Monday, November 26, 2007
Day 9 -- Ranthambhore National Park
Today, we woke up in our swiss tent to find a third visitor (a giant lizard) in our bathroom. Despite its formidable size, we were not charged for having an extra guest!
Our Jeep picked us up for our tiger safari around 6am. After 4 hours of riding around Ranthambhore National Park, we didn't see any tigers (it's quite a few acres and only 34 tigers, so it's all a matter of luck). We did manage to see quite a bit of wildlife (deer, antelope, various birds), though, and enjoyed chatting with some other tourists along the way.
After breakfast and lunch at the hotel and some exploring, we decided to take a second safari in the afternoon. Certain that this time would be the time, we sat with cameras at the ready for anything remotely striped and cat-like. Alas, we struck out again! Better luck next time, as they say!
It was about 7pm, and we had 4 hours until our night train, so we wandered to one of the local internet shops to kill time. All internet connections are made through cell phones on a GPRS network (think dial-up times 1.5), so we only were able to surf a little bit. Next, we picked a nearby restaurant for dinner (non-veg, which means they serve chicken) and had a nice meal. We still had 2 hours to kill, so we headed to the train station. The walk there was rather scary, since it was pretty dark, and there was road construction going on. Eventually, we found our way to the train platform and staked out a nice place next to the police office there.
Jon complained about a dead rat near where we were sitting. Shortly after, another rat (clearly from the customer service department) came by to carry the dead one away. How helpful! The night train was about 45 minutes late, so by the time we boarded and got into our first-class compartment, we were exhausted!! We shared with two other people, which was a little strange, but soon we were all asleep. One man in our compartment nearly missed his stop, but his friends helpfully came by and banged on the door until I got up to let them in.