading for Jaipur again. The temperatures are still climbing here and it was hot riding and Mike for a change found the heat harder than I did! We soon made Jaipur and after checking a couple of hotels that were on the other side of town but near the Agra road we decided to head back to where we stayed before as the hotels this side of town weren’t too good. It meant a trip through the centre but we decided it was worth it. The traffic was nose to tail all the way and the usual poor driving thrown in as well. Not far from our destination in a traffic jam a car nudged the back of my bike! I went balistic at him. His response was just to smile at me. Grrrr, so I sat on the bike and made him reverse to get around me. Coming past I gave him more abuse, the response was just a big smile and look that I was over reacting. This didn’t help my temper much so I quickly chased after him, shouting more abuse and giving his wing mirror a good thump to try and snap it off. Now, with hindsight, it was fortunate that didn’t hit it hard enough to break it but it helped the temper at the time and it did shock him.

I soon caught up with Mike again as everyone was being held up as car had stopped near the side of the road at a stall and was blocking a bus from leaving the roundabout exit. The bus conductor was trying to stop the traffic behind the bus but this being India it was hard work and there where rickshaws, tuk-tuk’s and mopeds squeezing into every gap. The bus did get to reverse in the end and Mike squeezed through. By my turn the bus had started to move forward and the gap had closed. The 'parked’ car driver also decided to move out at this time and the bus went into the side of the car. Chaos then followed with the car and bus driver out of their vehicles shouting at each other and every pedestrian around joining in.

In the chaos a gap in the crowd was made by some mopeds, I followed and left them to it. It was nice to be back at a known hotel and we all had a relaxing evening reviewing the chaos of the day.

The next day we left at 8 am and the heat was already starting to rise quickly but we made it across town much easier today and were on the Agra road. The road is under going widening and it was slow progress nipping from one side of the road to the other through the road works.

After a quick refuelling stop we asked the guy in the gas station which direction we need to take as the road had an unmarked fork. He told is to carry on the road we had chosen and we continued for a while before coming to a railway crossing with the barriers down. And we waited and waited until finally a goods train came through. Then we still waited. By now we had our suspisions about the route and asking a local we were told we could take the other fork in the road and go around the town!
As we were both being cooked alive we decided to head back and not wait for the barriers to rise and the chaos that would follow was every Indian driver would all rush across at once.
The road works continued and at one point we were all stuck on a single lane behind a truck and bus. The progress was slow. From nowhere an old guy in his 60’s in a new looking 4x4 came up behind me and ’eased' me to one side and was right on back of Mike’s bike. I sped up and undertook the 4x4 horn blaring and rode beside Mike, the 4x4 then sat behind us horn blaring trying to get past!!
There was nowhere to go as the bus and truck could not pull over as there was cones blocking both sides of the road ! At that point a car went past on the roadworks side of the road, Mike made a move to do the same and onto the roadworks section. The 4x4 also went and at the same time tried to overtake mike by forcing him out of the way. How the car never clipped Mike I’ll never know! Mike was absolutely livid and went after him and after trying to get the guy to pull over and the guy ignoring by looking straight ahead!!! He finally let him go!

Shortly after we had a stop of drink and were then off again but I only lasted over an hour as the heat was really getting to me today. After the break we headed off again but I found the heat hard to live with and was very glad when we found our hotel for the weekend.

We spent our weekend as usual fixing odds and end on the bikes, washing and completing Web updates.

John

Kaister
14-04-07, 11:27
sounds like you're not having much fun.

try and adopt the 'might is right'attitude and let all cars through to do what they want.

its the only way - there is no give and take.

chill out guys.

ExploringRTW
14-04-07, 11:50
We do give the might is right attitude but there ain't much you can do when they run in the back of you in a traffic jam and don't even give you the option to get out of the way!!!

John